Browsing Posts published in September, 2011

Just a perfect day… 29/09/11

Lou Reed had it dead right today, for it really was the ‘Perfect Day’.

Overnight, we’d heard some great news about our bees -they’re staying!  Well, the two hives we currently have will be leaving us at some point, but in April or May next year, we’ll have five hives of our own!  Anna at Groundwork Sheffield has certainly pulled a rabbit out of a hat and secured funding for another year, along with lots of training for those of us -and others- who want it, then at the end, we get to keep our hives along with all the equipment.  Huge, big thanks to she and her team for all their hard work!Sand on the top layer.

When I arrived yesterday, I was greeted by this in our former ‘Zen Area’.

Jon & Matt had pulled out all the stops, and as you can see, this is now ready for the bricks to go on with some natural stone ‘coping’ round the outside.

Now as I hinted at last post, the bricks have been causing us somewhat of a ‘challenge’ (…We don’t use the ‘P’ -‘Problem’ word at LEAF…).  We’ve been talking back and forth over whether we should use firebricks or not.  There are quite powerful arguments both for and against using them, but probably what has tipped us is that firebricks not only come in all kinds of fancy shapes, sizes and colours, but they also come with different temperature ratings, then there’s the amount of heat they’ll either store or deflect.  A minefield of choices, so in the end, we’ve decided to use standard bricks, and if some of them crack, well, we’ll have to replace the clay dome and change bricks.

We think we should get away with it, but if we don’t, well, I’ll let you know, Dear Reader!Test laying the bricks.

Now, as I arrived yesterday morning, Matt & Jon had laid these bricks out ‘on their backs’ with the holes showing through, but after we turned them over, we started to get an idea as to how it will all look and go together before we put the clay dome on.

According to the manuals and on-line guides, laying these bricks is a very careful and delicate job.  They have to be laid exactly next to each other -with no sand in between at the bottom so there’s no air gap between them.  This aids heat transference and also prevents ‘hot spots’, so your pizzas or bread cook evenly.The spirit level.

Here you can see that our bricks are absolutely dead level and flat.  You’ll also see that Diane remembered the bubble that got broken the last time we used it.  She’s still waiting for the long stands, but we can live in hope.

And so, I arrived a little late this morning, but was soon to be a guide for a group of architectural students from the University who will be doing a project with us in the coming weeks to design (…and hopefully help us build!..) a more environmentally friendly and cheaper toilet.  While our current ‘loo-facilities’ are okay up to a point, the portaloo is completely environmentally unfriendly, its way too small, and more importantly, it costs us a small fortune to keep.  By having a compost toilet, it’ll be massively cheaper, environmentally very friendly, and it will be much larger, which will certainly please our disabled or elderly visitors and volunteers.

Whilst they were on another part of our site seeing where we think the toilet should go, New David and myself tied up the tomatillos that had grown by accident in the bed of corn.  Some of the fruits are getting quite large, but they’ll need a few more days of ripening yet before they’re ready for picking and making into pickles and chutneys.

The pears are ready.Here we have a couple of the LEAF pears!  This is just before I picked the one on the right and ate it.  Delicious!

So, what else did we all do today?

Errr…

Nothing.

I think Fran and Fresh X Nick did a little weeding down on the Demonstration Plot, but apart from that, well, we just sat and drank tea in the shade and talked.  And talked.

We planned to get more ‘gobbo’ to finish off the pizza oven base tomorrow.

We also planned that after Matt, Jon & myself finish off that base, we’re going to have a barbeque to celebrate!

I have some disposable one-use barbeques buried in the bottom of a large cupboard that I’ll have to dig out in the morning, so we can use one of those, and we’ll all take meat and veggies and stuff to put on it, so we should be set for a feast.

The weather’s set to be stunning, and it is a Friday, after all.

What?  Of course you’re invited!  Just tip up for ten in the morning and give us a hand with the last of the brick-laying, and we’ll eat at one!

