It happened in Mrs. Drake's 8th grade English class. We were doing demonstration speeches. I was terrified of doing mine because I had no skills to demonstrate. My mom (or was it dad?) came up with mini pizzas (a little bit of cheese, sauce, pepperonis on an English muffin). I had never made them before, but it was portable and easily shared. So I gave my speech early and settled in to listen to the rest, little did I know one of those rest would change my life.
There is only one of the other speeches I remember. None of the others mattered really. Joe Dimaggio, not the baseball player, got up to give his speech. His family owned the Italian restaurant in town. Dad, Mom, Jon, and I ate there regularly because they had pizza and everyone knows that is the best "eating out" meal you can have. So it's no surprise that Joe spoke about pizza making. He totally showed me up, but I didn't mind. He may have even thrown the dough. (If he didn't, it sounds good for the story.) So he told us all about making pizza dough. He showed us how to roll it out and threw it in the air. His was the best and most interesting speech. Of course I may be biased. He ended his speech with a brief summary of the rest of the pizza process and then it happened. Sharing time! He had two different kinds of pizza. One that isn't worth mentioning (because I forgot). And the other was heavenly. It had to be straight from God himself, right off the banquet table!
It was mushroom pizza. Not just any mushroom pizza, but Dimaggio's mushroom pizza. I've tried others over the years, but they just don't measure up. The fresh mushroom and the amazing amount of cheese with the perfectly spiced sauce on top of the handmade perfectly cooked crust and then cut into squares! It just doesn't get any better. It was there in that decades old classroom where hundreds of speeches had been given that I fell in love... with Dimaggio's mushroom pizza.
Unfortunately my love is far away from me and our relationship has become strained from distance. However, we will be reuniting soon. In a couple weeks the family and I will be visiting Fairfield. My love and I will be reuniting! So if you are in the area of Fairfield IL, and by area I mean if you are in Illinois, Indiana, or Missouri, go and visit them. Get a pizza. I prefer mushroom and bacon, but all of them are awesome. You will not regret it!