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As a child, I was a picky eater. Or as I like to call it, a selective eater. For a child that mainly liked fresh fruit and Italian food, Thanksgiving was not my favorite holiday. I dreaded the expectation of the traditional hot foods around the table that I didn’t want to eat and the arguments that always were the result of my picking at my plate. But there was one particular year that I was truly thankful for Thanksgiving.
As our family of five discussed the upcoming holiday, I silently groaned inside. Then the discussion turned to us when my Dad asked us what we wanted to have for dinner that year. Three small kids all unanimously shouted “PIZZA!” My parents looked at each other with their heads tilted and shoulders shrugging. “Okay. Why not?” It was decided. There would be pizza for Thanksgiving.
My Dad had always made us homemade pizzas, a recipe that was passed down from my Grandmother. It was a treat that our family looked forward to. I loved to watch the dough as it began to rise in the stainless bowl with the help of the sunshine that poured in through the window. I paid attention as my Dad stirred the deep red seasoned sauce, adding ingredients and perfecting it. There would be mounds of fresh white grated cheese that we would get to sample. As we sat on the tall stools overseeing his work, my Dad would give each of us our own little pile of the mozzarella to snack on. The pizzas would bake to perfection, cheese bubbling and savory meat toppings browning in the oven. It was hard to wait for snap of the crisp crust as I bit into it and dared to not burn the roof of my mouth. The first bite was always reassurance; it was the best thing I had ever eaten, every single time. With my mouth watering and days to go, for the first time, I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving.
Like most people look forward to the turkey and dressings, I anxiously waited for the holiday. Instead of my normal dreading the punishment that would follow my not eating Thanksgiving dinner, I had a fun day with my family. My Mom wasn’t the only one that was bustling around all day in the kitchen.