Monday, September 20, 2010
What better way to celebrate -- or mourn -- the last week of summer than to make a pizza in the clay oven that had not been used all season long. After some difficulty, I got a good fire going, had the last mojito of summer, then after about an hour, threw in one last piece of firewood and pronounced the oven ready for cooking.
This was so easy! What hadn't I used this thing more? Inside, Anne and I prepared two small pies: one with chorizo and leek, the other with fresh tomatoes and basil. Ten minutes later.... Maybe 15 minutes...Okay, 20 minutes (or more) later I brought both pies out to the oven.
The fire, which had been roaring when I'd last seen it, was nearly out. No matter, I should have enough residual heat. I slid the pie off the peel. No I didn't. I had taken so long to make the second pizza, the first one was by now glued to the peel. I somehow got it into the oven, if a little deformed. Odd... no sizzle. Surely the oven hadn't cooled that much. I put my hand in to test the temp. If you can't keep your hand in for a count of 3 the oven's ready -- I could have left in there all day. I threw in some more wood and huffed and puffed like mad, reviving the fire. Better....now the back of the pie was cooking, but the front was still raw. I tried to rotate it. Ever try to to rotate raw dough in an enclosed space?
Twenty minutes later the pie (which by now resembled a calzone that had been dropped on the ground) was cooked/burned/almost raw, depending on where you looked.