National Pizza Day but who brought pizza out of Italy?
Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian immigrant, opened the first Pizzeria in the United States in 1905 in Little Italy in New York City but it didn’t catch on except with the locals. If you lived in Italy before World War II, you knew about pizza, but our soldiers returned home with pizza on their minds and the popular Italian snack was no longer just relegated to Italy. The most popular style of pizza is plain cheese, but if you’re interested in toppings, here they are in order of preference: pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, bacon, onions, green pepper, black olives, Canadian bacon, and lastly pineapple. And no surprise here, pizza is the second most favored fast food behind hamburgers in America. Pizza crusts can be thin, Chicago-style deep dish, gluten-free, whole wheat, or even cauliflower, and any style is available fresh or frozen. If you need a national holiday to tell you to eat pizza, then February 9 is the day for you!
Life Lesson: You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six,” quipped Yogi Berra, (1925-2015) who was born in St. Louis, Missouri to his Italian immigrant parents. He was famous for his malapropisms which are defined as “unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase.” His timing and quips are stunningly amazing considering that he quit school after completing the eighth grade. He was an American baseball catcher, manager, and coach and was greatly respected. He played for nineteen Major League Baseball seasons; all but the last four were with the New York Yankees.
Advice for care partners from Yogi Berra: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
More advice: “When you come to a fork in the road take it,” and “No matter where you go, there you are,” and “It ain't over until it's over.”
My advice: We can never give up on ourselves. Now, enjoy some pizza!
White Pizza with Tomato Slices–six slices–but if you're not too hungry!
1 package of uncooked white or whole wheat pizza dough
8 ounces of your favorite Alfredo sauce
½ pound of shredded cooked or cubed chicken
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, or white Cheddar Cheese
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese - non-fat or regular
3 Plum tomatoes thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Carefully remove pizza dough from the package and follow the preparation package directions. When ready, place the dough on a plain pizza pan, spread out ready for the toppings.
- Pour on the Alfredo sauce, smoothing it over the surface and leaving one inch of dough around the circumference edge
- Sprinkle on cooked chicken
- Sprinkle on cheeses
- Place into a preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and everything is bubbling.
Cut into six wedges. I like to serve this pizza with oven-roasted vegetables and a green salad.