Grandpa’s Pizza and the Spiral Staircase
Grandpa’s pizza recipe is the best homemade pizza. Hands down. Growing up, my grandpa was my best friend. I spent hours and hours with him while my grandma was working. Even when I was older, I spent time with him. His birthday would have been Thursday– and it got me to thinking about his homemade pizza recipe and I decided to share with my readers.
Grandpa and I would go for breakfast every day at a diner in town– we’d hit the door and pretty soon, here’d come my chocolate milk and his coffee. Followed by our food– they knew what we ordered. Some days, for lunch, we would hit another diner where I was introduced to lemon-lime phosphates and “real” cherry Cokes. There too, our food would arrive shortly after we did– they knew what we wanted. Grandpa was always my go-to guy with questions growing up. I remember calling him in a panic once because I heard the sun was going to burn out and was concerned. (I was 5 or 6). He calmly explained to me that the sun wouldn’t burn out until long after I was gone.
He gave me my love of Westerns. On hot summer afternoons, we would watch whatever western happened to be on that day. One of our favorites was Ballad of Josie, with Doris Day and Peter Graves. We also always made time for Price is Right too– the old ones, with Bob Barker.
As I got older, he supported my book-a-day habit and my love of photography. He also let me pretty much have free rein in his woodworking shop– where I was allowed to saw and hammer and build until my heart’s content.
Grandpa was retired, but for extra money he used to build doll houses and other wood items and sell them at craft shows and festivals. More often than not, I was his shadow– both in the shop and at the shows. Once, we were even interviewed by the local newspaper– he talked about his model trains and his doll houses. He said his next project was to create one with electric lights. However, only one little girl was ever going to get a spiral staircase – me.
After he had open-heart surgery, we began walking the neighborhood. The plat near his house had several Indian names for street names. He always promised me a $1.00 if I could name them all correctly– I never could. I always got hung up on the same one– and I’d tell you what it was, but I can’t spell it either. We’d work our way in a big circle, and always ended up by the Dairy Queen. We would buy an ice cream cone – he wasn’t supposed to have any – and we’d walk the back way home to make sure Grandma didn’t see us.
Every summer, I would spend at grandma and grandpa’s. On Fridays, it was pizza day. Grandpa’s pizza recipe was very unique and special. Either Jeff, Dan or I would stand at the fridge and start unloading food– anything was game. Hot dogs, leftover spaghetti, steak, chicken, peppers– you name it, we probably ate it on a pizza at one time or another. We’d start with a pizza kit–the kind with the crust mix and canned sauce– and went from there. Some days, it was a simple pepperoni and sausage and cheese pie– other days, it was what we called “the works.” (And, by the way, if you have never tried it– hot dogs on a pizza isn’t half bad.)
Each time I talked to Grandpa and visited, I would always ask “When are you going to make my doll house?” He’d always reply, “I better get on that one of these days.” We had an entire set of plans– every time I came across something I wanted in my “house” it was added to the binder. Even the pattern for my spiral staircase.
My grandpa died a few years ago. I asked to do his eulogy– I talked about growing up with a grandpa like him and all the things we did together. Then, I gave his pizza recipe. I’m sure some thought that was strange– but, those who truly knew my grandpa understood.
For the record, I never did get a doll house custom built. I have one that he built but not just for me. The day he died, I went down into the basement in his work shop and grabbed the binder. After I read his eulogy, I put the plans in the casket with him.
Perhaps, he is working on it right now. Spiral staircase, electric lights and eating some homemade pizza.
What a great story. It’s so cool how close you were with your grandpa. I love that you would go for a walk to Dairy Queen and eat it on the way back so your grandma wouldn’t see him eating it!! What great memories. I hope someday my boys have that relationship with my dad. Oh, and the pizza looks amazing:-)