Mrs. Perfetti’s Pizza Dough

I was married twenty-four years ago.  My friends came from far and wide and near.  Because everyone was so spread out – especially just a year after graduating from college – it was the first time I really ever had my high school and college friends together.  What was so wonderful was to see how well they got along with one another – they acted as if they’d known each other for years and it was really heart-warming.

I was given a green-themed wedding shower – my favorite color.  I was unaware that paper wedding bells and other wedding items came in green – but they were found!  A really fun thing was that they all brought recipes to write for me – family ones, ones they loved – and put them all in a recipe box.

There are a few that I have never tried for some reason or another.  In part, as newlyweds, funds were tight.  My husband was a US Coast Guard lieutenant at the time and we were stationed in New Orleans – which while less expensive then New England still made shopping at the Piggly Wiggly and Winn-Dixie difficult so some recipes were not indulged upon.  Weirdly, I never made the recipe for pizza margherita that one of my best high school friends included – her mother’s recipe.  I was pretty afraid of yeast – I still am which makes no sense as I make my Mother’s “Holey Bread”  ̶  a story for another day.  But faced with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic, I’m finding ways to use up what’s in the pantry and finding ways to stretch things.  So, Mrs. Perfetti’s recipe came out – and boy!  What was I waiting for?  It was delicious (if I do say so myself).  I have, embarrassingly, never made pizza dough from scratch – some (50%) Italian I am!

It’s times like these – even with cooking – that I think of what Maria Mitchell and all women went through when faced with shortages on food – and cooking from the very basics with no processed food to rely on as a back-up.  In particular, when the harbor would freeze over for days and weeks on end so that ships and steamers could not bring in supplies from the mainland.  I know you do not think of Maria as a cook but she did and she had to – especially when her mother was ill and she became her main caretaker.

JNLF