Guaranteed fun, and guaranteed more Plot Tea than you can drink.

Well, at first glance it may look like that, but its really not.Base for the pizza oven.

Because we never dug through the concrete beneath it, its very shallow.

Unfortunately nothing like deep enough to throw a Plot Kid down and make a wish.

So I popped down to The Plots briefly this afternoon to see how everything was progressing, and as you can see, its going very well.

All we need now is another good layer of broken stones inside the top, a layer of cement on that then a layer of sand to carefully sit the fire bricks on.

Now, we’ve had some slight difficulties with these firebricks.  Other ovens have them made with standard house bricks, but we figure that ours is going to get very hot very quickly -we can’t wait three hours for it to heat up!  Yes, we probably could get away with standard ones, but we figure we’ve saved so much money on the build thanks to our friends at VINCI Construction and their gifts of sand and cement, we’d order the proper high-temperature bricks in specially.  So, they should arrive before the weekend (…hopefully!..), and that will give the ‘Top Table Fire Boys’ enough time to get everything built so that next week, we can start ‘puddling’ the clay and sand.  We then have to fashion a dome to the exact shape of the inner of the oven, then cover it with a layer of clay.Inside with the rubble.

Then the fun really starts as we have to cut out a small chimney and an entrance way.

Anyway, there’ll be many more pictures along the way and you’ll see exactly how its done.

Checking the BBC weather website tonight shows hardly a cloud in the sky for the rest of the week, with temperatures as they should have been in July and August.

Perfect weather for finishing a clay oven?

More very soon…

Stone by stone. 25/09/11

Friday, for ‘The Boys’ at least was a whole heap of fun.Matt makes the first mix.

We started building our pizza oven!

Here you can see Matt making the first of many mixes, and if you look carefully, you’ll see the circle we drew out in chalk behind him.  After much consultation and discussion, we decided to mark it here.  This gives us a ‘clear field of fire’ all round the oven, yet leaves space for a couple of seats where Matt has the mixing tray.  This will mean that as I mentioned previously, it will be a nice area to sit and relax, letting our pizzas gently settle after a hard day’s work, and the heat from the cooling oven will keep us warm should it turn chilly.The first stone is laid!

And here, Matt has laid the first stone!  No fancy ceremonies, no marching bands playing rousing marches, no fancy trowel to lay it with just; ‘Splat!’

We have worried recently over whether we have enough stone scattered about our site to actually build this thing, but Matt, Jon, Ian (no relation) and many others have been round with wheelbarrows, and its been amazing to see just how much stone there actually was just lying around under hedge-bottoms and round the back of things.

Gary has been a great help in this also, as he brought a load of suitable stones round from his plot next door that he wasn’t using, and we reckon we’ll easily have enough to finish the oven off, and there may even be enough to build some suitably ‘rustic’ seat bases for round the oven when its all done.Going UP!

Matt didn’t hang about laying the bottom layer, and here you can see as he’s starting on the second.

Building like this -as I found a few months ago making the wall for the ‘Zen Area’ behind- is completely different to building with standard (…and boring!..) bricks.  You have all your stone scattered around you, and you have to almost have a photographic memory to remember which stone you have that will fit in which gap.  It being in three dimensions rather than two adds an element of fun to the proceedings.  Also, with dry-stone walling, you can take as much time as you like -nothing’s going anywhere, but with this style of construction, you have the added ‘spice’ to the proceedings in that once you’ve made your ‘Gobbo’, you only have a limited time to get it together before it starts to go off and harden.

Its certainly a challenge, but Matt and Jon have risen to it masterfully.

Yesterday, while Jon and Matt carried on with the oven, I helped New David repair his new bike.

He’d had an unfortunate accident on it the other day and had come off it.  As he did so, he’d dropped it (…as you often have to do…), and the rear disc brake had taken a knock.  This had bent it meaning the brake was permanently ‘on’.

