Winter Storm Benji swept through this weekend, blanketing my world in a couple inches of snow. Snow is my favorite; the way it crunches under my feet, the way tree branches look when they’re coated with the stuff, snowflakes falling in three dimensions is one of the prettiest natural phenomena I’ve witnessed. Lucky for me, lights and inflatable lawn decorations have popped up all over before the snow fell; it’s the perfect accent to make such decorations look even more festive. Argilla hasn’t been left behind, with tinselly decorations and flavors of the month dripping with love and care.
This month, in the spirit of giving, one of the pizzas of the month is Mickey’s Mac & Cheese Pie. Created for Michaela “Mickey” Merrill, who was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome. A portion of the proceeds will be going to her benefit at savemickey.com. The pie itself is a red sauce base topped with mozzarella and house made mac & cheese. Sanfilippo Syndrome (which, admittedly, I had to look up) is a recessive hereditary disorder that causes cells to not break certain proteins down properly, leading to nervous degeneration that manifests within the first ten years of a child’s life. A worthy cause in its own right, but the pizza itself makes it worth the trip all on its own.
I was surprised when the pizza came out with red sauce (I didn’t get to read the description before ordering), not because I thought it shouldn’t be there, but because it was the first pizza set before me to come with red sauce. In general, I’m not much of a fan of red sauce; tomatoes and I have a rather complicated relationship. No monthly pizza has been built on a traditional base, a fact which didn’t occur to me until I bit into Mickey’s Mac & Cheese Pizza. The only pizza topped with macaroni and cheese I’d had before came from Cici’s, an all you can eat pizza buffet chain, and they made it with a white sauce base. Looking back, it may have just been spiral noodles on a cheese sauce base, which is rather disappointing. Mickey’s Mac is not boring at all, with cheese cooked onto the noodles—and into the red sauce. It was a surprising and glorious pie, one that tasted even better with the benefits to Mickey’s charity. Pizza, however, is only part of the story.
IPA’s are hit or miss for me. Hops are not my favorite flavor for a beer to sport (though I do like them), so I must limit my IPA intake in order to continue to enjoy them. Flue Lupulin is a Double IPA, bursting with citrus and hop flavors, and I found myself surprised when I finished it (I felt like the glass should have been deeper). Argilla has a habit of making excellent beers, and Flue Lupulin is no exception.
December is a time of chaos, with relatives to entertain and gifts to buy before it’s too late. It’s important, though, not to lose sight of the beauty of it all hidden by the rush: families brought together by nothing more than a particular time of year, a time of year originally dedicated to the spirit of giving. Argilla certainly hasn’t lost sight of that, and Mickey’s Mac & Cheese Pie is all the evidence I need.