This illustration by Donn Ross was a gift for my 33rd birthday on July 12. The number 33 has always held a special place in my heart. So when my 33rd birthday was aligned with my brother and his new fiance coming into town, I had to throw a pizza party for myself so that they could try the wood fired deliciousness that I've been cooking up lately and all my friends would have something to gather around. The only downside being that I was working my pepperonis off my whole birthday.
I started off the cook with the "33" pepperoni pizza (seen above, though it's a little hard to read), inspired by the drawing. When it came out, someone jokingly suggested I cut it into 33 slices. It had to be done. It took some calculating assistance from a friend, but we were soon cutting all the pizzas into 33 slices, allowing everyone the chance to taste each pizza as it came out of the oven. A chance that has never before been possible given the number of people at these events. I'll admit, Neapolitan pizza is not ideal served this size, but practicality took the back burner to novelty this time around.
The company was second to none. Everyone in attendance was having an amazing time. There was a birthday poem performance, several paintings (including one with a "free pizza body puppet" promise on the back!?!), and a chef's hat as birthday offerings, not to mention the plethora of awesome ingredients brought into the fray. We had crawfish, mango, purple potatoes, goat cheese logs, home grown tomatoes and pesto, jalapenos, simon's special sauce... so many amazing ingredients! I love seeing what people bring!
It was 1:00 am (... on a schoolnight!) before clean-up was done and the sleeping children were whisked away to their beds. Sleep was a welcome retreat. We still had packing and driving to do soon enough, as our first family vacation was a day away!
Being a pizzaiolo is a lot of work, even on your birthday. I suppose it would behoove me to get used to it now. "Pizza" is synonymous with "party", yet the one making said pizzas is indeed not partying while making them. The sooner I learn this, the better off I'll be. My 33rd birthday did it's best to teach it to me (you think I'd be used to it by now).
Happy birthday... Happy birthday everyone! Thanks for being rad! You... yes YOU!
Nick Gore was a corporate peon by day who just made the leap to full time pizza geek. Follow his path to world class Pizzaiolo right here on the GoreMade Pizza blog. Also, check out the facebook page.