Despite tradition, not everyone wants a big bird on the table accompanied by mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and deviled eggs. Some opt for an alternative holiday meal.
"It's like Thanksgiving repeated itself," said Jerre Schott. "It's a lot of work and it's the exact same food but with different decor around the table."
When Schott's now-adult daughters were in high school, they started grumbling about the traditional Christmas meal. She said they just didn't want the same thing they had eaten the month before.
"I simply asked them what they thought a Christmas meal would be," Schott said. "Of course, they said pizza."
So pizza it was. The family gathered Christmas morning and began batching homemade dough, enough to feed an army. From there, family members began creating a variety of pizzas with the toppings they preferred.
"It ended up being one of the best get-togethers we'd ever had," Schott said. "And that's where the new tradition began. Since then, my daughters and I decide what crazy meal we'll be planning."
In the last decade, the Schott family has hosted a nacho bar, an Italian smorgasbord, a seafood night, a barbecue and burgers. The options are endless, but preparing the dinner as a family is the best part.
"I never thought I would enjoy something as simple as cooking an everyday meal but we do," Schott said. "And I wouldn't have it any other way."
Jerre's Simple Pizza Crust
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- Cornmeal for dusting the pans
Whisk water, yeast and sugar together in the bowl using a mixer with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and let rest for five minutes.
Add the olive oil, salt and flour. Beat on low speed for two minutes. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough with your fists for about three to four minutes.
Lightly grease the same bowl, add the dough ball and turn until it is coated with the oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. The dough ball should double in size.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Lightly grease pizza pans and sprinkle with cornmeal. Punch dough ball to get out any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and begin rolling out the dough on a floured surface. Place on your pan, add toppings and back for 12 to 15 minutes.