to puka-chan and insanity1023, this is for you. especially you, insane, b/c you are the one i think about when I eat pizza. and puka, just because you so much fun to eat pizza with. hearts-aaidenkae

I have a problem. A very serious problem. It comes in the form of a firey passion that refuses to fade. Not with time, nor separation, nor logic. Not a passion for another human, or even an animal, not even a passion for one of my beloved characters. My passion comes in the form of a thin crust topped with tomato paste and herbs, garlic, cheese, and an assortment of meat and vegetables. Yes, I have a problem. I have a deep and serious problem. And my problem is my firey passion for pizza.

Food, castles, and a handful of people are the things that the Italians did right. Topping the list are of course the people and pizza. I love pizza. I love to make it. I love to eat it. I love to smell it. And I love to criticize it. I have never met a pizza that I wouldn't eat though I have met a great deal of pizzas who I felt the need to criticize constructively.

"You do not seem to have enough basil or garlic", or " you have too much sauce", or " your crust is too thin." I will oft say to my pizza after the first bite. But then I will put my critiques aside and finish my beloved food without complaint wishing only that I'd had the chance to slip a few choice herbs into the sauce or under the cheese and thinking about how to perfect my own pizza crust.

Recently I decided that I was passionate enough about pizza to try and make it myself. It was an exhilerating experience. The dough felt natural in my hands and I loved slicing the vegetables and grating the cheese and seasoning the plain tomato paste. I loved spreading the cheese and veggies and meat on top of my pie and watching it go into the oven being cold and bland and come out an absolute work of culinary art.

But when I went to eat my pizza it was not, I'm sorry to say, perfect. And I had a great deal of constructive criticism to offer my pizza before I actually ate it. The second time I made it I didn't make quite enough crust, the sauce was not seasoned quite to perfection, I forgot the olive oil on the stone so my pizza stuck, and there was not enough cheese so my pies were a bit barren. It was better than my first go round but there was still quite a bit of constructive criticism to be offered to my favourite food before it was consumed. The third was better but still not quite perfect. And so it continued until quite recently when I made pizza and remembered to double the crust recipe, seasoned the tomato paste to satisfaction, remembered to put olive oil on the stone so the pie would not stick, had plenty of cheese to go around, piled on the toppings, cut my mushrooms and tomatoes and onions paper thin, browned my cheese perfectly without burning my crust, did not put too much sauce on, put enough sauce on, and various other tedious pizza making trivials.

I also made my first garlic and tomato pizza. Lamenting the fact that I did not have any fresh (or even frozen) basil and garlic to slice on top of my pie with the tomato and cheese and olive oil. But when all my pizzas were finished and I surveyed what was left from my family and finally decided to try my masterpiece white pizza. I bit into it and tested teh flavors in my mouth for a moment. The garlic was right. Could have had more basil but it was satisfactory. The cheese- wonderful but I wished I'd had some other kinds to put on there to mix it up.

But the only thing I was really disappointed in, Reader, was my crust. It had risen, it was puffy, it was baked enough to be crispy but not too much so that it was hard or burnt, and it was just like my family recipe- bland. That is my problem. The only problem with my true love is that the crust is bland. Thus, Dear Reader, I am on a quest to discover (or perhaps create) a perfect pizza crust. Perchance once I create this perfect crust I can create the perfect pizza. Then together we could open the perfect little pizza shop and we will be together forever and beyond. And we will live happily ever after.

A/N: dear reader, what is your idea of a cool pizza place? I was thinking a goth theme would be sort of neat but it would be very hard to keep flour off a black uniform in a pizza place. Input wanted. And also, do you have any tips on making the perfect pizza crust? Pizza is a passion of mine almost compared to that of writing. And I dearly hope to someday discover the perfect pizza crust. thank you, reader.