I credit ketchup for my love of food. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, introduced ketchup as a last resort to his obstinate toddler as he coaxed her (me) to eat. While successful in the early days, little did he know that I would later identify ketchup as its own food group.
For a long time, I loved ketchup more than I loved any other food, and I put it on just about everything that wasn’t salad. My ketchup usage hit such highs that I remember my grandmother telling me to “quit it” as ketchup was just “red sugar” that I was “drinking like soup.” (Probably true.) I don’t recall rethinking my choice for even a minute.
To this day, sometimes I crave ketchup and go out of my way to make or buy something I can eat it with. Just ask the server at America’s Dogs in O’Hare International Airport. Continue reading
My attitude toward pizza was relatively neutral for the first quarter century of my life. My childhood memories of pizza strike me either as deliciously excellent or just plain gross. While I always looked forward to Franzone’s pizza, with its sweet sauce swirled over salty cheese and to Ocean Pizza after a day spent playing on the raft at the beach house, I also remember suspiciously eyeing frozen and perfectly rectangular Ellio’s Pizza and cringing as Mansoor put mustard on his pizza during lunch in second grade.
Then came Pizza a Casa. In year 26, I stumbled into pizza enlightenment, and now I am practically a prosthelytizer. Pizza a Casa is a fabulous pizza-focused cooking class on
NYC’s Lower East Side. Mark and Jenny, a terrific (and newly married – congrats!) couple have perfected the art of teaching a group of enthusiastic but unskilled tourists and natives the art of making homemade pizza. Mark and Jenny are pizza connoisseurs for sure, but their focus during the four hour class is imparting recipes, techniques, and tool recommendations that suit the average home cook in the average kitchen. No fancy brick oven in your microscopic New York kitchen? No problemo.