~By Katie Blais
OK, this might not be the nicest thing to say, but my mom isn’t the best cook. Many a debacle has taken place in our kitchen. One time she set pork chops on fire on the grill-my dad came home from work to charred pork chops floating in a pail next to the garage. She has set the oven on fire as well. When I was growing up, our oven also served as a large bread box and we would put potato chip and pretzel bags in there … and then she would turn it on to preheat. About 10 minutes later, you could see flames through the window in the front (baking soda is always good to have on hand to extinguish kitchen fires, by the way).
Another time we got into a huge fight. I was a picky eater growing up-my diet consisted of chicken tenders, bologna sandwiches, and the occasional boiled egg-so my mom was used to me turning my nose up or throwing a fit about something she was “trying” to cook. But one time she forgot to put the yeast in her pizza dough. I told her I didn’t like how it tasted, and she flew into a fit of rage (most likely induced by P.M.S.) and apologized later when she found the unopened yeast packet on the counter.
Despite all this, there was one dish my mother made every New Year\’s Eve that I could eat and eat and eat (when she added the yeast that is). She used a Pillsbury hot roll mix, rolled it out on a pizza pan with Ragu pizza sauce, and then when it came out and cooled a bit she would sprinkle parmesan cheese on it and cut it into bite size pieces. She would wrap these in aluminum foil and we would go over to her friend\’s house.
Even as a 10-year-old I remember thinking this was not how I wanted to ring in the New Year. First off, my parents’ friends weren’t fun. The husband reminded me of a Beach Boy past his prime, and his wife had had the same haircut since I was born. We would sit in their remodeled basement and play Scattergories and Taboo and get yelled at by their 27-year-old nephew for joking around during the game. Looking back as a 27 year old now, I can’t believe he spent every year ringing in the new year with his parents in his aunt and uncle’s remodeled basement. No wonder he was crabby!
At quarter to midnight we would pull out the bag of favors that were used year after year and ring and hoot and holler and then watch people having more fun than us in Times Square partying with Dick Clark. But the one saving grace was the food, especially my mom’s cold pizza I probably ate the bulk of it during the course of the night and now a New Years isn’t a New Years without it. This year I hosted a party (which I think was a little more exciting than my childhood “celebrations”) and made my cold pizza. As in years past, I probably ate the bulk of it during the night.
Cold Pizza Recipe
- Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix (this year I used whole wheat dough already made and it came out good too)
- One can Ragu Pizza Sauce
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Follow the instructions on the hot roll mix, but roll out into a pizza pan and top with Ragu
- Once it is cooled sprinkle with parmesan cut and serve!
- Don’t yell during board games