Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No excuse…

It’s been busy around here.  I’ve shamelessly neglected blogging.  I am sorry!  Enough said about that.
Saturday the kids came over and we made homemade pizza.  Julie and Doug didn’t make it, but Tessa & Bill and Greg and Alicia and their crew did… except for Cara because she had a music concert.  It is almost impossible to get everyone together at one time these days. 


I whipped up the crust ahead of time.  This is the best and easiest recipe for pizza dough there is.  My brother used to work for Pizza Hut 30 years ago and he claimed this crust, at that time, is as close to their original dough recipe he had ever seen.

You need: 1 envelope active dry yeast, 1 1/3 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons oil, 4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 
Sprinkle yeast on warm water, stir to dissolve.  Add oil, flour and salt, knead dough to make a smooth satiny ball.  Turn to coat in greased bowl.  Cover, let rise in a warm place 2 hours.  Punch down, divide dough in half.  Wala!  It is ready to use.

Divide the dough in half and roll it as thin as you wish.  I like mine very thin.  This recipe makes two good size pizzas.  Once you build the pizza with your preferred sauce, toppings and cheese, you bake it in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minute. 


I prepared all of the toppings (hamburger, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Black Olives) ahead of time.  That way the kids could be in charge of creating their own masterpieces.

Just looking at this picture makes my mouth water and reminds me of the first time I ever had pizza.  I’d tell the story, but it would make this post too long.  What am I talking about?  This post is already going to be too long, so I may as well tell the story.

It must have been around 1956.  We were still living downstairs from Grandma.

deanna 1956
My Aunt Yvonne and her boyfriend brought home a pizza.  I don’t know what kind of pizza - it could have even been a frozen pizza.  All I know is that everyone gathered around the table to examine the novelty.  We each got a small piece to taste.  I remember everyone saying how expensive it was, and that the first taste was not to my liking.  But then later I kept thinking back to it and found myself wanting more.  To this day I still want more.  Thus was the beginning of my shameful love affair with Pizza.

Back to Saturday's get together.

Reagan playing
I neglected to take very many pictures and for some reason most of those I did take turned out blurry.  Maybe I was moving too fast that day.  Reagan was fascinated by the silly horse.
We spent hours poring over our family history, trying to figure it all out.


The above photo is my Paternal Great, Great Grandma Emily Brisack, holding my Great Grandma Hattie.  Someone put a lot of work into this book and I had forgotten I even had it.  The other book is Jim’s Paternal heritage.  More on this later maybe. 

Reagan - plumber's butt

Yes, Reagan will be very (very, very, very…) upset with me in a few years.  Right now she couldn’t care less.  What I want to know is:  Is she practicing for a career as a plumber, or preparing to join the ranks of those photographed as “the people of WalMart”…  Once again, enough said.

I was sad to see everyone go home, ending a great day and wonderful memories.

But I’m not done yet.

After Church on Sunday we geared up for a few more days of excitement.  Our 13 year old step grandson, Cody, was going into the hospital for a fairly serious operation.  His chest was “concave” and could potentially cause a lot of trouble for him down the road.  It was much safer to correct the problem now, rather than wait until it caused breathing problems when he is older.  I guess it should have come as no surprise when Insurance declined to cover the operation, deeming it “cosmetic”.  In other words, “we don’t want to cover it now, let’s wait a few years when the condition is life threatening and more difficult to fix – and hopefully it is some other insurance company’s cost”.  After numerous appeals were denied, Doug and Julie and Cody’s mom appealed to Shriners Children Hospital in St. Louis.  They agreed to take on Cody’s case – free.  Thank God for the Shriners and all of the wonderful people in the world who support them.
The operation was successful and Cody is on his way to recovery.  He will be unable to participate in sports for awhile, missing out on his beloved baseball this Summer and football this Fall, but it will all be worth it in the long run.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jim and I were in custody of Austin and Dakota.


It seems like we spent much of Sunday and Monday eating.  They filled their hollow legs and I gained five lbs.  Some things just aren’t fair. 


Things got a little goofy around here at times.


Mohawk guy here (yes, that mop of hair really is a Mohawk without the spiky stuff) still loves to cuddle.  I’ll have to admit that I took advantage of every second of snuggle that I could get since I know those days will soon come to an end.


This brings us to today.  Jim and the boys headed out for school and work at 7:00 this morning.  I’m going to miss them.  Please take note that there is NO snow on the ground.  I hope it stays that way until  next Christmas.


Rita said...

Great photos (even if she will hate you later for the one--hehe!). The pizza looks delicious! For your sake, I hope you don't get any more snow. :)

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

And then Grandma took a nap. you forgot the last line. We love those guys to pieces, but if you are like us, we just don't havae the energy like we use to.
Cute boys!!!

AliceKay said...

I'm glad to hear Cody's surgery went well. You never know what might happen when you go into an operating room. And yes, thank God for Shriners Hospitals. They do great work for so many kids.

