THE PIZZA PARTY

THE PIZZA PARTY

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Delightful neighbors down the block invited us to a pizza party in their home this past week.
The rules of engagement were delicious:
Every couple (x4) was given an official "pizza station" where a great ball of prepared dough sat waiting to be kneaded on a stone.
This portion of the pizza making was absolutely memorable and entertaining.
Evidently, it appeared that my pizza dough skills were in short supply, for "Maynard" was called in with subtlety to aid us, and immediatly set himself to working beside my amused husband.
I stood back, a cheerful surveyor of great pizza works, and employed my mouth with grapefruit sized mushrooms and tomatoes, while giving a Julia Child's animated pizza dough report on Scot and Maynard's fine "doughmanship."
Maynard wore the look of a bemused teacher whose work is to be instructive and educational, while rewarding unusual enthusiasm.
We liked one another at once and wore complimentary roles in the kitchen.
With the dough looking sensational, I rolled up a healthy "dough" curb all the way around the pizza dough to make room for the waiting ingredients.
Gosh, for an impressive layout and buffet line conceived by our extraordinary cooking hostess:
Tomatoes, avocados, olives, peppers, minced garlic, onions, mushrooms, cheeses (x 5), spices, meats (pepperonis, sausage, hamburger,) and every little conceivable pizza topping laid out freshly and decoratively before us.
I piled my half of the pizza dough high and deep with toppings in approximately one minute until it almost reached the ceiling.
 It looked amazing ... to me.
Maynard looked unsure if he should continue his assistance or stand back and let it happen. With one moment of my back turned, he did "what he could" with the mound I'd conceived, and wiped his oil covered hands off. I noted the twinkle in his eye and we laughed.
Scot's side of the pizza looked nice.
--------
Then we learned ... that the pizza had to be transferred to a wooded pizza spool before it went into the oven.
What in the world, in the name of pizza?!!!
I told myself this had to be an err of judgment on the hostess's part, but I'm not sure, since culinary skills are not my strong point and they clearly are hers.
Toni is absolutely amazing!
In any event, Scot and Maynard had to transfer my "great works" to the wooden spool.
Oh my ... is all I'll say.
--------
I was starving and could hardly wait for our great works to be delved into.
Twenty-five minutes later the table was laden with pizza and drinks of every kind and we each dove into a "slice" of each other's workmanship.
Not surprisingly, mine was the undeniably, "messiest" best and Maynard nodded his approval.
We all enjoyed a wonderfully, delicious, one-of-a-kind evening and I'm quite certain we'll be doing it again with some "one on ones" in-between.
Mmmm ...
------
The neighborhood pizza party turned out a concoction of personalities as wondrously different as the pizzas themselves, and my new neighbors are my new friends turned delightful.
 To pizza parties, dough-boys, and new discoveries,
I give God thanks and make a toast:
Cheers to love,
Here's to love ...
 between neighbors.
-----