About a year ago, we instituted Family Fun Night each week. We would make or pick up a crowd-pleasing dinner and do an activity together once a week. Usually, the activity is a board or card game. Uno Attack!, my least favorite game in the world, has now become enjoyable for me. At least when I’m playing with Little Hippie and Baby Hippie. That stupid button that makes obnoxious noises and tends to extend Uno rounds indefinitely is not so terrible when it allows Baby Hippie to feel like he is playing the game with all of the grown-ups. We’ve also been known to spend quality time with the Mario brothers (Super Paper Mario. Maybe the best video game ever. At least for those of us who never wanted to go beyond the run-and-jump awesomeness of the early NES games) or watch a movie together.
After the initial novelty of Family Fun Night wore off, I got a little tired of spending 1/3 of family fun time on deciding what dinner would be. Pizza is always a favorite with my little minions. The grown-ups, too. The kids love to roll out the dough and “decorate” their own pizzas. So family fun night is now Pizza Night. Other people join us from time to time (a couple of the neighbor kids have figured out the schedule, and they *always* seem to be playing with us just before dinner on Pizza Nights. It’s a remarkable coincidence). When I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was so happy to see that this new practice is similar to what she has done with her family – I have a lifestyle crush on Kingsolver, so it was vindicating to see find out that I’m already doing some of the things her family does.
Full disclosure: I will admit that at times, the pizza in Pizza Night is frozen or delivered. It’s a trade-off that keeps us from postponing or canceling pizza night when we don’t have the time to make pizza dough or clean up the kitchen after the make-your-own pizzas are assembled. I don’t ever want to dread this special time we have together, so we have given ourselves this out for the occasions when it is necessary. There are always a couple of Connie’s Naturals pizzas in our freezer. However, we all like the homemade pizza WAY more than any of our alternatives. I make a double batch each time I make pizza dough. For the 4 of us, that makes 3 nights’ worth of pizza – I divide the double batch into three portions and freeze two of them. If we end up having extra folks for dinner, it’s easy to break out an extra batch of dough. So we have simplified the process as much as possible, and the frozen pizzas are available if we need the break.
Last week was the first time we broke out the grill for pizza-making this year, and the new flavor we tried was wonderful. I’ll share it with you soon! In the meantime, here are some pizza combos you can browse: