Where’s All the Stuffed Crust?

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” -Helmut Schmidt

Stuck at home I’ve got plenty of time to ponder the great mysteries of the world:  What is the meaning of life?  What happens when we die? Are we alone in the universe? Why isn’t there more stuffed crust pizza?

Of course, there’s the original gangster Pizza Hut, several frozen pizza brands dabbling and small players Rocky Rococco’s giving it a whirl once a week with their “motherload” slice, but where is everybody else?  Surely stuffing crusts with cheese is a lucrative business decision and it’s delicious, so why isn’t everyone jumping in?

Oddly enough, the king of cheap, Little Caesars just joined the ranks of the upper-crust class, by making their “Extra-Most-Bestest” better.

They’ve had cheese rimmed crusts before, but they’ve never woven one through their greatest accomplishment yet the “Extra-Most-Bestest”.  The “Extra-Most-Bestest” is a hand-tossed pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and extra pepperoni (who could ask for more!).

And now within that hand-tossed handle is a yard of cheese, that’s right, they claim they’ve got three feet of their mozzarella and muenster blend packed in that crust. Just make sure you order an extra sauce cup, because between the “Crazy Bread” and dunking that cheese-filled crust you’ll need additional rations.

While stretching my mind around the stuffed crust quandary I did learn a valuable lesson from Little Caesars stuffed “Extra-Most Bestest”:

There’s always room for improvement.  Even in these trying times, there are opportunities for growth; the stuffed crust “Extra-Most-Bestest” goes to show that everything can be made better (with more cheese!).

So, why isn’t there more stuffed crust pizza?   Not cost effect?  An operational challenge?  Not the right marketing play?  Who knows.  But, I’m sure there are a lot of people sitting at home right now that would be happy to try them out.

What I’m eating:  Little Caesars Extra-Most-Bestest stuffed crust pepperoni

What I’m reading: Vedanta Treatise: The Eternities –Swami Parthasarathy

A Really Good Friday

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” -William Shakespeare

My son Ellis is a shred off the old block.  In a couple weeks he will be two years old and though his pronunciation of pizza sounds more like “pizzu” than pizza, his passion is already rivaling mine.  It won’t be long before my little prodigy surpasses me as the seasoned connoisseur, like a young Luke Skywalker with the power to wield the force stronger than Vader. It’s enough to make me tear up a bit.

Our weekly celebration begin every Thursday night as we dream up all the “pizzu and sticks” the weekend will bring us.  Friday morning the whole family shouts “Happy Friday!” and our ritual of fist-pumping and stomping around Ellis’s bedroom like Andrew W.K. begins.  We chant “pizzu! pizzu! pizzu!”.

Then when 5:30pm rolls around and our TGIF feast is steaming on the counter we raise our slices and “cheers” them.

A really Good Friday. 

Most Friday afternoons I’m restless, but last week my eagerness was overflowing for what awaited my little pizza-buddy and I.  Turns out that my dad was making a special trip to Madison to drop off some of our favorite old-school hometown pizza.

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Forget Doordash and Dominos delivery when you’ve got Dave Luther, my hero, and transporter of a coveted Rosa’s “Extra-large two-topping and large sticks special”.  The guy drove an hour from Whitewater to Madison to lay it in the front yard (bless his social distancing heart).

 

Rosa’s will forever hold a place in my heart, not just because of my nostalgic attachment to it, but because it’s the pizza that has brought and continues to bring the Luther family together.  It was on the kitchen counter as an excuse to get the family together when I was teen, it was on the coffee table when Tess and I had our first date nights in college and when Ellis first started gnawing on solid food.

This last Friday, the Luthers passed around the Rosa’s again, this time from grandfather to father to son (with clean hands and from 6 feet apart!).

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Sauces on the sticks, classic Rosa’s! Gotta love it.

Several weeks of social distancing is bringing these family moments into focus.  Lori Gottlieb American writer and psychotherapist spoke to this idea recently on The Tim Ferris Podcast explaining how she was “relishing” the time in isolation by simply watching her son and cherishing the fleeting moments she has with him.

There’s a lesson in that for everyone.  We can embrace this extra time with our families and make lasting memories.  So, while Ellis and I perform rain dances to the “pizzu Gods” and Tess giggles a long while nibbling Rosas cheese-sticks I savor the moment and toast my slice to strengthening our relationships.

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What I’m eating:  Rosa’s Extra-Large sausage and pepperoni and large sticks for

What I’m reading: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft –Stephen King