I’d never worked on bike disc brakes before, but we managed to figure it all out, and with a little ‘TLC’, we managed to get it back as good as new.

Honorary Vice-Chair Mitzi was busy herself too!Mitzi with her lunch.

Despite the fact that I’d obviously fed her first thing (…well, you have to, don’t you!..), she went out and caught lunch for herself.

And talking of lunch, what a feast we had courtesy of the two Ian’s!

Ian (no relation) had brought a load of Tiger Bread (…we love this stuff!..) along with some beautiful paté and a dish made with semolina, ham and Plot beans.  New Ian had brought a home-made vegetable curry that we all thoroughly enjoyed.  Marvellous repast!

After lunch (…we could barely move we were so full…), Ian (no relation) and myself went to our store of clay we’d dug out when putting in the area down the top side of the greenhouse.  We’ve been planning to build a clay oven for ages, so we’d kept almost a builders bag full of the stuff ready for the occasion.

In the end, we moved twelve bucket-loads into a newly-cleaned bath Diane and Ian had set up near to the oven.  We need to mix a load of sand in with this, then we need to ‘puddle’ it to mix it all in thoroughly.The walls are growing!

I had to leave quite early, but before I left, I took the photo here on the right.

Now, Diane has organised a ‘Sunday Brunch’ fry-up this morning, and I can’t go, but I’m sure this afternoon, it will grow and grow.

Next time I’m down, I’ll be sure to get more photos and post them here as soon as I’m able.

Gobbo to go. 22/09/11

This morning I arrived a little late, but just in time for a quick pre-work cup of tea.

After a brief chat with all the guys and gals who’d tipped up, it was straight to work on the first compost bin to the left at the top most Plot.

Yesterday afternoon/evening, Diane and others had emptied it into the second bin, but the front was rotting and falling apart.  Luckily, Gary came to the rescue with a pallet, so we set to work making it fit.

Now, the thing about compost bins is that they soon fill up, and in doing so, unless you plan it properly, the fuller it gets, the more work you have to do.New openings for the left most compost bin.

So, at Diane’s suggestion, we took the new pallet Gary had given us, and cut it in half to make a ‘stable door’ type affair so you could open the top half, and still leave the bottom closed.  You can see it to the right here.

Because I’d cut it right above one of the horizontal slats, it meant that the part we had left was wobbly, so we simply re-used the best piece of wood from the old door along the bottom to strengthen the vertical slats, mounted it -with the ‘proper’ wire string that we can always undo.

Done!You can see the final effort here.

By doing it this way, it means as we empty it into the next bin next year, we’ll simply undo the top ‘gate’ to be able to get at the half-done soon-to-be-compost, then when we’re about half way down it, we can open the bottom gate to be able to get in with our shovels.

Easy!

It was soon lunchtime, and Ian (no relation) had brought some superb food his father had made.  Pork pies, tomato bread and some black pudding bread.  We all tried some (… -it soon went!..), and all agreed that they were much nicer than shop-bought ones.

The afternoon was spent harvesting (…anyone want any French or runner beans?!..) and watering.  Yes, we’ve had a little rain of late, but when I dug down just a little way, the soil was a dry as a bone.

Minipop sweetcorn.Diane had harvested some of the mini-pop sweetcorn you can see here.  Mini-pops are the type you often find in Chinese food -they’re cooked whole, but eaten raw, they are just as good.  Simply take the wrapper off, and you’re away.  Delicious!

Now, you’ve read the title of this piece, and you’re no doubt wondering what I’m on about.

Well, the main event was about to happen in the late afternoon as Diane got a call from the contractors who are building a local school.  She’d been in touch last week, and cheekily suggested they ‘sponsor’ us for the building materials for our new pizza and bread oven.

