“When Friends Visit from Afar,

isn’t it a happy time?!” — Confucius

First we played at Castle Hill.

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Then we fired up Big Bill for some awesome pizzas!

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It was a rather last minute decision, but I decided since we had to wait for pizza dough to rise even for indoor pizzas, we might as well fire the clay oven up! I started the fire around 6:30pm and started making batches and batches of dough.

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We started making pizzas around 8pm. Diego tried to steal some home made bacon while we prepared. (The bacon was my first attempt after an afternoon of learning how to preserve meat – more on that another time.)

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The bacon sure made very good pizza topping!

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To end the meal, we smeared some pizza dough with wild plum jam and topped it with strawberries, cream cheese, and dark chocolate with almonds.

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After dinner (around 10:30pm), I let the fire burn a little longer while I wait for the focaccia to prove. Around 11pm, I put the focaccia into Big Bill for 20 mins at ~250C.

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Then a batch of 3 different bread (5 loaves) baked at 220C for 40 mins.

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There were 2 x 600g loaves of rosemary, orange peel and sunflower seeds bread (20% wholemeal), and 2 x 600g loaves of fennel seeds and five spice 60% wholemeal bread, and a sweet loaf stuffed with wild plum jam, cream cheese, cashews, orange peels and raisins. We enjoyed all of these with our visiting friends for breakfast the next morning.

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And of course I stuffed Big Bill with some slow cooking at the end of the night (just after midnight as a matter of fact). There was a big pot of prune and balsamic lamb, onions and kumara – same seasoning as the last time I made it, and it turned out meltingly yummy as I remembered! I also did a pot of potato and kumara rosti. Instead of breadcrumb, I used polenta in the rosti. I didn’t put quite enough polenta to make a perfectly “solid” rosti, but the result actually ended up being really creamy and nice – I shall experiment again.

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