Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Charlie Capen16
Finn’s 3 Reasons Why Pizza Should Be a New Thanksgiving Tradition
Many holidays center around the time-honored tradition of eating truckloads of food — most of which defies the wishes and whims of child palates everywhere. But of all those days of celebration, Thanksgiving snarfs the proverbial and literal cake. At least at Easter and Christmas there are presents.
I asked my son Finn what he would like to eat for Thanksgiving this week, and how did he answer?
“PIZZA and KETCHUP, pweeze.”
As you may remember, Finn is kind of obsessed with the P&K food group. After lengthy negotiations and some tears (mine), it became apparent to me that pizza would need to be included in this year’s feast.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking I just bought myself a one-way Mayflower ride to Crazytown, but hear me out. I made him a deal:
“Son, if you can give me three good reasons why we should have pizza for Thanksgiving, then we’ll make it happen.”
So, together (I translated his Toddlerese), we came up with Finn’s three reasons why pizza should be the main feature in this year’s Thanksgiving feast. Not just any pizza — it has to be of the delicious and better-for-you, Finn-approved variety to pull off this kind of holiday miracle. In our house, it has to be Annie’s.
1. One word: Diplomacy
Family politics can be filled with brutal games of psychological warfare. Hushed arguments about who has to sit next to Aunt Ferdie in her gaseous state, puzzling over why certain relatives aren’t speaking to each other (again), and why cousin Marcy insists on letting the family dog eat off of her plate, can really dampen the true spirit of togetherness.
It’s a well-documented scientific and historical fact that pizza kept the peace in Italy for thousands of years… But seriously, have you ever tried dining with a grumpy kid? It’s time to bake up a solution to family dysfunction, an organic one no less.
Or in Finn’s words, “Pizza make happy time!”
2. Inspired Sides
I don’t know about you, but Finn and I get tired of the same old side dishes every year. You can only eat (or in Finn’s case, wear) canned cranberry sauce or garlic mashed potatoes so many times before you gotta go all “foodie” on those worn-out recipes.
Now, I’m no Julia Childs; but Finn and I have watched all seven seasons of MacGyver (twice). And Annie’s pizzas are already made with organic flour and tomatoes, whole grains and 100% real cheese — so, we just let the main dish inspire us! Here are a few ways we jazzed up some boring holiday side dishes, using only a shoestring and pocket knife (look for our new cookbook out next year):
• Cranmato Sauce: Blend pureed cranberries & tomatoes into a tangy seasonal sauce, perfect for dipping your kids’ discarded crusts (which you know you secretly look forward to scarfing).
• Cheesy Pepperoni Mashed Potatoes: Bake one of Annie’s Uncured Pepperoni pizzas, carefully lift the melted cheese and pepperoni toppings off the pizza, and lay them delicately over your bowl of mashed potatoes like a warm blanket on a sleeping baby. You are a genius.
• Pizzumpkin Pie: Fill that now naked pizza used in your Cheesy Pepperoni Mashed Potatoes with pureed pumpkin and some “smelly good” (Finn’s words) spice, and cover in a whipped cream volcano. YUMSPLOSION!
3. Tough Turkey
Turkey is the unofficial mascot of Thanksgiving dinner. But let’s face it: cooking a turkey takes 12 hours. Between the laundry, yard work and house cleaning, Finn doesn’t have time for that.
And even with an arsenal of medieval torture/basting tools; Martha Stewart on speed dial; and a repository of bookmarked YouTube cooking videos — we still may end up breaking into to our neighbor’s house and raiding their oven, anyway. You, too?
Well, don’t pull your hair out from under your pilgrim’s hat — try Finn’s (kind of brilliant) compromise instead. Bake one of Annie’s pizzas, and let it cool for just a bit. Then, channeling your inner Michelangelo (or Picasso, if you’re pressed for time, or a toddler), carefully mold it, like a gastronomical Transformer, into the shape of a handsome turkey. You’re still paying homage to the iconic fowl, but you won’t have to stuff stale breadcrumbs into any orifices!
So, there you have it: three indisputable reasons to give Annie’s pizza a whirl on Thanksgiving. You can thank Finn in the comments below. Or, if you’re really creative, send him an origami’d pizza in the shape of your favorite cartoon character. He’d really love that.
And if you do plan to go with a more traditional [ie. BORING] menu this Thanksgiving, better save up your energy and let Annie’s take care of dinner the night before. You’re gonna need it. Grab your $2.50 coupon now!