We’ve all been there before. Those days when you just do not want to prepare or cook a meal. Even the thought of putting a sandwich together seems daunting. Or you cannot think of what to eat, and you get to that point where you’ve kept putting it off because you were hoping an idea would just come to you or the refrigerator would open itself and make your dinner, and you are so hungry that you start shaking and getting light headed and sweaty…
After exhausting all other food options and optimizing full laziness today, we ordered a pizza to satisfy our hunger. One half margherita–a classic pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh tomato, and basil–and one half of my own favorite creation: olive oil based sauce, mozzarella, and pineapple. Lots and lots of pineapple!
My creation happened one cold winter evening, a day or so before the end of my first semester of college. My friends and I had trekked through the cold, cold night to get whatever we could eat for dinner at the dining hall. I had been eyeing a delicious pesto pizza on the menu for months, but whenever I actually had enough time to order a pizza, I wasn’t quite in the mood for that one. But on that night, when most of the other dining stations had already closed, I thought it was the perfect way to end the semester.
First, my pizza dough was smothered with a basil olive oil. Then, I found out they’d run out of pesto sauce, because it was nearly winter recess and they hadn’t been replenishing inventory. But I persisted! My pizza was piled with thick slices of fresh mozzarella (and some shredded mozz!) and slid along the counter. Sadly, the only tomatoes that remained were mixed with onions–and the only thing I hate more than onions are…onions. Anyway, my pizza was already dressed in sauce and cheese, so there was no turning back. But there were few toppings that would go along with it (that I’d actually eat) and I worried that it would be too boring without any… So, on a whim, I added pineapple. I was skeptical about whether it would taste any good, but I figured I couldn’t go horribly wrong with pineapple. Because if you don’t love pineapple and you don’t love pineapple on pizza, you are lying!
And you know what happened when that pizza came out of the pizza oven in all of its ooey-gooey cheesy glory? I burnt my mouth on the piping hot pineapple and melty mozzarella.
And it was still the best pizza. Of. My. Life.
Once I recovered from my injuries, I downed the whole pizza, periodically praising how delicious it was to my friends who nodded and rolled their eyes simultaneously. And then I think I talked about it for a week straight. Because, wow. (Have I convinced you to go out and get this pizza yet? Go! You can read the rest of this while you eat.)
The best thing about the pineapple mozzarella pizza though is that it was a total accident. I have had other triumphs too (like the time I made a kick-butt pasta sauce out of ketchup, barbecue sauce, and chocolate chips), and it serves as a reminder that good things can come from unexpected situations.
You cannot always predict what is going to happen–now, or in five minutes, or in a year. Sure, you can have a plan. You can prepare and obsess over the tiniest of details until the cows come home, and it still may not be enough. Instead, prepare for everything to go wrong. It’s not some genius advice I coined myself and you’ve definitely heard it before, but there is a reason why. It’s true. Prepare to be unprepared and to change everything. To take a completely different route or create an entirely different pizza. To be surprised. If you can handle the unexpected things with a level head and some confidence, you can handle anything.