Last week I was a little short on grocery money, so instead of buying the usual frozen Delissio Rising Crust Pizza from Southgate No Frills—it wasn’t on sale that week—I picked up a couple of McCain Rising Crust Pizzas instead, and by doing that I had enough to buy everything that was on my list. I went home and quickly put the groceries away before someone saw what I had purchased.
A few days later I was picking my son up from school. He got into the car and asked, “Mom, can I have a frozen pizza as soon as we get home? School was rough today, I’m starving.”
“Sure,” I said, driving out of the kiss-and-ride.
When we got home he went to his room to change and I went to the freezer to get the pizza. I quickly tore open the box and tossed the pizza into the oven, then tore up the cardboard box and threw it in the garbage. The directions indicated 20-22 minutes, so at 20 minutes I checked to see if it was done. The cheese didn’t seem to be quite done and the pizza wasn’t rising as much as I thought it would, so I let it bake another 5 minutes.
Those extra 5 minutes didn’t make much of a difference. The cheese seemed right, but the dough wasn’t quite as high as it should have been. I knew my son would notice, but I hoped he wouldn’t. I cut it up and brought it to him. “Where do you want it? Here on the desk?”
“Yah, thanks, mom,” he got up from his bed and his TV show and kissed me on the cheek. “I love you.”
Well let’s see how much you love me after you try this pizza, I thought to myself. “I love you, too, son.” I placed the pizza on the desk and left the room.
A few minutes later he yelled out to me, “Mom, can you come here, please.”
I chuckled—I knew the jig was up. I went to the room to see what he wanted.
He was sitting at the desk with a half-eaten piece of the pizza in his hand. “There’s something wrong with this pizza, it’s too doughy. And the cheese is funny.” He held it up for me to see.
“What do you mean, the cheese is funny?” I held back my urge to die laughing as best I could while examining the pizza.
“It’s just not right, and there’s not enough on here.” He looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face. He knew something wasn’t right, but wasn’t quite sure of himself.
“Oh, you’re being silly, there’s nothing wrong with that pizza, finish that piece and I’ll get dinner started.” I walked back out and went to the kitchen and giggled.
He came out a few minutes later with 2 out of 3 pieces eaten, “Sorry, Ma, but I can’t eat anymore.”
“It’s okay, have some juice. Dinner will be done in another hour or so.”
He got some juice and went back to his room to do his homework and watch his shows.
I opened the garbage and threw the leftovers out, feeling bad about having to fool him like that.
A few days later, Saturday, I decided to bake the other pizza—pepperoni. This time I baked it 30 minutes. I took it out of the oven and the pepperoni and cheese didn’t look right. My son was correct—the cheese did look “funny” and the pepperoni was unusually greasy. It did not look appetizing at all. I dished up a piece for my husband and myself and we sat down to eat. It was awful—doughy, greasy, and bland. We threw it in the garbage and had tossed salads instead.
“I can’t believe you gave that to our son,” my husband teased.
“I know, what a sin, I feel so bad right now.”
“Well, it just goes to show you that saving 2 bucks on a frozen pizza is not smart, especially when it goes in the garbage.” He laughed at my attempt to be frugal.
A week later, when I was once again baking frozen pizza—yes, it was Delissio—I told my son the truth. Oh, boy, did I get it!
“I knew it, I knew it wasn’t Delissio, I knew it! Trying to fool, me, huh? You can’t fool me, Ma, you can’t fool me! Trying to give me cheap pizza—what the heck!”
He went on teasing me about being cheap, and we laughed. I guess there are just some things you can’t be cheap with, and frozen pizza is one of them.