Deep Dish Pizza

Do you guys see a trend here… bread, pizza… dough. CARBS. Excuse me while I run to the gym real fast.

Jk. Imma just eat another slice.

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I’ve been thinking about family a lot lately.

Not everyone has the fondest memories or emotions when family comes up, but the reality is… We are tied to our families.

We can run, we can disappear, we can shun, disown, forget… but our family will always be our family. At our most basic core — what makes us living, moving, breathing bodies is the same material that makes up the people we either love deeply or often hate even deeper.

But oh, the bonds of family are strong, and they are deep.

This past February, my family grew by 11 people (high five for marriage!). That’s a lot. And yet not enough. I adore my families, and I can’t imagine what their absence might feel like. 

Family teaches you faith, whether you run from it because of your family, search for it because of your family, or embrace it because of your family. Every part of our existence is so deeply impacted by family, and for some, that experience consists of nothing but pain and darkness. For that, I am truly sorry, and my heart breaks for you. 

Lately, I have been battling with a strong, painful surge of homesickness. From 7-8 hours away, the distance is just long enough that a spur-of-of-the-moment weekend trip isn’t always an option.

I long for those sweet people. To sit and talk with my sisters. To watch my niece and nephies grow up. (Nephews sounds too stodgy since they’re still just wonderful little cuddlers, amiright?) To celebrate my parents as they approach their aging years. To walk beside my siblings in their developing stages.

And yet, here I am. In Nashville. Hours away where an evening drop in for 8:00 p.m. coffee isn’t possible. I can’t go borrow a cup (or several pounds) of sugar or sit around a fire or chat late into the night or host weekly weekend brunches with these people I love more than anything.

When Joshua and I visit home, a small piece of me always feels like it’s outside of the family circle, a little lost, always struggling to catch up. The inside jokes don’t completely make sense anymore. I watch my people in their smiles and heads thrown back in laughter. We’re all finally together again.

But I feel a twinge of sadness because a million little pieces of memory float around our families, binding and changing us all together for a lifetime and it seems sometimes that I am just an observer, watching a crippling sweet play, clapping at the renditions, yet still removed, not fully allowed on the stage.

So I worry about time… What if I lose them before I can love them enough? 

Living away from family is hard enough, so I just whisper a prayer for endless time and make pizza instead. Pizza with lots of garlic and goat cheese. Because pizza solves all things, right?

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Pizza still reminds me of home, of running in exhausted from summer sun and “Go wash your hands!” from momma before crowding around the tabled, grabbing slices and then settling into silence to chew, chew, swallow, repeat.

Growing up, pizza night was always one of my favorite nights. Thick crusts and gooey cheese, piled a mile high with meats and slices of pepperoni–thick sauce running over the sides, a little messy, but warm and savory and filling. It settled into your gut with a whisper of: We’re all here, we’re in this together. Yes, we’re strong. We’re family.

When I make pizza, I typically I use my momma’s basic dough recipe, but this time I decided to go deep dish.

Pic 1I have no regrets.

Check out this fantastic recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It looks like a lot of work, and yes, it really is a lot of work. But the end result is SO worth it. So just do it.

A few notes: I typically make my own sauces with fresh tomatoes, but in the nature of honoring her sauce recipe, I tried it with canned tomatoes. While it doesn’t taste as fresh as I like my homemade sauce to be, it does take waaaay less cooking/stewing time since the tomatoes are already softened from preservation. I also used a white cornmeal instead of yellow, but that’s all we had in the house. They’re interchangeable, so use whatever you have. Of course, you can go absolute nuts with your toppings. Just remember, it’s not deep dish if the sauce isn’t on top.

Pick your poison, people… Pizza poison.

Until next time, happy munching.

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