When it comes to our Friday night pizza fetes, it’s not all about the savory pizzas. Sometimes we veer a sharp left and make a pizza for dessert.
And this is that.
Sweet pizzas always remind me of my grandmother. When we used to go visit her in Texas, she always, always, always had a fruit pizza waiting for us. It’s one of my fondest (and only) memories from her kitchen, because the rest of our meals consisted of rice cakes, baked chicken with nary a seasoning in sight, and expired mayonnaise. From five years prior.
Is it any wonder how truly elated we were when a McDonald’s opened up across the street from her townhome?
I think not.
Make this for your grandmother. Or your kids. And celebrate a movie night at home. Or just the fact that you made it through another week.
And that this is, omg, your second to last shopping weekend before Christmas.
Make this because it’s super simple and oh so delicious.
Or just because.
* * *
Although the post above was written out in draft a few days ago, I would be remiss to just post it and call it a night. Not without mentioning today’s horrific tragedy in Connecticut. My cell phone vibrated at 10:28 am this morning, with a message from my friend, Sarah, whose kids go to that school. She had just found out about the shooting. “What do I do?” I thought for a second. What would I do? “I think you go as close as they let you and find out what is going on.” Because although they later cautioned parents to stay home and wait by the phone, I know if I was ever put in that situation, I just couldn’t. As it was, sitting two states away, as soon as I heard the news, all I wanted to do was to rush to Nick and Madeline’s schools and hug them until I couldn’t anymore. I just can’t fathom what those families are going through.
As the kids and I drove to an errand after school today, updates to the Connecticut shooting were announced on the radio and I couldn’t turn it off in time. We then walked into a store and CNN news was on the big screen tv. There was no escaping it. The kids asked questions. Tried to understand how someone could do something like this. Could be so evil. They were scared. “What if…” they asked.
And I did my best to explain. “Not everyone in this world is good. Some people do bad things. Either because they don’t know any better. Or they’re sick. Or they weren’t around enough good to know the difference. You can’t be scared. You just do good. Do your best. With everything. And surround yourself with good people. And when bad things happen, we will get through it. And get past it. But we can’t let it stop us. Not from living our life.”
A conversation in the car, I watched them nod through the rear view mirror. Such a weighty topic for little, innocent minds. One that I don’t want to have to talk about. But with occasional lockdown drills a part of their school day, it’s an unfortunate reality. And then I needed to shift focus for them. I didn’t want them to get so bogged down in the bad that happened today, for it to be weighing on their minds any more than necessary. So we decorated the tree a bit more, they made little presents for family members for the upcoming holidays, and we kept it light. Because right now, beyond feeling immensely loved, that’s all I want for them. Their innocence.
There is a quote from Mr. Rogers that is floating around the internet today that I also talked about with the kids. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” -Fred Rogers
In the meantime, the families affected by the school shooting are in our thoughts and prayers, and I’m going to hug my kids just a little bit tighter.
Brown Sugared Pear Sweet Pizza
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley
1 Pillsbury sugar cookie dough chub
2 cans (14.5 oz) no sugar added sliced pears
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12.5” pizza pan with non-stick spray. Press the sugar cookie dough into the pizza pan and bake as directed. While it is baking, heat a medium size skillet on the stove. Drain the pears completely and add to pan. Add the brown sugar and gently stir to combine. Cook until the sugar has begun to caramelize and disappear, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When the sugar cookie dough has finished baking, remove from oven and let it cool completely. Mix the softened cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spread on the sugar cookie dough. Add the pears, once cooled. Serve.
Swap out the pears for another favorite stone fruit, like peaches or plums.
Add a layer of shredded coconut before adding the fruit for another dimension.