Living in a modern city like Singapore, it is so convenient and affordable to call for a pizza delivery for various occasions. If you’re growing up in a city, you probably find it difficult to imagine that pizza wasn’t accessible at all to me when I was young.
I grew up in a small village in Malaysia where the nearest local chained fast food shop was at least 7 km away. McDonald was available about 33 km away and the first Pizza Hut outlet was opened until much later. As kids, my siblings and I came to know about pizza through the Pizza Hut advertisement aired on the major TV channels from Singapore. That round, flat and colourful food with stretchy cheese was so attractive to us but it was pretty impractical to cross the immigration checkpoint merely to have a pizza.
We had another version of pizza frequently in our childhood although we didn’t had that authentic pizza that we wished for. In many weekends, my mum made her own version of “pizza” for our Saturday lunch. Her pizza was actually a crepe full with vegetables like carrots and cabbages. She first made a batter with flour and water and then asked us to mix it well by keep stirring the batter until the batter was no longer lumpy. To imitate those stretchy cheese of the pizza, my mum cut the cabbage into very fine strips. Those fine vegetable strips were pan fried with the flour batter using a wok and slowly cooked into a disk shape. Sometimes she cracked an egg into the crepe as extra topping. As I could see short trails of cabbage strips from the crepe, I naively thought that was the pizza. Those were the special weekend when we used plates, knives and forks for meals at home (we use only chopsticks,spoons and bowls normally), just like those western food diners seen in the TV. Although my mum version of pizza had nothing similar to a real pizza except both of them used flour as one of the main ingredients, her pizza brought so much joy to us as kids. Many years later, we finally got to try a real pizza when the first Pizza Hut outlet was opened in town. It was new and exciting and made me realised that I was not a cheese lover. LOL
Knowing my mum was a very practical and busy working mother, it touches me deep in my heart when I recall this version of pizza at my 30s. It was an effort from a mother to make her children happy with limited resources and created precious weekend memories for them. So when I managed to get those beautiful thin crust pizzas out of my oven, I sent the photo to my family immediately and set the date for a pizza party.
I have tried different pizza toppings since then. Many of them are rather commonly seen at pizza shops except the one with anchovy fillets. As L getting sick of pizza lately, I shall explore more flavours later in the year ; )
- Vegetable combination : 3-4 inches of zucchini (sliced), 1/4 red bell pepper (sliced) and 1/4 yellow bell pepper (sliced).
- Mixed mushrooms : various type of mushroom (sliced), drizzle one to one and a half teaspoon of truffle oil on top after the pizza is done baking.
- Ham and rocket : Lay a few pieces of ham on the pizza and bake according to the recipe. Spread over fresh raw rockets on top right before serving
- Baby spinach and mushrooms : Any type of mushroom (sliced) and a handful of spinach leaves.
- Anchovy and onion : 1/2 medium yellow onion (sliced), 1 can of anchovy fillet and 1/4 bell pepper strips. Sauté the onions over low heat until they have turned transparent, soft and sweet. Spread the onion, bell pepper strips and anchovy fillet directly from the can on the pizza base and bake.