Balmy Autumn Pizza Night

The evening before Kiwi Big Brother and his lovely wife flew out across the ocean, we grabbed the chance and fired up Big Bill the clay oven and ‘played pizzas’ again. It was a very warm and balmy night, making it all the more pleasant to be enjoying pizzas and hanging out in the back garden with Big Bill.

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Big Brother got really good at shoving pizzas in and out of Big Bill, and down the mouth. Somehow that did not seem to have any impact on how much he talked 😉

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Diego the puss in boots watched the pizzas with very hopeful gaze, despite the vegetarian selection for the night. Continue reading

Big Brother Meets Big Bill

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Big Kiwi Brother and his lovely wife are visiting us 🙂 They live across the wide wide ocean from us, and come visit about every other year. The previous time they visited, our intended pizza party became an indoor affair because the weather didn’t cooperate. The time before that, the Christchurch earthquake had just been, and there was a total fire ban. This time, they finally got to make their own pizzas and cooked them in Big Bill the clay oven themselves!

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Big Brother’s first pizza sadly turned into a sticky cheesy mess, and got mostly sacrificed to the pizza god. His second pizza however came out perfectly and he was very happy to have redeemed himself!

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It was great having our uncle and cousins also joining us on this sunny day. It’s just wonderful to have everyone together! Continue reading

Big Bill Pizza Time for Ma and Pa

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When Mom and Dad were staying with me over Chinese New Year, we fired up Big Bill the clay oven and had many long-time Taiwanese family friends over. The weather wasn’t the most cooperative, but we got a chance to set up the new gazebo in the back garden. Thankfully the on-and-off drizzle never amounted to much, and everyone got really into the whole pizza making business.

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Little Riley had a good time with Diego, and Diego was also very happy to keep by Riley’s side – kids are his best bets at getting food from, both intentionally and unintentionally by dropping food onto the ground 😉

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After the party retired into the house after dark, I started baking all the bread I prepared. Most of them were sourdough loaves I started in the morning. Continue reading

Epic Pizza Time

It’s been very hot and dry ever since Christmas. Thankfully the urban fire ban does not include pizza ovens, so we could still have awesome Big Bill pizzas.

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Jenny took this little clip of the fire dancing in Big Bill – isn’t it cool?

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We had quite a few friends turning up on this hot and sunny day.

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We started off making a classy smoked salmon pizzas with dill and red onions. Continue reading

Thunderstorm Baking

Saturday was gorgeously sunny and hot, but with an afternoon forecast of thunderstorm, I thought it may not be the best idea to invite friends around for an outdoor wood-fired pizza evening. That didn’t stop me firing up Big Bill the clay oven though. I mixed up some sourdough in the morning, and Big Bill bread is just that much nicer than electric oven bread.

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I fired the oven up around 4pm. While Big Bill was getting hot, I made some pizza and focaccia dough, as well as shaped the sourdough loaves. Just when I made a giant pizza for Kiwi Bird and I for dinner around 6pm, rain started promptly.

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It wasn’t too much of a bother running in and out from the kitchen to relay bakings from Big Bill. The yummy wood-fried pizza was definitely worth it! (The rain never actually got very heavy.)

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Then 2 trays of fluffy focaccia baked for 20 mins at over 250C. Half of one also disappeared into our bellies promptly. Continue reading