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Published on November 9, 2021

Christmas fair an excuse to indulge in heavenly pizza

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

Fort Bend County was holding a “Home for the Holidays” Christmas fair.

We felt this may appease some of the missed memories of 2020 and fill our day. Although I did have an ulterior motive. Several weeks prior we had another brilliant idea to fill our day with antique shopping in Rosenberg.

It was then that we happened upon a newly opened shop where the pizza was so amazing that I’ve lamented (not quite Old Testament Lamentations) what was an acceptable time before suggesting another trip. It has come.

We dressed and headed to the fair in Rosenberg. We walked the three buildings at the fairgrounds and met vendors offering their amazing creative talents - for which I may add, I have none.

Then my apprehension began to mount that the pizza memory may be one that bought stock in the “my fish was this big” exchange.

We headed downtown to Edible Candy Bites Sweets & Eats on 3rd Street, and once again, we were transported to a different time and place. The antique building has 16-ft wooden ceilings, brick walls and a full glass front straight out of downtown New York.

We were greeted by one of the owners who looked as if he just stepped off "Duck Dynasty," minus the camo and bandana. I’m quite certain he smiles a lot because his eyes sparkle.

I was there for the pizza with the distinctive smell softly billowing from the open kitchen and propelling me toward the vintage brass cash register to place my order and finding an open table.

The crowd thinned out, and both owners, Sean and AnnaMaria Paty, accepted our invitation to join us. We learned they are recent Texans who had been corporate executives in Florida and lost their positions due to Covid.

My obvious question was, what led them to Texas?

They said an unexpected door opened from a business they had helped launch in Florida that had entered the Texas market and wanted their expertise here. They packed up their belongings, two sons and came over.

Our conversation trended toward the beginnings of the Edible Candy Bites Sweets & Eats. They shared their rich Italian heritage, his from Florida and hers from New York, and their son’s Crohn’s diagnosis that propelled them into the development of a CBD product.

AnnaMaria is clearly the Willy Wonka at Edible Candy Bites Sweets & Eats, and Sean is the expert in customer service. I was curious how they had captured the unusual crisp and chewy pizza crust. AnnaMaria said the humidity in this area was a factor in getting the crust exactly right. Once they had that down, it still takes a laborious two-day process to prepare the crust and the pizza sauce. The pizza comes by the slice or whole, and both are freshly prepared when ordered.

Pizza is just one of the offerings on the menu. The subs and desserts are amazing. One of the desserts, I won’t venture a pronunciation, Sfogliatelle, is made with layers of pastry and filled with a semolina and ricotta filling. My husband’s favorite is the brownie, which we learned is an exclusive recipe of their culinary trained son.

As we were leaving, we were pleased to meet their other son, an associate youth pastor. We were not in the least surprised to discover they had birthed two sons who nourish others - one the body and the other the soul.

AnnaMaria’s Great Aunt’s Almond Biscotti recipe.

Ingredients

1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Soft Unsalted Butter
3 Cups Whole Almonds
2 Beaten Eggs
Zest of 1 Small Lemon
1 Beaten Egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon Water, for egg wash

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine: brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, butter, and almonds in a large mixing bowl. On low speed, add beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix just until dough is incorporated.

Put dough on a floured surface. Cut in half. Roll each piece into a medium size log. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten each log slightly with your palm of the hand. Lightly brush the top of each log with egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove from the oven. Cut dough diagonally into biscotti. For harder biscotti, return to a 300-degree F oven until sufficiently dry. (About 15 minutes should do the trick).

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)