Earlier this month my grandmother celebrated her 80th birthday. I'm fortunate to still have both sets of grandparents alive and well. We took the opportunity to celebrate Nana and tell some funny stories about her, all shared with her closest friends and family. Two grandchildren were missing from the festivities and my brother was reluctant to speak, so I volunteered to give a short speech highlighting her best moments and stories. I began with a story involving her, a swimsuit, and ending up topless. The reaction on her face was priceless! I'm sure she was rather embarrassed to have the story told to so many people. She genuinely had some belly laughs and wide smiles. Above is a picture of Nana and Papa. Nana was a nurse during her working years, but even retired she's logged some hard hours helping Papa recover from many surgeries. My mom, also a nurse, without missing a beat would proclaim it's the reason we still have Papa. They are both remarkable, loving, generous (thanks for paying my college tuition!) and in love with their family.
What's a birthday party without food? A dud! This one was FILLED with food. Even though it was all catered I didn't mind. I was spending the weekend in my hometown enjoying the foods I grew up eating. Nana requested BBQ (she's a farm gal after all) from Shyler's, which is an Evansville must. After everyone had left and we cleaned up there was still untouched trays of BBQ, cut vegetables and cheeses. My mom packed a cooler for us and I knew a tasty pizza was in my future.
I've posted the recipe for this crust before and really it's the only directions you'll need. That's why I love making pizza so much - anything goes! I had some tangy BBQ sauce that I used as a substitute for tomato sauce. Then laid leftover BBQ chicken, caramelized onions and peppers on top. A healthy dose of sharp cheddar finished.
A celebration indeed!