Wednesday, September 4, 2013

make-your-own pizza

The night before school started, I offered to let my kids choose their favorite dinner. What did they choose? "Pizza!" {Visions of take-out menus dance in my head...} "Make our own pizza!" {Insert the sound of squealing brakes.} Actually, that simplifies the conversation. Here's what really transpired between the front seat and backseat, which I relayed (in frustration) on Facebook:

driving to the supermarket this afternoon:
me: "ok, you two, you can choose what we're having for dinner tonight, breakfast tomorrow, and dinner tomorrow night"
them: "do we have to?"
me: "what do you mean?"
them: "i mean, do we HAVE to eat? {insert moan and dramatic pause between each word} why do we"

Lest any of you think it's all broccoli rabe and rainbows around here, let me assure you that meals take a lot of effort to get down little hatches here too.

Still, I believe in good food. So, I keep making it a priority to give my kids nourishing meals even if no one seems to care what I make for dinner-- or if we even have dinner-- these days!!

So, back to the pizza. Usually I make one meal, and that's what we have for dinner. But on occasion, I'll go through the extra effort and lay out some sort of "make-your-own" meal. Whatever the meal may be (pizza, baked potatoes, tacos...), I'll put out a bunch of topping choices, but then I truly let the kids make their own. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue... and remind myself that it's "make-your-own", not "let-your-mama-micromanage-your-meal" night.

I told them the kids they could pick whatever they wanted out of the produce aisle, then if anything else caught their eye as I did the rest of the marketing, they had carte blanche to add it to the cart. We ended up with:

  • multi-grain pizza dough (in the refrigerated section)
  • tomato sauce
  • two kinds of shredded cheese (whole milk mozzarella and a Romano-Parmesan blend)
  • multi-colored cherry tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • organic peppers (red & yellow)
  • pineapple
  • onion
  • olives
  • peperoni
  • ham
  • and a package of cupcakes. "You said if anything else catches our eye...."

A crust for each kid: avoids "that's not what I want on my pizza!!" and ensures leftovers for another meal.

And-- voila-- two pizzas... as different as they are.

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