Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Entertaining Michaelangelo, Queen Margherita and Napolean

Personally, I love to entertain. There are multiple reasons in the plus column why everyone should entertain. I find it extremely motivational to look beyond the surface and try to see my environment from a visitors vantage point. In other words, see it with fresh eyes. Things that I see everyday that visually don't bother me anymore are suddenly flashing like a beacon and I am suddenly aware of again. I'm talking about the dust that can accumulate on the fan in the family room or that ugly painting apron that I wear when I am oil painting that is lying across the bar next to the kitchen.
All of a sudden that cobweb 16 feet up in our entry will be getting noticed when guests stop to look up at the mural I have painted on the ceiling ala Michaelangelo.
Another aspect I like is showing off what I have worked so hard to accomplish. Maybe their first pizzas weren't as bad as my first
few pizzas but it if they were, they will appreciate mine that much more. Hopefully I provide a warm environment that my family and friends want to return to as opposed to being the topic of discussion on
their drives home.

What I will do also when guests ask me what, how, why and when about this journey is I will often interject bits of historical facts that will relate to the pizza or the process. I love history and had I not gotten a degree many moons ago in Art it would have to have been in History. I would venture to bet that the average person can't tell you 3 significant facts about the history of pizza. I know a year ago that I couldn't. People will often throw their two cents worth into the conversation about pizza or food and before you know it, you are learning
something new too.
I grew up with the myth that pizza was an American invention slanted to taste and look Italian. Now I know that it's origins are in Naples, Italy and many generations of evolution of it happened in
America. Those conversations can become fun and interesting. Someone will throw in the fact that the
English don't know what an English muffin is.

Or that burritos were invented in the U.S. or that Chop Suey and Fortune Cookies are also an American invention.
In 2006 we had gone to China. We both love Chinese food but that was American Chinese food and we were to learn that very quickly. I do believe,
if Chinese food had not become Americanized that most of us probably wouldn't be eating it today. I have to say it was different than what we expected or were used to.
The third and maybe the best thing of all is look at the pretty women that pizza attracts! Maybe it's not the pizza but maybe it's that a man is cooking. I can just hear those
discussions on their way home. "Hey! How come you don't cook pizza like Vince?" or "Why don't you learn to use a pressure cooker?"
My point is, that in the suburbs of Elk Grove we will not see an authentic Italian style Napoletana or a Margherita pizza.
For those guests uninformed as to what you are about to serve them a little explanation can go a long way. Suddenly the fear factor can be dissolved and the anticipation factor can rise.
It's something like if you ever wondered where that delicious cream filled pastry called a Napolean got it's name.
Which brings to mind some questions I still have about certain foods. Why do the Brits called fried potatoes, chips? Why are sardines always packed like sardines? And who was Chuck Roast?


  1. I am so disappointed, I am only able to see the photo of your mural in your entry way. All the rest came up as little red "x"s. Bummer.

  2. OK, now the photos are working. Very funny. Thanks for the heads up.