Gary Chapman missed a major love language. Huge.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the man. As author of The Five Languages, he gave me a big fat tip for success when we figured out that Tim needs a little love note now again and I need a well-thought-out gift for birthdays and Christmas, or really any other time that merits gifts. (Who says no to presents?)
But there are six. Six love languages. Mr. Chapman is brilliant, but he missed one.
And that love language is food.
Now, he might say that food is a gift or maybe it’s representative of service. But, to me, it’s more than that. Food tells stories. It has a way of grabbing the receiver and saying, “I know you. I know you’d love nothing more than a thick and chunky soup on snowy days.” Or, “Hey there, are your taste buds picking up on that extra little kick in the sauce? It’s there because I added some crushed red pepper. Just for you.”
It has a way of revealing the giver… like just this weekend, we mixed up a couple of big batches of salsa for some neighbors. In a way, it’s me giving them a peek at my heart, my past. It says, “So I spent 18 months of my life in Southern California, mostly in Hispanic neighborhoods, and these people? They won my heart. Before I knew it, I was so taken in by their language, their dance parties that went way past my bedtime, their hugs, their kitchens… I may look blonde and of complete Utah origin, but ya know what? There’s a big little part of me that’s Mexican.”
And maybe it’s because I myself am a huge fan of food, but I’m sure now that time in my kitchen, creating something that tastes like a little bit of time and a lot of love is my favorite way to figuratively open up my arms and say, “You matter to me.”
So yes, you see, Mr. Chapman missed food.
So it follows that if food is a love language, and it is, there’s got to be some good food, some really good food, for the little ones and not-so-little ones, for Valentine’s Day to really sing.
We always start out the day with one of my favorite traditions-breakfast in bed. But why neglect lunch and dinner?
So today, I’m sharing one of my best ways to say “I love you” – it looks like pizza crust, but it’s really an “I love you.” And I guarantee, any soul you share this with is going to feel all the warm fuzzies. It’s that good.
To add some Valentine’s Day spice to this pizza, I found this amazing 8-inch heart cookie (or pizza) cutter. (On Amazon, with Prime 2-day shipping. Which is the only way I shop anymore, because really, who wants to bundle up the kids and pack snacks, diapers, extra clothes just to get a cookie cutter?) It’s the perfect size for personal pizzas.
My little guy is just getting old enough (like, barely) to help me in the kitchen. But we both love it. So much. And part of what’s awesome about pizza making is that it’s an event. There’s anticipation and little things that little hands can do.
Proof, my friends, that there are, in fact, six love languages.
The canvas for this masterpiece of culinary “I love you”? It’s the crust. And it’s amazing.
- 2 2/3 c. water
- 2 c. white flour
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
- 5 t. yeast
- 1 1/2 t. garlic salt
- 2 2/3 T. olive oil
- 2 T. Italian seasoning
- additional flour (about 1 1/2 c. more of both white flour and whole wheat flour)
- honey (optional)
- Mix water and the first 4 cups of flour.
- Add yeast, garlic salt, olive oil, and Italian seasoning.
- Add additional flour a little bit at a time.
- Knead 3-4 minutes, by hand or in Bosch/KitchenAid.
- Divide dough and roll out individual pizzas.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes (will depend on thickness of crust).
- Pull out when mostly done and add toppings.
- Put pizza back in oven until cheese is melted.
- I use a pizza stone to cook my pizzas on. We go really thin crust, so ours are ready to be pulled out (pre-toppings) at 8 minutes, max.
- The honey is optional but adds some amazing flavor. After you pull out the pizza crust the first time, brush honey evenly across the crust. Then proceed with your sauce, cheese, and toppings and continue to bake until cheese is melted.
Like I said, Valentine’s Day should mean great food for the little ones and the not-so-little-ones. So let’s chat about one of my favorite toppings flavor combinations that might be a little more suited for the “grown-ups.”
So this pizza came from another fun tradition-a cook-off we have each year with some of our best friends who live way too far away. These are the kind of people you want down the street, not across state lines. But until they buy the house I’m saving for them down the road, our yearly rendezvous that includes this cook-off will have to do.
You can probably guess that one year we did pizza. The kitchen was a flurry of flour and toppings well-concealed in bags, waiting for the big moment when we’d turn around and say, “Hey, look at this!”
Well, these friends turned around and this is what we saw.
Let’s do a quick run-down of ingredients. A normal red pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes (I recommend using grape tomatoes), diced white onions, pepperoni, and chopped cilantro make up this beauty. And, if you can believe it, it tastes even better than it looks.
So there you have it. Just about everything I know about good homemade pizza. So, happy Valentine-ing! And long live the sixth love language!