Pizzas in a Wood-Fired Oven
So after taking over traffic duties at CBC this afternoon, and a Save the CBC rally, I went to a salon. Not the mani-pedi type, the Parisian intellectual type, only with a wood-fired pizza oven.
(From Wikipedia: A salon is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings, often consciously following Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate”.)
Did you get that? Stimulating people of quality. That’s me.
It’s late – I’m getting punchy. Brian not working so good. (Ha – good typo – from now on will have to refer to my brain as “Brian”. No Brian, no more cupcakes! Bad Brian!) My most common mistake is to type “busty” instead of “busy” when I’m in a rush – as in, “I’ve been really busty lately”, or “I know you’re busty, but…”
This is what you get when you sign on for a month of real-time blogging: not the toppest-notch writing that can be done when IQ levels are high and then subsequently groomed and accessorized until ready to post. Punchy 2am posts with typos is what you sometimes settle for.
So yes. It was an evening of wine and pizza and conversation at the home of someone I recently met at a Forage Farm Table Dinner, centered around a wood-fired pizza oven he built – by hand, mind you – and the very first brick he laid in his life was the one on the front right corner – in his back yard in Bowness.
How cool is this? So well insulated it could be 700 degrees inside and still have snow sitting on top. Pizzas cook in around 80 seconds (who needs a microwave?) and the next morning, after the coals are long gone, the residual heat still registers 300-350F, so they bake bread or shirred eggs in it for breakfast. Last Thanksgiving they did the turkey and all the trimmings in the wood-fired oven, then kept the entire dinner – enough for 12 – warm in it until it was time to sit down and eat.
There were 10 of us, only 3 of whom I had ever met. We cranked out thin-crust pizzas, taking turns creating them out of the buffet of toppings – roasted tomato sauce, artichokes, pulled pork, salamis, bacon, cheeses, basil, rocket, pine nuts, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, prosciutto, pears – and sliding them into the pizza oven to bubble and cook in less than a minute and a half. After we made 14 or so and devoured them all, with meaty red olives and prosecco and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we retired to the living room where we drew numbers and each had to speak for 10 minutes on a subject that inspired us, or we were knowledgeable about, or that otherwise turned our crank. (Far better than Cranium, no?) I was last, which did not bode well for me, but we did have enough to talk about to keep us out until 1 am.
It really was a great evening. (Thanks Brian.)
And now… drum roll please… Free Stuff Fridays!
I’ve been requested to post the winners of previous FSF – sorry, I keep meaning to do this, but then forget (having given the stuff away back on Tuesday!) – I’m not trying to keep winners under wraps, honest. Maureen was the lucky winner of the new blender, and Gwendolyn won tea, and Katharine won the Corningware set, a bunch of you won copies of OSC, and over 20 are receiving sourdough starter.. Maria got a Candy Apple Apron.. am I forgetting anything in the past month or so? Sorry, I’ll start posting the winners. But if you win, I’ll email you on Tuesday or thereabouts.
I’ve been looking forward to this one. I was thinking awhile ago of the things I love to get. And one of them is Starbucks cards. There is nothing like having a loaded credit card full of free lattes in your wallet. So I called them up (or their PR firm, anyway), and told them about you all, and how great you are and how I love to give you stuff, and they generously shipped me SIX twenty-five dollar Starbucks cards, PLUS six 1-lb. bags of Pike Place Roast coffee beans to divvy out as I see fit.
!!!! (Thanks, Starbucks!)
So, I see fit to divvy them out two at a time, and spread the love. This week I’ll give away two $25 gift card and 1 lb. coffee combos, and if you don’t win one this time, there will be two more chances. Fair?
So since coffee is on the line here, why don’t we make that our topic of discussion? What’s your very favourite thing to have with a cuppa? (And if not coffee, tea then?)
One Year Ago: Roast Chicken with Lemon and Parmesan Risotto
89 comments on “Pizzas in a Wood-Fired Oven”
When it comes to my latte fix, nothing makes it better than a biscotti to dunk in it. Really, any type of cookie works for me though!
Those pizzas look phenomenal. I just discovered last week how to make Rome-style pizza in my crappy apt. stove–just crank it to the highest level, then set the pizza on top of parchment paper on a heated pizza stone on the lowest rack–but a wood-fired oven? Gah. Jealousy over that charred crust.
