If your family is anything like ours, then pizza night has been a tradition in your household your entire life. When I was little, my grandparents owned the bowling alley in my hometown and I can't even begin to tell you how many evenings I spent behind the counter, sitting on my grandpa's lap, eating pizza and watching the bowlers. Monday night at the bowling alley was my favorite - it was men's league night and my dad, my uncles and my grandpa all bowled that night. I used to hop from lane to lane, feeling like a tiny celebrity because everyone there knew my name. If a ball got stuck or the pins didn't reset properly, I got to go in the back with my grandpa and watched in awe as he fixed the giant whirling machines. The place smelled like lane oil and pizza. There were nudey cards on the counters, pitchers of beer and dollar bills. Old Time Rock and Roll was ALWAYS playing on the jukebox and the pool tables were always full. I was little, but Monday nights at the bowling alley made me feel like I was getting a little glimpse into a secret grown-up world.
In college, pizza night became a standard Monday night tradition after dancing the night away at our favorite bar. My roommates and I would dip our pizza in ranch dressing as we lounged on the couch in our pajamas and laughed late into the evening watching Sex & The City, Dawson's Creek or the Simpsons. While Ryan and I were dating, we took pizza night up a notch! We took a pizza-making class at a local cooking school and our pizza night evolved into something pretty elaborate. We would make our own pizza dough, tomato sauce and pesto. We carefully selected all our favorite gourmet toppings like goat cheese, roasted red peppers and locally-made prosciutto. We used a fancy pizza stone and learned how to grill pizza on the BBQ. We topped our pizza with fresh parmesan, perfectly wilted spinach or even an egg! It was an ordeal and took all night long to prep all the ingredients, make the dough and cook the pizzas.
Once we had kids, we no longer had the time or energy to put that much effort into our pizza nights, but we still love keeping up the pizza night tradition. Now, pizza night is Friday night for us and while it's different, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. We don't have goat cheese, pitchers of beer or nudey cards, but we have pepperoni and sippy cups of milk! We have dance parties, family time and bucketloads of ranch dressing to dip our pizza into! Pizza night is fun and easy and relaxing. It's time spent laughing and goofing off before heading downstairs to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together as a family. It's the end of a long week and a highlight of an otherwise hard day. Pizza's the one meal we can all agree on (this pizza is our favorite).
Do you have a specific pizza night memory?
What's pizza night look like for your family?