We had heard about pizza. We had never had it, but we had heard about it on the news and from other people. It was Italian. Remember Lima, Ohio, is not very ethnic, and so we didn’t have things from other places. We didn’t have any Italians that I knew. We had a few Reformed Jews, which was probably the most ethnic. Other than that, people’s families had been there one hundred to two hundred years in the area, and we were all watered down. Then we heard that there was a stand that sold pizza. So we decided one time that we were all going to go out and get pizza. You would get the pizza and then you would sit out in your car and eat it. So we went to the pizza stand. They had all these different choices of pizza. There was pepperoni; we didn’t even know what pepperoni was. They probably had peppers. They may have had Italian peppers. I’m sure they had mushrooms. We decided that we were just going to have plain pizza because we didn’t know what we were doing. Dad went up and ordered four slices of cheese pizza. Mom probably went up too because she was nosy and never let Dad do anything by himself. So we kids just waited in the car.
Dad came back with the pizza and handed it to Mom. Mom handed out the slices. Now, we were not used to that smell, the Italian smell with the spices, basil and oregano and especially garlic, which my mom never cared for and wouldn’t cook with. So we got back to the car. We all had our napkin and piece of pizza, and we all took a bite. None of us liked it. We might have taken two bites. Mom, my sister, and I all didn’t like it, and we weren’t going to eat it. Well, that was wasting money, and we weren’t going to do that. So we all sat in the car while my dad ate all four slices.
It was years before we tried pizza again. I was in junior high school and there was a Chef Boyardee pizza mix that you could buy at the grocery store. We got the plain mix and added browned hamburger. I didn’t care for the cheese. I still didn’t like it much, but I was hungry and that was what we were eating.
It was so bad that when I stopped at my friend Vicki’s house before a Rainbow girls Christmas dance, I didn’t eat any of it and only drank pop.
I learned to like pizza while dating my now husband, who liked pizza. After so many years around it, I learned to like it. Now I eat pizza with all the trimmings—but gluten-free bread.