Before Moses Was, Pie Am
People always ask me, “Ruth-Melissa, how did you come to operate the largest chain of Christian-themed pizza-pie parlors in the continental United States?” And I mean always! My neighbors ask me, my friends ask me, my less successful relatives ask me, and you’d better believe that paid undercover operatives of the Virgin Marinara chain ask me! Well, I never tell them, but guess what, dear readers? I’m going to tell you! This book is gift, so that you can experience in your homes the sanctity — and success — that I have enjoyed. Though not, obviously, to the same degree.
First of all, I want to clear up one frequently asked question, or “FAQ”, as my son the computer hacker calls it! (Just kidding. He’s not really a hacker, as he would never do anything illegal, and he doesn’t actually say “FAQ” out loud because of its similarity to a well-known obscenity.) Yes, I call them “pizza-pies” and not “pizzas”, and yes, if you want to make ’em like I make ’em, you need to call them that too. Why? For a number of reasons. It might seem old-fashioned, but I think some traditions are worth holding onto, like helping old ladies across the street, taking off your hat indoors or in the presence of an American flag, and belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know some so-called Americans like to worship johnny-come-lately religions and eat johnny-come-lately cuisines, but for me, the original is still the best! Second, calling your dish a pizza-pie helps distinguish it from other pizza-oriented cuisines that have come on the market in recent years. If you don’t call it by its full name, how will people know whether you’re going to serve them a pizza-pie, a pizza-pocket, a pizza-bagel, a pizza-chip, a pizza-roll or even a pizza-salad? And, beyond that, my restaurants employ a lot of non-English speakers to do the more labor-intensive, lightly compensated jobs, and if I just said “pizza” without explaining it, they’d probably serve our customers the pizza oven, the little savages! Finally, “Ruth-Melissa’s Good News Pizza-Pie (TM)” is a registered trademark, and every variation on its basic recipe must be properly named and credited to avoid costly litigation.
Next, yes, the rumors are true: there’s a little bit of good news (or “gospel” in Old English, the language of the Bible) in every Ruth-Melissa’s Good News Pizza-Pie! By which I mean, there is a finely shredded and powdered verse of Holy Scripture in every slice you eat at any one of the 136 Ruth-Melissa’s Holy Trinity Pizza-pie-arrias. (Side note: it properly spelled “Pizza-pie-arria”, not, “Pizza Pyorrhea”. Although some people have gotten the latter at our restaurants, it’s not a regular menu item, and can usually be taken care of with the help of a good dentist and better personal hygeine on the part of the consumer. All further inquiries involving this matter should be referred to our corporate legal department.) Now, here in my giant test kitchens, we use industrial-strength milling equipment, jumbo rendering vats and high-speed microconverters to turn the words of our beautiful Messiah into a microfine paste. That’s obviously beyond the reach of most homemakers, who haven’t been blessed by God with my keen business acumen. But you’ll find that a bowl of milk, a mortar and pestle, and a simple pasta-maker can give you very similar results at a fraction of the cost, with 100% of the spiritual power of Jesus intact! Some people may think eating paper is strange, but I say: it’s high in fiber and good for the body and soul! Some people may think it’s blasphemous — you can’t eat the word of God! — but I say: if Jesus let us eat his body and drink his blood (see Chapter IX, “Secrets of Ruth-Melissa’s ‘Meat Freaks Deluxe’ Pizza-Pie”), then I don’t think he’d have a problem with us taking a big, cheese-and-tomatoey bite of his father’s holy book; and besides, it gives you your full recommended daily allowance of salvation in one heavenly slice! And while my critics contend that the practice of putting torn-up Bibles in a commercial food product is deceptive, unsanitary and against several major Food & Drug Administration regulations, I say: that’s a matter for Our Father in Heaven, and, of course, Our Father in Heaven’s attorneys.
Now, let’s get straight to the kitchen and get cookin’ with Ruth-Melissa (and, of course, Jesus)! The first recipe we’ll tackle is Ruth-Melissa’s Pepperoni-Begotten-Son Pizza-Pie, the dish that made me the most famous, respected and important member of the Hennigan family. (My older brother might disagree with that assesment, but let me ask you this: how many times in your life are you going to need a cure for childhood-onset leukemia, vs. the number of times in your life you’re going to want to eat a delicious and affordable pizza-pie meal?). The first thing you’ll need are two dozen Roma tomatoes, two pounds of fresh Mozzarella cheese, some unleavened bread, a fatted calf, three different Good News Bibles, a bottle of extra-extra-virgin olive oil imported from the Holy Land, and a small golden replica of the Ark of the Covenant (or, in a pinch, a pinch of powdered True Cross). Ready? Then let’s begin.