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9to5to9: Who ordered a pizza 35 years ago?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 5 August 2008 No Comment

There’s a reason no one in my mother’s family ever throws away anything — 35 years down the road, someone might need it.

OK, so that’s not the real reason. The brutal truth: We’re all obsessive-compulsive pack rats who are going to die surround by cats and 1986 editions of Ladies Home Journal, recipes carefully paper clipped so we can make them some day. Or maybe that’s just me.

Today, though, my — and my mother’s — pack-rat OCD came in handy when I was starting dinner and Big Guy remembered the stack of six-inch pizza pans I’d wrested from Mom a couple years ago.

“”Hey, I want to make my own pizza! Where are those little pans?”" he asked.

Ordinarily, a request from Big Guy to fly solo in the kitchen would send chills down my spine. Particularly since he asked loudly enough to draw in Little Guy.

This one, though, was different. This one would justify two generations of hording, finally giving the aluminum six-pack their shining moment. Be free, little pans, be free!

I trimmed enough dough off the crusts I’d been making to give each guy what I thought was a respectable lump. Except by the time Little Guy turned his into patchwork pieces and Big Guy stretched his into a giant Cheerio, both were complaining. I trimmed my crusts again.

Then Big Guy, who you can tell has inherited the OCD gene by looking at the crow-like collection in his “”special drawer”", fixated on the tiny holes in his crust.

“”I can’t get it right!”" he growled.

“”Mine’s the same way,”" I said, pointing to identical pinpoint punctures. “”It happens.”"

“”You sure?”"

I convinced him, and we moved onto sauce. Big Guy was ready to pull out surveyor’s tools to make sure his was even. Little Guy was more interested in taste than appearance. No OCD gene in that kid.

Lastly, the cheese. That was when Mom made a guest appearance by phone, just in time to freak out because Big Guy was “”grading”" his own cheese.

“”Is he old enough to do that?”"

“”Been doing it for a year.”"

“”Aren’t you afraid he’ll get hurt?”"

“”Naw. Besides, I have a bucket of ice on the counter in case I need to preserve his fingers for an emergency reattachment.”"

She didn’t laugh. My sick sense of humor is from my father’s side.

The cheese triggered the only serious clash of the evening. As Big Guy grated, Little Guy grabbed. Big Guy yelled, Little Guy retreated. Big Guy grated, Little Guy grabbed again. I finally pulled out another grater and allowed Little Guy the thrill of pilfering from my pile. I hadn’t planned on intervening, but I could see Big Guy was dangerously close to making sure I needed the bucket of ice for his brother’s fingers.

I didn’t help at all beyond that. This was their moment, these two tiny people who freed kitchenware from decades of oppression, and they deserved the satisfaction of knowing they had accomplished on their own something their mother and grandmother had failed to do in all these years.

They actually baked pizzas on pizza pans. Imagine that.

I think I’ll have them take a look at those Ladies Home Journals next weekend.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.”

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  • Genevieve said:

    LOL! I love it. I married into a family of ‘keepers.’ I tend to purge unneeded items in our house about every six months to a year. However there are a few things I hang on to — like a 1970s colander. So sad this year it cracked. I’m still using it but haven’t found one like it again on ebay. I’m prob SOL.

    Great read!