Local column: An accidental Christmas concoction

An accidental teenage hunger frenzy Christmas concoction will be on my mind every year, writes Ken Moeller.

Teenage boys and food. They just go together. They are synonymous in my opinion. The unending quest for nourishment resembles an Indiana Jones in search of something movie. I need food, and I don’t care who knows it.

Let’s next consider adding in the cornucopia of goodies that is the Christmas season. Turkeys and hams, potatoes and yams (that sounds a little like Dr. Seuss). Fudge, divinity, candy canes; the list goes on and on.

My point of all of this is to ask: What happens when it is still Christmas break (1981), and the goodies run out? Is necessity really the mother of invention? You be the judge.

The teenage boys in question were me, age 17, and my brother Greg, age 18. He was home from BYU, and I was halfway through my senior year of high school. The end of December brought us a late night movie, and no more Christmas goodies. We went digging in the fridge and freezer, trying to stem our hunger pains.

We came up with a true gem, an epicurean delight that would help us survive until morning. Yes, we found a frozen pizza! This would surely satisfy our ravenous appetites. Upon further inspection of the refrigerator, we found an added bonus: a huge block of jack cheese. Our expedition had reached paydirt, maybe even nirvana.

We grated cheese until we had an Everest-like mound on the pizza, then slid it into properly pre-heated oven. Our rejuvenating snack was just 12-14 minutes away {plus cooling time}.

Interestingly enough, when we removed the pizza, something rather odd had occurred: the cheese was gone. What had happened? Where was our dairy delight? What had gone wrong? Friends, you may not believe me when I tell you. Two reasonably intelligent young men had made a mistake for the ages.

We discovered that our glorious block of cheese was in fact…..butter! Yes, that’s right. Butter Pizza! Our own invention. Real butter isn’t cheap, but my mom, after initial disgust with us, saw the humor in it. The butter has just soaked right into our pizza crust.

Being practical fellows with still unsatisfied appetites, we did the only thing you would expect two hungry guys to do. The only thing that would leave us with a little self-respect, securing our status as food fanatics. We ate the butter pizza. It wasn’t bad, a little greasy maybe, but ultimately quite consumable.

My brother and I still laugh about that, 36 years later and hopefully a little wiser. Every December, as the end of the year approaches, I briefly consider remaking our accidental morsel. I guess I haven’t wanted to be quite that nostalgic yet. Maybe next year.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all of you out there. I hope 2018 is the year when all of your wildest dreams come true, with or without dairy products.


Moeller lives in Idaho Falls with his wife and three sons. He has taught and coached at Rocky Mountain Middle School since 1990.


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