I loved your pictures. I'm sure little Reagan will get even with you someday, tho. LOL

I love pizza, but make my plain cheese, please. :)

I have a book I've been reading since Sunday afternoon. I knew I had the book but just hadn't taken it from the bookshelf in my bedroom in a very long time. It's the genealogy of my maternal grandmother's side of my family, and it begins with my great-great-great grandfather who imigrated from Ireland in 1828 or 1829. There are two differing stories as to when he and his family actually arrived in New York City.

This book was given to me when my kids were little...their names are in the book. My mother's cousin (second? third? i don't really know what the relationship is for sure without reading more) compiled the information from other family members over the years (he put a lot of work into this too) and had it printed for all of us. I'll be blogging about this sometime, but not right away. It's been fascinating reading, and I've been surprised to learn some very interesting facts about my ancestors.

We still have most of that 11 1/2 inches of snow on the ground. It was -1 here at 6:30 this morning and it didn't warm up much today. (yep, i'm tired of the cold and snow)

That corgi :) said...

Loved reading the pizza story! And I liked the pizzas you guys made; good idea to have everything ready beforehand so the "chefs" can be creative when they get there!! typical insurance not to cover something but I'm glad Cody was able to get the surgery through the Shriners; you are right, they do great work in this regard and I know the condition he had so I'm glad he got it taken care of sooner than later.

hoping too your ground outside doesn't get white in the days ahead


Toriz said...

Sounds like at least the things keeping you busy have mostly been enjoyable... Which is a positive thing!

I'm glad things worked out with Cody and that he's on the road to recovery now!

Rural Rambler said...

I am going to try your pizza dough recipe. Sunday I think! I did not acquire a taste for pizza until I had a pizza at Ponza's Pizzaria when I was a freshman in highschool. That was my undoing where pizza is concerned. I love that little horse toy, I used to have one :) Glad Cody is doing well. Picture of Reagan-priceless.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Deanna, It's good to hear the surgery for Cody went well! The kids are so cute! I bet you had fun with them.

Oh, that pizza recipe sounds so good and that it's like Pizza Hut, my favorite pizza, is the kicker. I'll definitely try it out. Even if it does have yeast in it. :) (I don't have much luck with recipes involving yeast.)

It's been snowing all afternoon here and still coming down. Hope you are faring better where you are. Take care, Cheryl

Anonymous said...

I love this post and I sure would get all the snuggles I could get also because time sure does go by so very fast indeed. My mouth is watering for that pizza and thanks for sharing the crust I am definitely going to make one of those one day, I would this weekend but I think the weather is going to be too warm for the oven running. That is so sad that insurance would call Codys insurance cosmetic but yes thank God for Shriners and I am glad he is doing well, I hope you have a happy weekend :o)

Vicki Lane said...

What a lovely family post -- and now I wish I had some pizza!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Wow!! So much wonderfulness in one bloggy post! I'm so happy for you and your family - you're all smart enough to recognize your beautiful blessings!!

I love pizza too but even more so now that I've had *real* pizza. You seriously owe it to yourself to hop on over and try the good stuff!!!

So happy for Cody!

Your grandchildren are so cute and sweet,....mohawks, buttcracks and all, lol!!!!

junyah said...

love you blogs , the pictures tell of a good life.Im going to use that recipe for Pizza, i love thin crust.There's a pizza place( thats the name of it too Pizza place ) in South Portland by the Maine mall that makes a thin crust and man they made the BEST dammed pizza anywhere.They have changed hands and its a little differant now,but still good pizza.Snowing like crazy here today,going to be the wet heavy stuff too. Generators full of gas im allset.i was going to go to the army navy surplus place in Alfred ,but its a hours drive and theres no need for another fool out on the roads in this stuff . Thanks for the recipe,im off to the kichen im hungry now. Big Hugs Y.O.P. Junyah

Funny in My Mind said...

Reagan looks like you in that picture of when you were little.
We eat pizza around here a lot! I buy hoagie buns and lay out all the fixings and they make and bake their own sometimes.
My brother was taken care of by the Shriners while growing up, he had many surgeries paid for by them. I remember we would take turns driving with mom to St. Louis to take him to the hospital.

jewelzmomof4 said...

That pizza looks so YUMMY!!! Sorry we missed it :( That picture of Reagan "cracks" me up lol. Thanks again for watchiing the boys while we were with Cody. He is out of the Hospital and doing good. His Mom said he is sitting on the couch eating pizza right now LOL. At least he didn't lose his appetite LOL. The boys bragged about how they made homemade bagels and homemade donuts with you all and how they didn't save ANY for me!!!!

Intense Guy said...

*giggles at Reagan the Plumber* Your grandkids are so cute that even less than flattering poses are ... still cute!


I think I'll have some cold leftover pizza for breakfast this morning!