The art and philosophy of making pizza

When I make pizzas, I don’t make one kind, pound my fist on the table and say, “This is what I’m serving. Eat, bitches. And enjoy it or I’ll smack you!”

Nooooo, I make a variety. Sometimes I roll out the dough smaller so I can make more and you can taste as many, or as few, as you want.

This is how I want you to enjoy a meal at my house. Everyone gets a slice of something they like. I cut as many small squares as possible so that you can sample as many different kinds as you can.

I make pizza for me. I love doing it. I love the process.

I cook, because it’s fast-form art. I go through the process for a day and get the reward within the day. It’s like digital photography. The rewards can be felt sooner than later. The accolades come faster.

That’s what he said. 

With a diverse menu, I can accommodate the most amount of tastes and preferences.

Will a vegan join us tonight? Then I’ll make a vegan pizza.

Vegetarian? No problem. I’ve got you covered. Almost half the pizzas I make are vegetarian.

Meat eaters? Let’s get steak, chicken, bison and some illegal meat all on one pie.

You only like cheese or pepperoni? Easy, I’ve got a pie for you.

You like more complex tastes with a variety of toppings and flavors you might not have thought of before, I’m on you like white on rice.

Whatever your taste, I want you to find something you like and maybe try something you never thought you’d like.

Isn’t a metaphor really? There are so many different people with so many different interpretations and ideas for what tastes good.

You may like Taylor Swift. And I don’t. I may like Miley Cirus, and you don’t.

That’s a level of taste.

There are so many different kinds of people, with different interpretations for what’s intelligent, good or worth while.

We all know — at least seem to — that everyone will never be happy. We also know that at a table of 10 people, there are 10 ideas for what is good.

My goal for cooking — and in life — is to please the most amount of people — accommodation-wise — at any given time.

If you like Jesus, god bless you. If you dislike him, may Richard Dawkins be with you.

And also with you.

I kid.  Dawkins is dead.

Lately, Tina and I have been having discussions about accommodation-ism. I’m not sure accommodationism is a word, but let’s pretend it is.

When we have people over and I make a dish, one dish, I get nervous. What if one person doesn’t like mushrooms, and there are mushrooms in what I make?

Sometimes, when we have more picky eaters, I won’t look at their faces while they’re eating for fear I might catch a look of dislike, or what’s worse, disgust.

I call that accommodationism, the idea that I want you to be so happy that I’d rather avoid your looks of disgust or reverse accommodation, than to witness them.

Lately I have been accused of not being accommodating to a certain kind of perspective. Let’s call the perspective “racism.”

Someone I know exhibited blatant love for white supremacy and I righteously threw a temper tantrum because of it.

A real, gooey one with tears and snot.

And whether you believe a friend of mine is racist or not and that I threw a temper tantrum or not, try to suspend your disbelief for a second.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this level of accommodation. Say you come to me and say, “You and me, we’re like peas in a pod. We get along. We share laughs. We share drinks. We share a love for books. We can have great conversations. By the way, black people are inferior and deserve the disturbingly awful lives they chose, because, well, their skin color is dark.”

Yes, there are pluses to our relationship. Many of them, it seems.

But one of the pluses is not your view on race.

I’m afraid somehow the negative has outweighed the positive.

What if one person likes the taste of licking another person’s asshole? Are you offended I asked that? A google search reveals that people, in fact, claim to have incestuous love for their sibling’s anal sphincter.

Maybe I found out that one of those people are coming to my house for dinner. Does that mean I include a pizza on the menu called “I like-a licky the Pooper”?

No, I don’t. Because most people don’t lick poop holes. That I know of anyway.

I am critical of everything. I’m critical of my love for Tina. I’m critical of my love of self. I’m critical of the idea that you know what the hell you’re talking about.

Hell, I don’t believe half the things I say. Frequently I say a word, I need to check my phone to make sure I used it correctly in a sentence. Because — more often than I’d like to admit — I used it wrong.

I don’t believe in god, or any good reason to think there is one. But that doesn’t make me inferior to you. Or superior. It just makes me an unbeliever. There remain a thousand great things we can agree on. And probably do.

Just like tastes for pizza, the taste or distaste for the idea of god cannot be measured in a lab. You can’t prove god anymore than I can disprove him. You can’t prove Garth Brooks has talent anymore than I can.

You can’t prove I suck at photography anymore than Talulah can.

I don’t believe in god, because I’ve gone though hoops, circles and highways to come to a reasonable conclusion that there isn’t one. You might oppose my views, because you’ve gone through hoops, circles and highways to discover one exists.

Good for you. You’ve won and you’ll likely spend an eternity in heavenly bliss bowing at the feet of your lord and savior. Yay, you!

And I’ll burn in hell.

Despite the circumstances and outcome, I’ve chosen a path. But there’s pizza for you and there’s still pizza for me at Le Café Witteveen.

Do black people exist? 

But let me let you in on a little secret. There are, in fact, black people. They exist beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether you’re blind or a household garden vegetable, black people exist.

There’s no denial, because there is physical proof they exist.

Whether or not you like them or support them is superfluous. Whether you’d rather spend your time at a restaurant geared toward black people or one toward white is unrelated to this argument.

The trouble, it seems to me, is that if you have a low regard for black people — and you claim to believe in Jesus — there may be a disconnect between your beliefs and your actions.

Jesus, as a dark-skinned man, commanded love for neighbor, for enemy and for the people whom you called inferior.

I can bible quote you to death on this one. And it’d be a boring test in scriptural idiocy.

Because you might like poopy-ass pizza and stand by it to your death bed. And that’s your right as a pizza eater. But that doesn’t make me want to make you a shit pie.

And just like racism, I will feel weird around you once I find out that you like shitty pizza.

Believe me, it’d be nice not to need to wash my hands after a bowel movement while I’m cooking. But lots of people I know don’t like food poisoning. Even the bulimics at the table aren’t a fan of that kind of vomiting.

But you’re still welcome to enjoy a meal with me. Because while I don’t believe that Jesus was a god, I believe Jesus had it right on a lot of social issues, including treating you like I’d treat myself, forgiveness, and loving those who hurt you.



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