Well, two guys came down in a car to check out our lane and see if it was wide enough for one of their diggers (…it was!..), then she received a call a few minutes later, and sure enough, a whopping great yellow front tipper truck came crashing up the drive with a load of sand and several bags of cement.  The driver was at pains to say that if we wanted any more, just to give them a call.

We like builders like these!

I’ll be sure to get all their details and post them here -well, its the least we can do to give them a ‘plug’ after their generosity!

SOOOooo, tomorrow looks like I have to finish up here by lunchtime -Friday is a washing day.  Alfie loves it as Daddy tries to get the duvet cover off with him still playing on it!

I’ll be sure to charge my new camera tonight and I’ll get plenty of shots of us having Great Fun laying the stones for the base of our new pizza oven.

I know, I know…  ‘Boys’ getting to play with sand and cement, then in a few days using what they’ve built to make fire.  Hooray!

Awww.  C’mon!  ‘Allotmenteering’ isn’t all about weeding.

Maybe Geodesic Domes could be the new ‘pyramids’, because they’re springing up all over!

Geo DomeI was working late last night, when my computer went ‘ping’.  Now, if you know anything about computers, a ‘ping’ is okay.  When it goes’ BLAAAAArtTTTT!!!’, well, then you know you’re in trouble.

But this was a nice ‘ping’, so I checked my email, and sure enough, I’d received a message from Kyle -one of our Junior Plotters, and attached was the photo you can see here to your right.

His dad, Matt, (…one of the ‘Top Table Fire Boys’…) had come home from The Plots and decided to make a mini Geo Dome for himself.

Isn’t it beautiful!

If you click on the image it will enlarge to show how he made it, and I think it was using lollie sticks held together at the ends with tiny pieces of masking tape.  How he got all the angles right, I’ll never know, but I’ll ask him when I see him tomorrow or Wednesday.

I wonder just how small we could make one?

Hmmm…  Where’s that box of matches..?

Will it, or won’t it? 17/09/11

That was the big question today as grey and heavy-looking clouds threatened to ‘rain on our parade’ throughout the day.

So we put a couple of gazebos, and carried on regardless.

In the end, there were only spits and spots, but you can bet that hadn’t we put them up, it would’ve hissed it down!Too much like hard work...

Almost as soon as we’d arrived this morning (New Ian was first!), little Mitzi made an appearance, and here she is catching some late summer rays.  Of course, this was after I’d fed her!

So this morning myself, New David and Ian (no relation) emptied and turned one of the compost bins up on the top plot.  This is something you should do with compost, but until this year, we’ve never had the time -or volunteers- to be able to do it.

As we were forking it over before moving it into the bin next to it, we noticed that the ‘soon-to-be-compost’ was still quite moist, which was surprising as these bins are right in the rain shadow of the trees up by the road.

As we were working, more and more people started to show up, including LEAF’s newest and youngest member (4 weeks and two days old!), Thomas who had come with his mum and dad and big brother Adam for an afternoon of fresh air and friends.

At lunch, New Ian had cooked some marvelous pasta and made some really tasty chili tomato sauce on two of his home-made cooking pots.  These pots have integral burners, and are really easy to make, with a little care.  If he brings them again, I’ll get some photos to demonstrate!

After such an excellent lunch, we were far too full to dig and move compost, so Ian and New David spent a very enjoyable afternoon picking while I carried on watering all of our beans.Beans & Peas

Yes, I know you’re thinking that we’ve had so much rain recently, but we really haven’t!  Go out into your garden after a rain storm, and if you dig any deeper than an inch or so, and you’ll find the soil is almost bone dry!  Anyway, you can never really over-water beans and legumes -after all they are mostly water!

Here you can see just some of the produce they picked -the dwarf purple and yellow French beans with just about the last of the peas towards the centre of this photo.

I’ll be going shopping tomorrow for some proper meat -not the kind all wrapped in plastic, and as quite a large portion of these purple and yellow beans are now sat in my ‘fridge, they’ll go well with it.

