|This is what the finished pizza ought to look like.|
Everybody helps make the pizza.
My wife and I used to do these with people we invited from the church. The party design is also simple:
- Everybody who is invited is asked to bring some combination of cheese for the pizza, a jar of their favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce and all the creative kinds of pizza toppings they'd like on their pizza. Also ask anyone who owns a pizza pan or pizza stone to bring it. You'll need lots of these. In a pinch you can make the crusts on a sheet of aluminum foil and transfer the foil to a large baking sheet to cook.
- Two hours before the party, make up dough balls for individual pizzas - one for each group you will divide the attendees into. With kids I'd put two in a group because each will eat half a pizza at least. You can find the recipe for the never-fail pizza crust we used here at the Potluck Vegetarian. Just click on the link for full instructions.
- As everyone comes in, have the stove heated to 450° to 500° and ready to go. Have them move to the tables, bars or counters where they will work with their group and give them a ball of dough. If you don't have a dough hook, give them a half-formed dough ball and let them knead the dough for about ten minutes. That'll settle the more ADD among the group. Kneading is hard work. That's why bakers have huge arms.
- When the dough is ready, each group gets the ingredients they brought. Share the jars of sauce around. It doesn't take very much sauce. Make sure everyone has cheeses and whatever else they need. Then go away and let them make a pizza. It's easy. They'll figure it out.
- Make sure the floor is clean. Someone will inevitably try to twirl their crust. It never fails. We make guests take their shoes off. That way the floor is clean enough that you can brush off a dropped crust and cook it.
- As the pizzas are made ready, put them in the oven two at a time. Put the top and bottom racks of the oven as close together in the middle as you can. Pizzas don't need much room. They're very thin. It only take 8 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust.
- As they come out, cut the pizzas into 8 to 16 pieces so everybody can sample each others' pizza creations. Keep rotating the pizzas through the oven for the rest of the evening. The extra ingredients can be dumped into a big salad if you like. Have someone bring a lot of lettuce and tomatoes and suggest people bring their favorite salad dressing along to share.
It really is a lot of fun and stimulates a lot of conversation and good fellowship and you don't have to play any embarrassing ice-breaker games to get people talking.
Try it some Saturday night in the fellowship hall. It's tons of fun and educational for the kids - just make them wash their hands first - I'm just sayin'.
© 2015 by Tom King