Traditions are a funny thing. Some you take from your childhood and incorporate them into your family, some you get from other people and you tweak them to fit your family and some just kind of happen. It’s the last kind that to me are the most organic and meaningful for our family. They are the ones that we didn’t plan or dream up. We did it once and it just fit so we do it over and over again and before we know it, it is a tradition.
Every week on Friday nights we have homemade pizza and movie night – it’s a tradition. It’s something we all look forward to, it’s a way to celebrate the coming weekend when we will (hopefully) have an abundance of together time. All day we have conversations like this…
“Mom, what time do we need to start the dough?”
“Hmmmm. What time do we always start the dough?”
“4 o’clock it is”
I have this conversation with at least 3 children every Friday, I never get tired of it. It reminds me that they enjoy this tradition that no one can remember starting. It reminds me to savor these times, because I am well aware that my children will not be here forever and some are already trying to figure out how to make homemade pizza in a dorm room.
Last Friday night we had some friends over so their parents could go on a date. In total we had 11 children. It was great seeing them all make their own pizza their special way – it was pure chaos.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar (or honey)
2 cups warm water
5 1/2 cups flour (I use freshly ground whole wheat)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Combine yeast,sugar and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups flour, olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Stir in as much remaining flour as possible. Knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and elastic. (if using an electric mixer, knead with dough hook for about 8 minutes) Shape into a ball, place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes or until double.
Punch dough down. Divide for individual pizzas or make 2 large ones. Par bake at 425 degrees for approx. 5 minutes. Remove from oven, top with toppings and bake until cheese is bubbly.
I usually make 4oz crusts for individual pizzas, my older boys like to make large pizzas with 12-16oz of dough and one likes to make a calzone with a pound and a half of dough! Needless to say, we make 3 batches of this recipe.
Favorite toppings: basil pesto, red sauce, alfredo sauce, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, black olives, peppers, spinach, cheese, pepperoni, Italian seasoning and even a little cayenne pepper.
So, what are some of your traditions that have just kind of happened?