Our Little Play Gourmet’s love of trains is still strong. We celebrated Austin’s Zilker Parks’s 100th birthday this weekend, by waiting in a very long line to ride the Zilker Zephyr (Train). There was a pizza food truck appropriately parked right next to the line, which was perfect to put us in the mood for pizza. When we finally got our tickets, the anticipation had grown to unimaginable heights.


As parents we are regularly faced with choices, whether to replicate certain aspects of the way our parents raised us, or to take a different approach. Of course, with thousands of such decisions, going in different directions on different topics, plus adding the options that your spouse’s upbringing provide, it is obvious that your children will have different influences than you had. Who knows how much this affects them, but by assuming everything affects them, we force ourselves to make the best decisions we can.



Let me tell you about how I grew up eating pizza. First of all, we never ordered in/out pizza.  Pizza was always homemade. It was made very thin and on rectangular cookie sheets. Pizza was also ALWAYS accompanied with Italian sausage. The pizza was not heavy on toppings, usually only sauce and cheese, and not large quantities of either. The sausage was then placed in the center of a slice of pizza, so that in one swift motion, you can grab the slice of pizza, wrapping it around the sausage like a hotdog in a hotdog bun.


After giving it some thought, I have realized that the pizza was so plain, because it was actually the side dish or the compliment in the meal.

I grew up believing this is how pizza was eaten. I could rationalize why there wouldn’t be sausage at school when pizza was served, but it did seem strange not to have it at friends’ houses.  In fact round pizza didn’t even make sense, triangles are very inefficient for holding a piece of sausage in them. Admittedly, it took me too long to learn the pattern: actually no where but at home did I eat pizza wrapped around a sausage.

Back to the choices we make as parents. We could bring our little Play Gourmet up eating pizza in the more popular fashion, possibly saving him some confusion or embarrassment. But in this case, we choose to bring him up the way that I was, and eat pizza wrapped around our homemade Italian sausage.

In fact, we are pleased to share this method with as many people as possible.

We spend a couple of hours in the morning, making some fresh Italian sausage, while the dough is rising.


Next we roll out our pizza, on rectangular pans, with not too much on it, and toss in the oven.


While that is happening, we throw the sausage on the grill.


Everything finishes around the same time, if your lucky.


To eat, we take a piece of pizza, and wrap it around the sausage.


I feel good about this choice.

5 Comments on “Pizza Principles”

  1. Wow, It’s good to see my long ago taught lessons took hold. I remember throwing a contractor party after completing a major addition to the house. We had a pot of sausage links and the rectangular pizza’s per your description.

    It was a joy to watch the contractor’s eyes as they devoured the pizza wrapped sausage. They couldn’t believe their good fortune. Well done. Now come back home and do that for us.


  2. I really appreciate that you distinguish options and how they became known as potential choices. Kudos on being aware. Love ys


  3. I remember you kids begging for carry out pizza or “real pizza” when you were growing up. I also remember each of you coming home from college begging for mom’s homemade pizza. 😄


    • I just wanted carry out, cuz making the pizza was my job… Ordering was easier than making. As an adult, I realize it is practically impossible to find decent pizza. And, of course, carryout or delivery is the worst. Hot out of the oven is the best. Interestingly, Dan’s recollection of pizza must be from what you made, though. Because I was fairly sparse on the cheese – never have cared for extra cheese on pizza… but I always used a healthy amount of sauce. These days, making pizza is easier, though, as I just get dough from publix. Which is just as good as home-made.


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