Pizza Love/Aunt Beck

Aunt Beck was great not only because she was my aunt but because she was the one who introduced me to pizza!

Aunt Beck, 1991

She was my mother’s youngest sister.  After Aunt Beck and Uncle Dick got married, they lived for a short while in a trailer in the 3-corner lot across the road from our farm in Pickerington.  I was really young and Mom did not allow me to cross the road and walk over there by myself but, I always wanted to!  A few years later, they had a daughter and lived in Columbus

Let me go back to around 1955 when I was 10 years old!  (Ok, so now you know how old I am!)  Aunt Beck, Uncle Dick and their toddler, Vicki, were visiting us one day when Aunt Beck asked if I’d like to go home with them for the night.  I loved to go to their home when I was a kid, so my pajamas and toothbrush were packed fast!  But, there was one thing I didn’t love and that was applesauce! Aunt Beck did love it and served it sometimes at meal time.  I really didn’t like apple sauce and always tried to get out of eating it!

As we neared the Whitehall area Aunt Beck asked me if I had ever eaten pizza.  I told her, “No, I’ve never heard of it.  What is it?”  She explained, “It’s a baked round of dough with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni on it.”  Then I’m sure I badgered her with a lot of questions like, “What is pepperoni?”  I could not imagine this thing called pizza and didn’t think too much of it by the sound of it because it seemed so different from anything I had ever eaten.  But, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be served with apple sauce!

Anyway, after a while, Uncle Dick pulled into the parking lot at Massey’s Pizza (interesting history.)  We were met with an explosion of the weirdest aroma I had ever smelled in my life when the door to the pizza parlor opened.  I thought, “Yuck, what is that smell?”  I wondered how I was going to get out of this!  Soon enough this huge circle of pizza was delivered to the table and Aunt Beck put a slice of it on my plate.  I took a little bite and didn’t know what to think.  Then I tried another bite with mozzarella oozing and by the time I neared the end of my first slice, my love affair with pizza had begun ~ thank you, Aunt Beck!

My Homemade Pizza


4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup oil
1-1/3 cups warm water

Pizza sauce:
Combine the following ingredients well:

2-8 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1-3.25 ounce package sliced pepperoni


In a large bowl, add yeast to lukewarm water, about 100 degrees. Stir well until yeast is dissolved and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Add flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  Mix well.
Stir mixture with a wooden spoon; then use your hands to bring it together into a ball.
Knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. 
Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets evenly coated with oil.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, divide it into 2 balls to press on pizza pans.
Press the dough out on the pans up over the edge a little.
PRE-BAKE the crust before filling is added at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until they puff up and the surface looks slightly dry.
Remove the pre-baked crusts from the oven.
Spread with thin layer of tomato sauce and toppings.
Bake at 425 degrees until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Let cool slightly.
Slice and enjoy!

Ummm, mmm pizza!


  1. Hi Pam,

    Thank you for your kind comment re the Sweet Onion Tart recipe. I popped in and saw your Pizza recipe - I will be trying this myself as I have a family of pizza lovers! Would you like to swap links? I can add you on my list of good food blogs and my husband can add you on his wine blog (he sometimes does food and wine pairings)?


  2. Absolutely, Sue! I would be glad to swap them! I am looking forward to reading your husband's also. Thanks and I hope you try the pizza!

  3. Pam, she would be so pleased to know you shared your memories of her with us. I love your pizza recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful day. Mary

  4. Thanks, Mary! She was one of the best of aunts and full of laughs! Glad you like the recipe and you have a terrific day!

  5. I just started making home made pizza this year and it is so much better than homemade. I will have to try your recipe next time. thanks for visitng my blog. It looks like we have more in common than the Midwest. I had a T-shirt that said what you have at the top about chocolate. Also I believe in dessert first for sure! Take care in the cold!

  6. Midwesttomidlands,I really enjoyed your fantastic photos and all. I will be going back and reading your older posts. You have exquisite taste when it comes to T-shirts and dessert! The world would be a happier place if everyone thought the same. It's cold and windy with another 5" of snow that we shoveled and snowblowed today. I am more than ready for spring!

  7. I love your Pizza dough recipe. I will have to try it. I usually take the short cut and buy the frozen dough. Your dough sounds easy enough to make. Thanks for sharing and your wonderful comments.

  8. What a sweet memory! And a delicious one. Homemade pizza is the best - and so fun to make. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks FAS and CG!

    The dough is really easy and I'm glad you enjoyed the memories!

  10. Pam, what a surprise tonight to pull up your blog and see a picture of my wonderful mother! She would be so happy to know that you had shared this memory. She loved for people to stop by the house and reminisce about old times and to have a brew or two. Oh, how I miss her! I cut my teeth on Massey's Pizza and have good memories of going there. The owner would call me up to the counter and give me a couple slices of pepperoni while we were waiting for our pie to bake. He would also sometimes take my dad to the back room for a little adult beverage of some sort! Jeff loves to make homemade pizza so we will have to give your recipe a try.

  11. What a lovely tribute to her!! So so sweet! This pizza sounds wonderful, NOTHING like homemade pizza!

  12. Vicki: Glad you liked it and I hope your mom would also! It sounds like to me you had the perfect way to cut your teeth. I can just see your dad doing that. I miss her too! She was the best!

  13. Jennifer: Thank you! You're absolutely right, there is nothing like homemade pizza!

  14. Pam, I forgot to mention that my mom did succeed in passing along her love for applesauce. Growing up we always had applesauce at dinner time. I love it still and so do Mindi and Kim. Homemade applesauce is a Thanksgiving staple at our house and the last couple of years the girls have had fun making it with me. I bought one of those apple peeler/corer/slicer gadgets where you stick the apple in, turn the handle round & round and watch as the apple is quickly peeled. Everyone wants to try their hand at it and we always end up with plenty of peeled apples!

  15. Vicki, it's amazing with the apple sauce! Mom made it herself many times. I love apples in about any form but, I just never acquired the taste for apple sauce. It's great that you carry on the tradition at Thanksgiving with Mindi and Kim ~ a wonderful way for you all to be involved! Bill's mom had one of those apple gadgets and she could "undo" those apples lickety-split! Mom did it the old-fashioned way. Here's to applesauce...

  16. Thanks for adding my blog to your list Pam - we have put you both on ours (Nick was a chef before he became a wine merchant and LOVES food).

  17. Sue: It works both ways! Interesting with Nick, the perfect combination; food and wine!


"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
—George Bernard Shaw

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You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
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