I have never figured out why a disc of dough, some tomato sauce, a little cheese and a smidgen of sausage costs more than my mortgage. I think it’s because the pizza companies know that by the time you get ready to order a pizza, you are desperate. It’s either a week night and you have nothing in your refrigerator except lettuce and leftovers from two weeks ago or it’s 20 minutes before the football game starts and there are a dozen people in your house looking at you and silently asking the question: “What’s for dinner?”

So you pay through the nose for a substandard pie. I started making my own pizza about two years ago. The Publix, the best supermarket in the world, sells pizza dough. But I learned the hard way that making pizza at home can also be expensive if you ask your loved ones what they want on it. This is not a good idea. It can also be incredibly time consuming because you have to cook all the toppings before you make the pie. However, the other night, I decided not to ask about pizza preferences. I just looked in the fridge and freezer and made a mental rule that if I didn’t already have it, it was not going on the pie.

So here’s what I came up with – and I apologize for these paltry photos. We were so hungry we ate most of the pizza before I remembered to take pictures. The whole pie was much more photogenic.  But I digress.

This pie has pesto, which I had a tub of in the refrigerator, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms, which you really do need to saute before you bake the pie. 

The other pizza I made had barbecue sauce, precooked chicken that I had in the freezer from the time I had to make emergency chicken salad for a P.E.O. tea and had to buy that chicken in a plastic bag in the deli case (not recommended, but it works in a pinch), sauted red onion, and Cheddar cheese.

So here’s the thing. This whole process takes about 30 minutes if you use stuff you already have. Preheat the oven to the highest it will go (mine goes to 525 degrees). Roll out the dough, top the pizza and put it on a cookie sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone (which, naturally, I have because I’m a classic over achiever).  The pie will take no longer than eight minutes to bake. Watch it through the oven window. These pies can go south in a New York minute (which I’ve never actually figured out what that is).

I have to tell you that I’ve resorted to a number of these quickie meals in the last few days. This is Christmas Giveaway week at the Community Resource Center and we are going at lightning speed to satisfy the needs of thousands of people in crisis at this time of year. If you want to see what I’m up to on the flip side of my life, visit the two chicks in a warehouse blog.

One last thing and then I’m out of here. Do you know what I got from one of our nonprofit partners at the giveaway? Bless her heart, Bobbie Cox, who works like a dog to help the most marginalized people in Tennessee, brought Betsy and I a “drunken” orange cake and a bag of sweet potatoes today. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It really doesn’t.


  1. Mary Ann
    Mary AnnReply
    December 10, 2009 at 12:53 am

    How do you get the pizza on to the pizza stone? I have been working with pizza too lately and getting it off the peel onto the stone seems harder than it should be. Lots of corn meal on the peel and no fear has been my best strategy so far but it’s stressful:) The oven and the stone are hot and close quarters if there is a mistake. Whatcha think? M.A.

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      December 10, 2009 at 1:05 am

      I put corn meal (the coarse kind) on the peel before I put the dough on. It slides off really easily with the help of a spatula (or, as we say down here, spatular).

  2. terrell jones
    terrell jonesReply
    December 10, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Why not use your green egg?

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      December 11, 2009 at 12:26 am

      I usually do, but it was too cold – even for me – last night.

  3. Mary Ann
    Mary AnnReply
    December 11, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I was going to say for one pizza it takes a long time for the egg to heat up when it’s cold. The oven is much easier for a short cook when it is 38 degrees outside. M.A.

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      December 15, 2009 at 12:36 am

      Oven also works best when you haven’t picked up all the fallen leaves on the deck and the Egg potentially emits mighty flames!

  4. howard lewis
    December 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Well! As Jack Benny use to say..
    My brother owns 65 plus + Pizza parlors ( highend pizzas) in the mid west.
    Many years ago, I attended a pizza convention in Las Vegas ( gad!) to hear him speak and during the day we walked the convention hall and all hubbub just about pizzas and I laughed. He turned to me and said, “don’t laugh, do you know how much it costs me in raw materials to make ( and he makes $12.00 and up pizzas)” , he said “the max was $1.25! That’s whyy he said “on every corner in every city, there seems to be a Pizza Parlor ( the mark up is great and so is the profit!!!).
    So, I don’t laugh anymore.
    So,make it at home!

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