Sunday, February 3, 2019

Passing Down Traditions Without Having Kids



Good day, Bitchy Readers.

I hope you’re hungry because I made pizza. From scratch. 

My mother used to make this every Friday. It was my favorite childhood meal. Melt-in-your-mouth pizza with lots of cheese. Mom put pineapple and pickles on top. 

Yes, I said pineapple and pickles. You can leave your comments below. 

She taught me how to make pizza dough when I was young. It’s not a difficult recipe, no secret ingredients required. What is special about this pizza is the memories it left me. Those were good moments.  

Being a childfree/childless person in a group of parents is always tricky to navigate.

So when the conversation turns to what traditions you'd like to pass on to the next generation, it can get a little awkward. Even upsetting to some. 

I have no family traditions since we were raised not celebrating Christmas or major holidays. I have a very nice violin, and while I have a last will and testament, I’m not attached to the instrument staying in the family.

If my nephews want it, they can have it. If I’m famous when I die, they will probably sell it. Ha. 

I'm not an overly sentimental person, my mother died before my nephews were born.  They know about her, but they are still young kids and aren't yet interested in learning about how she did things. 

How Do You Pass Down Traditions If You Don't Have Kids?

This question came up last week on my Twitter feed. 

Before I share my answer, I'd just like to point out that as a child, I never really paid too much attention to how the previous generation did things. It wasn't until I turned 34 and began to look at life beyond my own bubble that I started to take a deeper interest in my heritage. 

My point is, having kids just so there is someone to carry on a tradition seems like a lot of work. 

Anyway,

My mother's pizza recipe is the one thing that I would love to see carry on. My mom and I used to babysit these two sisters. I've known them both since they were babies, as our parents were friends. These girls were the brattiest kids I had ever known. I did not like them. 

Miraculously, these two sisters grew up to be beautiful, amazing women who are now my very dear friends. My little sisters, if you will. 

Summer of 2017, I took a road trip to visit them and they asked if I'd make my mom's pizza. They remember it fondly from childhood and the younger sister even helped my mom make it. There are photos to prove it. 

This time, the younger sister wanted to learn how to make it by herself. I made one dough and she made the other. It was a fun moment. I sent my dad a few photos from that day, showing him I had taught mom's recipe to someone else. 

I've made that pizza for my family and friends over the years, it's always a hit. People who visited my family remember mom’s pizza. 

My relationship with my mother was a complicated one. Memories involving pizza were good moments. I think this is why a simple pizza recipe is the one item I'd want to see passed down. My mother didn't wear jewelry, it wasn't allowed in the religion they belonged to. 

My parents didn't tell me of any family traditions they grew up with, I'm not sure if they had any. I wasn’t raised near other family members and my mother's nuclear family has all passed away. 

We all come from different family circumstances and while having traditions and/or items to pass down can be meaningful, I cannot bring myself to use that as a reason to have/raise humans. 

I have found another way to share something important to me. Anything of value, be it monetary or sentimental, material or an idea, can be passed down through various channels. 

It may take some creativity but there is honor in sharing, even if it doesn’t resemble traditional methods. 


Today marks the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing. 

Something occurred to me as I was writing this post. 

Why not share her pizza recipe with you, my dear Bitchy Readers. 

I’ve detailed every step for those who don’t cook so that's why it looks crazy long. 


Ingredients For Dough

  • 1 cup of hot water 
  • 2 tsp of white sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons of dry active yeast (or one package 0.4 oz) I don’t recommend using instant yeast. 
  •  1 tsp of salt 
  • 1/4 cup of oil (overflow it a bit)
  • 2 cups of white UNBLEACHED flour (depending how sticky the dough is)
  • Butter/Margarine (enough to grease the bowl and pat the dough)
I use two mixing bowls and a pot for hot water to put in the oven to help the dough rise. Nothing fancy. My mixing bowls are cheap ones I got from the dollar store.

 I also use a wooden spoon. Also from the dollar store. Just check for splinters first. 


Pizza Toppings (whatever you want)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Meat-cut into small pieces so cheese doesn’t slide off
  • Veggies-optional
  • Pineapple-always! (joking)
  • CHEESE! If you’re not putting cheese on pizza, we have bigger issues. I’m lactose intolerant and I still use real cheese. 

Instructions (This takes 2.5 hours, most of it is dough rising time)

Pour hot water into the first mixing bowl. Add sugar, stir and add yeast. DON’T stir the yeast. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes to rise. 

While the yeast is rising, take some soft butter and using papertowel or wax paper, grease the other mixing bowl. 

After 15 minutes, add salt and oil to the yeast and stir a few times. Add in the flour, one cup at a time and stir. Once the dough gets harder to mix with the spoon, use CLEAN hands to mix in extra flour until the dough stops feeling wet. Don’t add too much or the dough gets too dry. 

Keeping the dough in the original bowl, use the heel of your hands to push down on the dough. Fold it in half and push down again. Do this 4 times, if the dough gets sticky, add a little more flour. 

The dough should look like a nice blob. Transfer it to the greased mixing bowl. 

Wash your hands and then fill a small pot with hot water. Place it at the bottom of the oven. You might have to adjust the lower rack. 

DON’T turn on the oven. 

Rub butter on top of the dough and the sides if you want to. 

Place the bowl with the dough into the oven on the rack above the hot water.

DON’T turn on the oven, in case you missed it the first time. 

Now let the dough rise for two hours. TWO HOURS. You can do it in 1.5 hours but the dough is nicer to stretch after two hours. 

You can use a round pizza pan or a large rectangular glass casserole dish for a thicker crust. 

I have a pizza pan with holes in the bottom. This crust is half an inch thick and quite soft to chew. 


After two hours, remove the dough from the oven, and take the pot of water out. Make sure your oven racks are back to normal. You can preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit now. I'm Canadian so that temperature always confused me. 

Stretching the dough to fit the pan was always my least favorite part of the process. If your dough feels really sticky, add a little bit of flour so it doesn't stick to your hands. I set the dough in the middle of the pan and push it down and out with my fingers towards the edge of the pan. 

If it's not working for you, just let the dough sit on the pan to rise a little more. It will work. 

Pile on your toppings as you see fit. Notice how I didn't put on pineapple or pickles. I made this pizza last week when my brother came to visit. I used deli pepperoni and cut it up into small piece. Tomato Basil pizza sauce, Old Cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack. 



Once the oven is ready, place the pizza in the middle of the top rack and set the timer for 30 minutes. 

Remember, this crust isn't meant to be thin or crunchy unless you added too much flour. 

After 30 minutes, I add more shredded cheese to compensate for some of it sliding off during cutting. I place the pizza back in the oven for another 10 minutes. 

40 minutes total baking time at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.



There you have it Bitchy Readers, my mom's pizza. 

Be sure to send me a photo when you've made yours. 


Have a lovely day. 


Sincerely, 

LeNora Faye
Bitchy Bookkeeper
Almost an Author
Former Fantastic Violinist

lenorafaye.com









































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