That's Amore

When I was young I hated pizza just about more than I hated anything.

It was a lousy combination of tomato paste smeared around a bunch of baked vegetables that only old people ate. Peppers with bacon and pineapple and mushrooms? Barf and triple barf.

This was not good for my socialization. Anytime there was a birthday party, sleep-over, social outing or any sort of celebration, pizza always came along with it. Plus, a pizza party was the grand reward for everything, class pizza parties at school, Sunday school scripture reading reward pizza parties, thanks for doing service pizza parties. I spent so many hours of fun and frivolity drinking Sprite and hoping I'd get an extra breadstick because I sure as darn was not going to put a piece of pizza in my mouth.

Things were so complicated that way.

Then one New Year's Eve when I was twelve years old I decided I'd had enough. I decided I'd somehow eat the pizza along with the rest of the gaggle of girls--you know--try to be one of the crowd. Besides, one time a doctor told me that our taste buds change every seven years--and I took it as medical gospel truth. I was sure my buds were fresh and ready to try again. So I ate a slice. In fact, I ate two slices. They both slithered down my throat and settled at the bottom of my stomach.

It was sometime after New Year's when we had all crashed to the floor--confetti in our ratted hair, sleeping heavily snuggled together covered in colored streamers--that I threw all that pizza back up. Vomit in a pool of lost popularity.

And I didn't touch it again until ten years later.

I was a missionary in Quebec one summer when the harvest was beyond fruitful. Garden vegetables were delivered to our apartment almost on a daily basis by members of the church. We had enough tomatoes on our kitchen counter to heckle a persistently bad comedian. Every night Soeur Corrigan, my wonderful companion, would make a batch of fresh salsa, and I don't know BUT somehow I was blessed to start liking tomatoes for the first time in my life.
Which opened the way for pizza.

Which was great until I got pregnant with The Chief and couldn't even hear the "p" word without puking. Couldn't hear it, couldn't think about it, couldn't smell it and wished it never existed. Dang Italians. And what a reaction! Chup mentioned "it" one time while we were in line to buy groceries and I dropped to the floor and dry heaved until I foamed at the mouth. I think my point was made.

Then after delivery I was blessed to love it again.

Then there was tonight, a banner night for me and pizza. Tonight my friends at SLABpizza named a pizza after me: the c jane breakfast pizza. Red sauce, bacon, sausage, potatoes and a slightly runny egg nestled into the thin crust. Cheese too.

With friends around--new and old, family and not, we celebrated my long and arduous relationship with the pie people call pizza.

Which I now call my dear friend.

Thanks Eric and Andy! I'm honored!

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I am c jane and I want to thank everyone who came tonight. Especially you Meredith from Texas!
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