But then it doesn’t hurt to throw in a cake, or TWO.
And a bunch of friends…
Especially if they make you pizzas…
In an awesome wood fired oven.
Then there were laughters and a song, followed by a whole lot of hip-hip-hurh-ray and cake demolition.
Then just so the celebration can keep going for a whole week, more bread were churned out of Big Bill the clay oven. (Top are 25% buckwheat sourdough ciabatta, bottom are 25% coconut flour sourdough ciabatta.)
And when everyone’s happily dreaming with their satisfied bellies, pots of Italian cassoeula (top two) and Chinese herbal lamb shanks (bottom two) were slowly melting in Big Bill.
The cassoeula was made with the recipe from Manu’s Menu. I used pork hocks with skin on instead of ribs and rind, so I didn’t boil the rind first. I also didn’t use luganighe sausages, and just substituted with more verzini sausages, which I made following her recipe. The dish came out so good, and I love the melt-in-the-mouth rind with the hocks. Kiwi Bird wasn’t so fond of the rind, which is good for me because I can have his! It’s traditional to serve the dish on a bed of polenta, but I really love it over a bed of couscous.
The lamb shanks was cooked in a traditional combination of 4 different herbs (四物), as well as ginger and goji berries. I typically like to have it with flour vermicelli with some blanched greens. The dark coloured soup is very warming, and Kiwi Bird is also a big fan, much to my surprise when he tried it for the first time years ago.