Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

February 5, 2011

Who doesn't like pizza?

The homemade pizza party
it was a great evening of friends and food

antipasta dish #1

This has become an annual thing, and I was so glad to be on attendance list for the 1st time this year. It is the world famous Bill and Tanya's homemade pizza party. Who doesn't love pizza? OK, people who are allergic to wheat or milk may not love pizza, and actively avoid pizza. But, for those of us, like me without allergies and raised in the USA, there is a feeling of childhood giddiness when there is mention of pizza.

antipasta dish #2

When I was a kid in the early 19^*'s, there wasn't the same access to pizza. There wasn't the big chains like Dom, Papa, and the Hut on every corner. Pizza was not served everyday in the school cafeteria. We only went to the local pizza joint, Regular John's (anyone from Brentwood, California remember delicious Regular John's?) only a few times per year for very special occasions like a birthday. It was a rare treat to have pizza from Regular John's. At the school cafeteria, it was pizza day only once per month (3 times per semester) at the L.A. Unified school system, and all of us kids would beg our parents to let us buy the school lunch on pizza day. That school pizza was terrible, it was a rectangle of tasteless white flour soggy cardboard with a thin smear of tomato paste, some sort of diced up cheese and sometimes diced up pepperoni. The school pizza wasn't good, but because it was so rare for the school lunch, we kids always thought of this rare lunch day as a treat. Even today, I still have that momentary flashback to my childhood brain when there is a pizza party, and I just am so excite about the prospect of a pizza treat.

flipping the pizza dough

So I get to the pizza party, and Bill is flipping the pizza dough, there are 2 pizza stones in the very hot oven, and there were 2 big bowls of antipasta. Bill and Tanya printed out the menu for us, and here is the list:

The Antipasto
*Fresh baby green salad including romaine and arugula
*Mozzarella salad including mozzarella, hot pickled peppers, grape tomatoes, Italian flat leaf parsley, artichokes, olives, roasted peppers, and sauteed and marinated onions

The Pizzas
*Yukon gold potatoes, rosemary, garlic, oil, truffle salt, Fontina
*Wild mushrooms, caramelized onion, comte (French Gruyere), rosemary
*Pesto, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella
*Butternut squash, caramelized onion, gorgonzola
*Olives, roasted peppers, goat cheese
*Walnut Hill Canadian Bacon, pineapple, onion, mozzarella
*B&C smoked chicken, barbecue sauce, mozzarella

The Dessert

my 1st of many plates

When I got to Bill and Tanya's house, Bill was making the truffled potato pizza. He got some truffled salt, and opened up the jar, and the aroma of truffles filled the air. I live the scent of truffles. At one time, I was tossing my home popped popcorn with very expensive truffle oil, but I had to stop that habit because it was getting a bit pricey. The truffle aroma from the truffled salt was a lovely way to start the evening.

wild mushroom and caramelized onions with comte

The next pizza was the wild mushroom pizza with caramelized onion. I have decided that there are few things that always make a dish better, and one of them is caramelized onions. Just delicious. The onions added a very slight tartness, a sweetness, and a umami quality to the already umami earthy mushrooms on this pizza pie. Delicious. I thought this was my favorite, but there were more to come.

fresh tomato pesto

Then Bill made the next and the next and the next pizzas. I tried them all. I liked the bbq chicken, the pesto, and Canadian bacon pineapple pizzas. At Regular John's some # decades ago, I was introduced the Canadian bacon and pineaple pizza during one of my family's rare pizza outings. It was a hit with my mom, and I think it was one of her favorites. I think the Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza might have reminded her of a nice memory of days gone by. It has been um-teen years since I have had a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza slice, and tasting this pizza just took me back to that first time of tasting this pizza. I could see the sawdust on the Regular John's floor, the picnic tables, the rustic wood interior, and my mom smiling like a kid, saying how much she enjoyed the Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza.

butternut squash, caramelized onion and mozzarella

To top off the evening was the unanimously voted best pizza of the evening - the butternut squash, caramelized onion and mozzarella pizza. I have never had a pizza like this, so it did not evoke a memory from my childhood. This is the new memory having been made. There was a sweetness from the squash and onions combined with the umami from the cheese and onions which made this an unforgettable pizza. If ever I have this pizza again, I am sure the aroma and flavor will remind me of this fantastic pizza evening. I will remember the striped tablecloth, friends sharing the table, and reaching for the 2nd slice of butternut squash and onion pizza while I was stuffed, but I still could not get enough of this pizza. I hope I get to be on the pizza party list next year - just delicious and fun!



At 2/5/11, 10:28 AM, Blogger ceeelcee said...

I came back from four years of college in California addicted to Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza.

When I got home to TN, the scorn of my friends and the utter lack of anyone to split a pizza with turned it into just a fond memory.

I'll split one with you anytime.

At 2/5/11, 4:24 PM, Blogger Eric and Katie said...

Lannae: the wild mushroom pizza looks awesome...

At 2/5/11, 9:47 PM, Anonymous Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh my goodness what a great post! The pizzas look awesome.What a Blessing to be invited to eat such great food.I think the mushroom would be my favorite.

At 2/13/11, 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love these pizzas! They look great!

At 2/25/11, 7:14 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is really nice post.The pizzas look awesome. What a Blessing to be invited to eat such great food.i love pineapple pizza.s


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