Friday, November 20, 2009

Pizza Time!

So, Elvis the Duck has moved out of my brick oven. Thank you, Elvis! I had replaced her unfertile eggs with some fertilized chicken eggs, thinking that at least she could have some profit from her labor -- even though I couldn't imagine how she would react when some little "non-duckie" things started scurrying around under her. Great idea, but I forgot about our ferocious tom cats. Apparently, they just hovered outside the oven waiting for the slightest peep and then picked the babies off one by one. They thought it was their personal drive-in restaurant! I'll be more prepared next time.

When I realized what was happening, I ditched the last egg (I'm often not the sharpest knife in the drawer) and finally made it over to Maria's to pick up some friends for Elvis. Meet Mozart and Tina:

Now that my oven is empty, we decided that it is time to try it out. Long story short: it works great!!!! It took a couple of fires in it to really get the hang of how hot and how long, but I think we have a system down. We invited Ricardo and Cristina over for pizza the other day and the general opinion is that we need to eat a lot more pizza so that we can really perfect the recipe and the fire! :)

Here are some pics of my brick oven endeavor!

This is Micah. He and his family came down here as missionaries for about 3 weeks. That big paddle-looking thing is the tool he made for putting pizzas in and taking them out of the oven. Very cool.

Doug and Micah had fun playing with fire, er, I mean adjusting the cooking temperature so that we could get just the right amount of crispiness to the crust but still achieve done-ness on top. A couple of the first ones came out a little toasted around the edges, but there weren't any leftovers, so I would say that we achieved success!

The men had gotten the oven so hot that after all the guests had left and lunch was cleaned up and the guys had all headed out to baseball practice, it was still hot enough to cook in. Not one to waste an opportunity, I suggested to Emily, Micah's wife, that we try our hand at empanadas.

Empanadas are the Mexican version of a poptart. Very tasty and not incredibly healthy, but when they're cooked in a brick oven they have a special "smoky" taste that makes them absolutely irresistible.

You can check out my recipe for empanadas here. Emily and I had fun baking together. Turns out she loves to work in the kitchen as much as I do. I'd never met anyone else with my particular ailment -- at least not to the same degree. We had a great afternoon baking merrily and then had to eat the evidence! Well, we didn't eat all of them, just probably more than we should have!

So, the brick oven is a success, the pizza was a hit, the empanadas were fun and tasty and the fellowship was wonderful. I'm always sad when mission teams leave, but I'm really going to miss the fun "kitchen bonding" Emily and I had. Praying that you come back soon, Emily!!!


Micah said...

I am finally getting around to reading some of your blogging. That was a great day. Your empanadas were wonderful!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

That is so cool. My hubby's brother in law has a brick oven from the days when his mom(now dead) used to bake bread to sell to the village. We went there alot on Saturdays to bake our bread when we first came home two years ago.

I know exactly what you mean by the remaining heat being good enough to cook with. My hubby's sister would put in her Sunday lunch meat and peas or whatever baked dish in there after the bread finished baking. Sure saved her using her cooking gas to prepare the meal that day.