All You Can Eat
Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.
January 16, 2009 4:43 PM
Posted by Nancy Leson
I don't know about you, but my kid drives me crazy when he comes home from school. God forbid he should say, "Hi Mom! How's it going?" or "I had a really interesting day in school today -- let me tell you all about it" or even "You'll never believe who got sent to Mr. Baumgartner's office!" Nope. Day after day it's the same thing: "I'm starving!"
At which point I take a deep breath. And I don't say (though I'd like to) "When I was your age and my mother worked all day, I came home and not infrequently started dinner. After your aunts and uncle and I helped ourselves to bowls of Lucky Charms because they were so magically delicious!" Instead, I make him something to eat. Yesterday it was corn tortillas stuffed with leftover roast pork and salsa. Today it was pizza. But not just any pizza: "homemade pizza" -- like the one I just pulled out of the oven:
Here's my secret recipe: You go to the store and buy flatbread (pita works, or even a tortilla, but I prefer the Middle Eastern Flatbread from Trader Joe's: $1.99 for six rounds); mozzarella (I grate my own from an 8-oz ball, but for the sake of ease, you might prefer pre-grated); canned pizza sauce (Muir Glen's version is a superior product) and whatever toppings I can find in the fridge (I usually have some sliced ham around, and Nate likes pepperoncini).
Because I'm a maniac, I heat a skillet and toast the flatbread on both sides in a bit of olive oil, which takes only a minute (you don't have to bother) and briefly nuke a couple tablespoons of sauce (to warm it, but again, you -- and your kids -- may not be so persnickety). Then I turn on the broiler and assemble the pizza by schmearing the sauce over the bread, layering grated cheese over that and garnishing it with whatever I've got (that's Boar's Head's finest up above with Mezzetta peppers). Next, I pop it under the broiler for a minute or two. Watch the pizza closely or it'll burn (you could also use a toaster oven).
You quarter it, plop it in front of your kid and get back to work, like I just did. Or fold the laundry, read that novel you can't put down or whatever it is you were doing before you were so rudely interrupted by "Mom! I'm starving!"
So, what's your quick trick for feeding the school-age beast?
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Listen to Nancy at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. during Morning Edition, at 4:40 p.m. during All Things Considered and again the following Saturday at 8:30 a.m. during Weekend Edition on KPLU 88.5.