Also in the afternoon was an impromptu meeting of the ‘Top Table Fire Boys’. -New Ian, Matt, Jon and myself.  We planned out the next few days’ work and what will be involved in constructing the new pizza oven we’re all so fired up about.  (…Pun intended!..)  I don’t want to ‘hex’ our efforts, but we think we can get a superb example (…thanks to Matt & New Ian for the designs!) ready in loads of time for Allotment Soup in five weeks time.Full!

I left soon after five to come back here to do this but when Diane came round later for a wind-down cup of tea and chat, she remarked that Matt had brought a couple of home grown fruit crumbles, and everybody went home well fed afterwards.

Of course, she fed Mitzi again!

And before you start writing in complaining; in that last photo, she’s not dead!

She’s just ‘letting her food settle’, totally relaxed and content with ‘her’ Allotmenteers around her.

More soon.

 

 

 

Marvellous mock-ups. 16/09/11

I called down The Plots quite late this afternoon to see Diane about something, and on my arrival was met by Matt and Jon, both grinning from ear to ear!

They’d been busy.  Very busy!Dry stone pizza oven base.

I dropped off the milk Diane had asked me to bring, and was eagerly ushered round to the Zen Area, where I was greeted by this.

NO! Its not a wishing well!  Anyway, its not deep enough to throw down a Plot Kid and make a wish.  They’d be able to climb straight out.

No, this is a ‘mock-up’ of our new pizza oven!

Through extensive consultation amongst fellow Plotters, we’ve decided to put it here in the Zen Area.  We’ve done this for several reasons.

Firstly, this is just the about the only piece of land we have that has a concrete hard standing base.  Pizza ovens -especially ours- are very heavy, and had we put in anywhere else, it would have needed some pretty substantial foundations to stop it sinking or even worse, falling over.

We were going to put it just across the path from here where the old gooseberry bushes currently reside, but the ground around there is full of bindweed.  Taking all that out and moving the bushes then making sure the base was firm enough would have taken far too long -we have to get it up and operational before Allotment soup which is only a few weeks away.

Secondly, this is very near the kitchen area, meaning when the thing is lit and hot and in ‘full flow’, as we found at SAGE Greenfingers, you don’t half have to make pizzas quickly!  As we found the other week, the average cooking time is just 90 seconds!

Thirdly, it’ll be nice and ‘out of the way’ behind the bushes in front of the sink -not immediately visible from the road.  Okay, thieves would have to be pretty determined to steal a two-tonne stone pizza oven, but there is always scope for vandalism.  This way, we figure out of site: out of mind.

And lastly, because there’ll still be quite an area for sitting around it, it’ll be nice to be able to sit, chat and of course drink tea around it after a hard day’s Plotting and enjoy its warmth as it cools down, rather than having to go to the trouble of lighting a ‘proper’ fire.

So, its been decided!

Over the next few days (…Eeeek!..), we’ll be building the base -this time with proper ‘gobbo’ (…A builders’ technical term, obviously…), tying it all together with some steel reinforcing grilling and making sure the top of our base is dead level and flat.

Yes, I’m afraid we’re going to have to get out our little-used friend Cousin Spirit Level, though we’ve told Diane we need a new bubble for it.  The last one unfortunately got broken, so she’s been dispatched to Wickes for a new one first thing Monday morning.  Oh, and she needs to get a long stand, too.

Watch this space in the coming days for news and photos as our latest Plot Creation takes shape.

 

Now as I keep saying; here at LEAF, we’re like the swan.  All graceful and flowing and gliding on top, but underneath, there’s a Big Lot Happening.

Some months ago, we were approached by an organisation who give money and assistance to groups to promote family unity.  To try to ‘engage’ families and parents with their children through activities that all generations can do together collectively.The dome under construction.

The idea is that we should run some workshops in local schools that children and parents will be invited, then invite them all down to our Plots for two days to do something as a collective whole.

