Today is my birthday. I have never been one to hide my age or worry about getting older. My parents both died way too young, so my family celebrates every year!
Birthdays are a time of reflection. I remember the wonderful birthdays I had as a kid. Mom always made our favorite meal for dinner. My favorite – both then and now – is pizza. Mary and I were born in rural Georgia, and at the time it was not easy to find good pizza. My parents took my request on as a challenge. Over the years, they perfected homemade pizza. They made the dough and let it rise perfectly and cooked delicious sauce all day (pork sausage in the sauce is the key!). Dad topped the pizzas with vegetables he grew all summer in his garden.
I appreciate the pizza they made me more now as a parent myself than I ever did as a kid. To think they simmered, stirred, kneaded, and baked all day in the hot early September kitchen amazes me. It was an act of pure love.
Since my parents are sadly gone, I have tried to follow their recipe. I laugh every time I get to the part my Mom wrote down that says, “This is a big mess, but well worth the trouble.” I have to admit, it is tough. They were pros. Now that my children have Celiac Disease, making the dough gluten-free is challenging, but one of these days I will get it! Until then, my children enjoy their grandparent’s delicious sauce made from scratch and store bought gluten-free dough.
Each and every time I make homemade pizzas I fondly remember my childhood birthdays.
What are your birthday traditions?