The P Word

Before I start my discussion of the P word, the good and the bad of it, I just wanted to mention that yesterday was one year since Miriyummy came into being, all because Ju-Boy got trapped in England due to a volcano.  So if you love or hate my blog, you can all Blame It On The Volcano.

Happy Blogoversary to me!

Okay, the P word.  P stands for Pizza, and P also stands for Passover.  I love pizza, and I hate Passover.  Put them both together and I despise Passover Pizza.  I mean, come on!  The following recipe for Passover Pizza is to be read in a sarcastic monotone:

Shmear some ketchup on some matzah, add some cheese, bung it in the oven and enjoy. 

MTA Bus Company #3374 operates through Co-op C...

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My love affair with pizza began in the first grade.  My family had just moved to a new neighborhood and there was no school bus service.  One day half the school would come from my area, but in the first grade it was just me and the three Kluger kids.  I was a shnip of a 6 year old, and they were so much more mature and sophisticated at 8, 10 and 12.  Our parents got together and arranged that we would travel together on the New York city bus line from the Fordham Road area of the Bronx to the (then) sparsely-populated wilds of Co-Op City.

School finished at 3 PM, and before we boarded the #15 bus that would take us home, the three Kluger kids dragged me into the corner pizza shop.  They each bought a slice, and I was given a bite from each.  Heaven!  Nirvana!  And so began my relationship with pizza.

My mother didn’t really believe in pizza.  They didn’t serve pizza on the streets of Vilna when she was a kid.  My childhood pizza experiences were reduced to a bite of the Kluger slices, which ended two years later when there were enough kids living in Co-Op City and going to Kinneret Day School to warrant a school bus.  No more #15 bus home with a pizza stop along the way.  During the summers, up until I was 13, we would go up to the Catskill Mountains and join the rest of the Jewish population of New York in the various bungalow colonies that dotted Sullivan County.  Once a week or so the pizza guy would drive up to the parking lot and sell [almost] frozen pizza out of the back of his car.  They may have fallen off the back of a truck, they may have been breeding grounds for ebola sitting there in the summer sun, but my mother caved in to pressure and once a week I had some of that yummy Macabee pizza, oh yum!

When I was 18 I spent the year in Israel, and for a few short months lived in Jerusalem.  There was only one real pizza store (real pizza means New York style) and that was Richie’s Pizza on King George Street.  Guess who got a job slinging slices?  As a dedicated employee, we were allowed to eat eight slices a day on the company tab.  Everyone who worked there told me that after a few days I was going to be so sick of the sight and smell of pizza I would only manage a slice or two during my 9 hour shift.  They were so wrong, I never got sick of pizza.  And thankfully, at 18 I had a wonderful metabolism, and could manage to eat as much pizza as I liked without gaining a gram.  1981 was a good year for me pizza-wise.

We’re now right in the midst of the Passover holiday, and pizza crust is not on the menu.  Yes, I did mention before that you could make pretend pizza on a slice of matzah, but in my mind that’s sacrilegious.  For years I was reduced to going cold turkey, no pizza for a whole week.  I so hate Passover!

And then I married Ju-Boy, and guess what?  The guy can make some decent Passover pizza.  Okay, it’s not on the same gastronomic level that I used to churn out at Richie’sbut spiritually it fills a need in me.  And the fact that he makes it and serves it up to me on a plate with some salad on the side, and then even washes the dish, that just adds to the yumminess, for me at least.  If you want to experience this Passover pizza, go get your own Ju-Boy, mine’s busy!

Ju-Boy’s Passover Pizza

  • 5 squares of matzah
  • milk to cover
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • granulated garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • olive oil or hazelnut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, granulated garlic powder, oregano, all to taste
  • 200 grams cheese, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. Crush the matzah into little itty bitty pieces in a mixing bowl.  Add just enough milk to cover and let soak until the matzah is soft and all the milk has been absorbed.
  3. Add the two eggs and the salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  4. Spread in a round pizza-shaped pan (yes, we actually have a kosher for Passover pizza pan in our house).
  5. Bake the crust in the oven for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned and crusty.
  6. In the meantime, saute the onion in the oil (we use hazelnut) until golden.  Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and oregano.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn on the grill in your oven.
  8. Spread the sauce over the crust.
  9. Top with cheese.  It can be any cheese you like.  The cheese on the pizza in the picture here is a mix of Mozzarella and Gilboa, an Israeli Edam-style cheese.
  10. Place under the grill for about 10 minutes until nicely browned and gooey.

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About Miriyummy

All I want to do is live happily ever after.

Posted on 20 April 2011, in Family Life, Holiday cooking, Passover, Pizza, Savory Nosh, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. You worked at Richie’s Pizza in 1981?? I was there many times back then with my family!

    Is it possible that we actually HAVE met in person and never realized it? {cue: “The Twilight Zone” theme} :-)

  2. How did you ever score a photo of Richie’s pizza?
    I used to go there all the time too, starting as a tourist in 1973, and thereafter, while I was living in Jerusalem. It was really great pizza.

  3. Congratulations on the Blogoversary! here’s to many more:)
    Cool Pizza memories:)
    Gotta try that recipe seems fun and yum!
    Chag Sameach
    Daniela

  4. Mazal tov on your one year anniversary!

  5. Wow – that was a fast year! Happy Blogoversary!
    and stay strong – Passover is almost over :)

  6. Just by reading the post, I can smell Richie’s pizza!

  7. Happy Blogoversary Mirj. I am also a pizza lover. This looks like an interesting recipe.

  8. A little belated mazal tov to your 1-year blog anniversary!
    I have a pizza maker,but luckily use it very very seldom these days, or I would turn into a real balloon;D
    That passover pizza looks good!

  9. I just missed you at Richie’s pizza–my year after high school was from August 1981 to August 1982 and though I wasn’t in J-m, we visited Richie’s Pizza every chance we got. And left notes on their famous bulletin board.
    And I am with you on pizza. It is absolutely, hands-down my favorite food in the whole world. I can eat it any time of day or night. Hot or cold. I can eat good pizza and I can eat bad pizza. I am actually in the middle of a long term project to taste and compare every pizza place in Modiin (and them move on to the rest of Israel); only problem is new places keep opening (so far Big Apple is winning).

    Best pizza in Israel so far? –You know you’ve inspired a blog post, so you’ll have to wait ’til I post to hear what this pizza maniac thinks!

    • Yes, pizza is proof that God exists. I am also partial to Big Apple in Jerusalem, but have a special place in my heart for J-II in Givat Ze’ev. They were just down the street, literally, from my house (we were #52, they were #50). Not a Friday afternoon went by that J-II wasn’t on my dining room table as the kids came home from school. Every fast day (except for Yom Kippur) was broken with a pie from J-II. Sadly, when I moved to Ra’anana I left J-II behind, and I miss them so much. The pizza here isn’t the same. Best pizza in R-town is Pizza Patzatz, best pizza in J-town is Big Apple, but best pizza in Israel? J-II, hands and slices down!

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