So, its been decided that we would build a Geodesic Dome down here on your Plots on our Children’s Plot a little way back from the fire.

After much fun and friendly discussion, we decided that we’d build a mock-up using…  You guessed it.  Kebab skewers and marshmallows!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there for the fun, but Diane very kindly took photos and here they are!The dome under construction.

In the first photo up there to the right, you can see the first layer laid out flat with the twenty marshmallows as ‘joining points’, and down to the left here you can see as the second horizontal layer of kebab skewers are firmly pushed into place, starting the structure’s three dimensional efforts.

Now, at this point there was some ‘fun’ as Gary decided that he’d like a couple of marshmallows, despite being told the packet was two years out of date!

After various wrists had been slapped (…in the nicest way possible, of course!..), construction continued, and here to the rifght you can see as the top is starting to take shape.Building the geodome.

We think that out in the schools with parents and their children involved, this is going to be great fun!  Okay, experience with Gary shows that we’ll need extra packets of marshmallows (…this time, well in date!..), but it should be a great experience!

Just about done!To the left here, you can see as its just about finished.

Apparently, this took a little over an hour and a half, but now we know how its done, we think we can show parents and their kids in a shorter time.

Five-Star jointing.And finally, a shot of these marvelous marshmallow joints.

We plan to make these three trips into different local schools in a few weeks time, then invite all of them over to our Plots for a couple of days of outdoor fun building the real thing.

This is where it gets really fun!

This time, instead of the edible marshmallows, we’ll be using broom handles specially bought in for the job.

The joining marshmallows will be replaced by circles cut out of yellow mains gas pipe we had donated to us some time ago, and these are being cut to length and the appropriate holes drilled by one of these schools we’ll be visiting.

Be sure to watch out for all the photos as we build that!

I’ll let you have more of the details as they’re firmed up, Dear Reader.

In the meantime, all the day’s shots are available via Flickr here. Enjoy!

Wow!Meet Mr Frog.

Well, after a day like today, that’s all I really can say.

Like a ‘normal’ Saturday, it all started off kind of slow and easy with just Diane, Ian and myself over a cup of tea, then I went to do a load of watering, and people just turned up.  Then more people arrived.  Then more people.

By the time I left tonight it was heaving, with folks everywhere!

Anyway, this chap on the right here is Mr Frog who turned up as David and Andy were clearing behind the gooseberry bushes ready for autumn.  Diane came down to the fire area with him on her arm, excitedly showing him to me, and he was pretty cool about having his photo taken, don’t you think?

Wasps nest.The ‘flying things’, came in the shape of this:  The biggest wasps nest I’ve ever seen!

It is down on another plot (…thankfully!..), and Matt came up to excitedly tell me about it, and ask if I wanted to see it.

Errrr…  That was a cautious ‘yes’, but luckily, the new camera has a rather fine zoom facility on it, so even though it looks like I’m right up by the nest, I was actually quite a safe distance away.  Discretion is the better part of valour, especially at this time of year when wasps are starting to get a little ‘grumpy’ -probably aware that their own existence is drawing to a close.  I very carefully and quietly closed the door and bid a hasty retreat.  Getting ‘nettled’ is bad enough, but having a couple of thousand bad-tempered wasps out to get me is not something I’m particularly keen to experience.  Let the next tenant on this Plot have the fun!

And so to the food…

Inspired by the stunning pizzas last Thursday, it was decided that I’d light the fire and we’d have our home grown baked potatoes.

Ian (no relation) and David had earlier dug up the last two mini-beds of potatoes.Potatoes just dug up.

To the right here you can see them, and this year, we’ve been amazed at just how many we’ve dug up.  Tonnes!

Still, the rate we eat them on a Saturday, these won’t last any time at all.

So, potatoes it was, but as a ‘bonus’ Jon brought up his wok and Danny tried his hand at stir-frying, and the results were delicious.

