Mom’s Homemade Pizza & The Joy of Memory-Making Meals

Today’s post is an homage to the pizza that mom makes, but like many Americans, I grew up with a broad spectrum of different foods that were all called “pizza.” At the far end of the thin-crust spectrum, we see things like the cracker-thin Neapolitan-style pizzas, light on toppings and baked to bubbly, lightly blackened pies in ultra-hot wood or coal-fire ovens. On the other end, you see emphasis on crust thicknesses rising all the way to the casserole-like excess that is Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, which can be so overloaded, it’s like an entire meal in a single slice....

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Pückler and the Neapolitans: A History of Three-Flavor Ice Cream
Food history Pückler and the Neapolitans: A History of Three-Flavor Ice Cream

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of Neapolitan, the classic, three-layered Chocolate-Strawberry-Vanilla ice cream, as the refuge of the indecisive person. After all, why make a choice? Choosing is painful. By choosing the triple-combination of Neapolitan, or its somewhat fancier cousin, Spumoni, you get multiple options and no regret. Win! Having moved to Germany, I’ve noticed a different approach. The locals here seem to eliminate the pain of choosing by getting a standard two scoops with two different flavors on every cone and cup.

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The Blog is Back!
Food blogging The Blog is Back!

Hey! It’s been a while! Sooo… what have you been doing for the past 10 years or so? The …ahem… unique challenges of 2020 have given me (and probably you) some time to think. Personally, I’ve spent the time planting vegetables on the balcony and reflecting on food writing. I made my first website (about tomatoes, naturally) in 1998. For a while, I wrote about writing. And in 2004, when I started food blogging at Miss Ginsu (which was then The Hedonista) there really weren’t so many food blogs out there.

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A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:
Recipes Travel A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” F. Scott Fitzgerald Say you find yourself standing on an uninhabited island among gaily costumed picnickers with a cocktail in your hand, a dance floor and orchestra before you, a pie contest to your left and the Dorothy Parker Society just behind you. Never fear. You’re probably not dreaming. You probably didn’t fall into a time warp.

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Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes
Recipes Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes

As the family legend has it, on the night before I was born, my mother cooked a pizza topped with sliced green tomatoes, and the next morning, pop! There I was. (Though, truth be told, it may actually have taken a bit more effort than I’m leading on…) I won’t go so far as to call green tomatoes some kind of folk remedy for inducing labor, but perhaps they provide a good incentive for anyone taking their sweet time in the womb.

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Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail
Recipes Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail

I just want to take a moment to say “thank you” to Brazil. Why? Well, although the country has some challenges (poverty, etc.) those lovely Brazilians export a lot of wonderful things to the citizens of the rest of the world. Bossa nova, samba, capoeira, jiu-jitsu, feijoada, churrascaria, The Girl From Ipanema… all things evocative of sensuality and living life with verve. So thanks very much, Brazil! I raise a caipirinha to you.

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Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans
Recipes Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans

Dear Miss Ginsu, We have a huge bean harvest — got any recipes for pickled beans? Yours, — Swimming in ‘em Dear Swimmer, Oh, how I loove pickled green beans! They’re so very tasty. And texture-wise, I think I may even prefer them to pickled cucumbers. In fact, I hope there are still some CSA or farmers’ market beans on the way. Now if I can only keep from boiling and eating them straight away, I’m inspired to get some into jars.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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