Day 90, Year 8: Birthday Pizza Party
Date: Friday, February 1, 2013
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Still Very Windy, High Temp in the 50’s
Location: Lightkeepers Marina in Coquina Harbor, Little River, SC

Our day was spent doing more of the same—setting up computers and scanning slides. Patsy and I did go out for a short shopping trip and Joe played golf. But then in the evening we over to Brian and Judy Thompson’s to celebrate Brian’s birthday. Brian is just a few years older than Patsy and Joe’s oldest daughter, but despite the age difference they have been friends since Brian was a teenager. This was Brian’s 58th birthday and Judy decided to have a “make your own pizza” party. She provided the dough, sauce, and basic toppings and Patsy and I brought lots of topping options. For cheeses we had mozzarella, freshly grated Parmesan, and crumbled goat. In the meat department we had pepperoni, Italian sausage, and hamburger. And in the veggie department we had fresh basil leaves, baby spinach, onion, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, and cherry tomatoes. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things, but the point is that we had many options and had a great time each designing our portion of the pizzas. The key was Judy’s “ultimate pizza sauce.” It was so yummy that I’ve copied the recipe below for anyone interested in making the best pizza ever. The sauce is simple to make and has only one unusual ingredient—crushed fennel seeds. If you don’t want to make your own dough, you can buy it ready-made in the deli section of the grocery store and turn your kitchen into an Italian pizzeria for an evening of fun and delicious eating. When we are on Cape Cod in the summer, making your own pizza is a Friday night tradition. I’ll be sure to add this sauce to the Goldstone pizza fare.

Ultimate Pizza Sauce (double recipe for 3 large pizzas)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup onions, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

In a large skillet, melt butter with the oil. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté until soft and transparent. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for 30-60 minutes (or not at all depending on your taste and time frame). Remove the bay leaf and spread the sauce on your prepared pizza dough.

130201 Day 90 South Carolina, USA–Brian's Birthday