Danny stir-fries our vegetables.As you can see, he did quite a large pan full, but this went very quickly, and as I left tonight, there was still some debate as to whether more veg should be picked to do another.  None of this ‘I’ll just pop down the shops then…’.  It was all around us!

So this evening before I left, I made a little announcement.  I told everyone that we will be making a pizza oven in the coming few weeks and that it will be ready for ‘Allotment Soup’ which is less than two months away.

A polite round of applause, exit stage left. (…Thinking: “Now you’ve REALLY done it.”)

Absolutely no problem!The LEAF Bike Train.

But first things first, and today was the first major outing of the ‘LEAF Bike Train’.  As I’d said yesterday, we all met for 10.00 down at The Plots.  Matt, Kyle, David and myself had all brought our bikes with ‘Fresh X Nick’, Gary, Pam and of course Diane all choosing to go by car.  Just as well, for there was quite a bit of stuff that needed ferrying over to SAGE Greenfingers for our lunchtime pizza session.

We ‘Bike Boys’ set off first, and with it only being a couple of miles away (…okay, with a couple of wicked hills in between!..), we arrived long before the rest, and wasted no time in finding the oven and setting to work.The SAGE Greenfingers oven.

Here you can see it before we started.

As I said yesterday, I was in more than a little trepidation of this beast.  I’d never fired one up before, let alone cook edible food for nearly twenty people!

Now as I figured it, cooking in one of these would be completely different from my previous open-fire experience, and I guess I was right.

The trick I found was to get the fire going in there as quickly as possible -the same as I do on an open fire.  This cuts down the amount of smoke.

When the fire is going well, you have to pay particular attention to the bricks on the floor of the oven, making sure they get as hot as possible as quickly as possible.  The first few minutes after the fire has caught should be spent stoking it up with as much dry wood as you can get into it.Stoke it up!

Here you can see it in ‘full flame’, and notice how little smoke there is.  This was quite important for this site because locals have complained about smoke on previous attempts to fire it up.  Today, we were lucky that the wind was at least blowing in the right direction, but even if it hadn’t, there was nothing to really complain about.

Now, we’ve been checking the ‘net for ‘how-to’ guides on wood-fired pizza ovens, and they said that the oven can take up to three hours to get hot enough.  Today, from first lighting it to putting the first pizza in took a little over an hour and a half.  That’s more like it!

When the oven was hot enough, I pushed the hot embers out towards the edges away from the central cooking area.  This left the central baking area clear for the pizza.Pizza before cooking.

Here you can see one that Pam masterfully crafted.

When cooking with this oven, thick gloves were essential to stop burns.  Also essential was one of those long things with a large round flat area on one end to move the pizzas in and out of the oven, but as we didn’t have one, a garden spade sufficed!

Also to note is just how quickly these things cook!  In a domestic oven wound up to maximum heat, you’re looking at about fifteen to twenty minutes.  In one of these things, you’re looking at between 90 seconds and two minutes.  Yes.  Fast!

You also have to turn them through 180° about half way through cooking as the front of the pizza nearest the centre of the oven cooks the quickest.Done!

Taste?  Well, Dear Reader, I could tell you that yeah, they’re kind-of okay, but nothing compared with shop bought pizzas.  I could say that they really aren’t worth the effort.

But then, I’d be completely lying.

Okay, as the ‘Head Pizza Chef’, you get hot, sweaty and dirty; and you’d better have plenty of water on hand to drink because its really dehydrating, but boy is it worth it!Fancy a piece?

So in short:  Today- Complete Success!

Of course, the question on everyone’s lips as I left was; “When are we getting one?!”

Soon, Dear Reader!

There’s a Big Lot more reading to do from the ‘net, then we have to decide exactly where its going to go and how big it will be, but when that’s all done, then my answer is:- “As soon as possible!”

Watch this space for more details in the coming days and weeks.

LEAF will have a Pizza Oven!

You can see all the day’s photos taken with my camera here.


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