My favorite thing to have with coffee (other than a cigarette, a la Tom Waits) is, I confess, a diner breakfast. Fried egg, bacon, homefries.
Most times I’ll just have my coffee, no accompaniment, but should I have something I love a good scone.
hands down … chocolate! What a great idea for free friday – thanks for going to the trouble.
Those pizzas look so amazing. I bet the smell was wonderful too. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
i have to confess that i LOVE that fakey phoney cream in my coffee….it makes it so rich and creamy that i dont need anything else….’fat free vanilla’ my fave, but any flavor will do. i know there is NOTHING in the ingredients that resembles any plant or animal on this earth, but i LOVE it!
My favourite thing to have with coffee? Homemade cookies c/o grandmothers. My grammy’s version was komish (err, Jewish biscotti?) – she always had a tin of fresh komish stored in the oven. My husband introduced me to his Oma’s speculaas (Dutch spice cookies), and they’re delicious with coffee too. His mother’s mother makes fantastic yoyos (buttery sandwich cookies filled with apricot jam), and they’re our Christmas morning standby.
Those grandmas from the Old Country really knew their cookies – and they seemed to have liberal policies on dunking, which is nice.
My favourite thing to have with coffee is quiet.
The best coffee I’ve had in recent memory was our last trip to Bass Island, no one was up, the water was quiet and the sun was barely up. Bliss.
oh my favorite thing to have is a ginger cookie (the kind where you roll the dough in balls and roll in sugar and it bakes out nice and soft and the top crinkles). The ginger in the cookie balances the coffee in the latte nicely I find. And you get your milk too! Preferably while reading a good book with a cat on your lap. 😉
I want to go to that house 🙂 can you invite me next time? teehee could you imagine how good the eggs would be the next morning…
Speaking of morning, my fav thing to have with a coffee are scones with loads of butter. But honestly, I’m happy to have my coffee all on it’s own in the am.
I just noticed you’re on Twitter. i’ll see you over there too. (sunnydnella)
A fruit pie is my choice of accompaniment to a cup of coffee. My favorite is a homemade raspberry pie – light on the sugar, close second is strawberry=rhubarb. I love the warmth the coffee gives to my hands. I’ve been known to hold it to my face and soak up the warmth. Weird, I know. Those pizzas sound wonderful. My husband is a mason and he plans to build a pizza oven in our back yard. Your acquaintance did a great job. What FUN to have a group meet like that. I love the 10 min. exposé.
I love drinking coffee with any sort of sweet baked good – cookies, cake, biscotti, muffins – it’s just the perfect balance.
your post about the salon and the amazing handbuilt oven just gave me new hope about the potential awesome-ness of Calgary!
Now, on a coffee note, I believe I am highly deserving as I have 4 exams coming up in the next ten days, one of which is Chemistry which is the bane of my existence. I have to someone study, go to work, manage the 800 baby plants i’ve started and feed myself. Coffee will help! If only I had time to make flourless chocolate cake or warm banana chocolate chip muffins (my favorite things to have with coffee)…..
My favourite accompaniment would have to be a visit with an old friend I haven’t seen in a while. An adirondack chair in the summer morning sun would be a close second.
But since I think you probably mean food, the caramel cinnamon rolls from my Mom’s 1977 church cookbook!
definitely chocolate….I can even have a handful of chocolate chips if there is nothing else around….and the crossword puzzle from the paper.
I’m a stay at home mom so my favourite thing with coffee is probably conversation – those 2 hour blocks for playschool are definitely best spent chatting with a friend over coffee. As far as food goes, I’m partial to lemon – lemon cherry scones, lemon poppy seed cake, etc.
I agree with Kirsten. If I have time for a visit with a good friend – that’s all I need to make my coffee a really great thing!
Wow. I love your life. (Don’t get me wrong; I love my life, too!)
You were sure firing on all cylinders when you posted… the salon must’ve just sparkled,to give that kind of push right through a 2 am post.
Thank you for giving us a taste of this, Julie!
(showed H the post; he’s always wanted to do stonework. Way too cool)
I love coffee. I’ve got a sign on my desk at work: “Instant human: just add coffee”, in case any of my co-workers missed that fact (hah)
With coffee? hmm, when I woked at Westjet, the gal at the Tims drivethrough recognized my voice (NOT a good sign!) I’d pull up and ask for pizza or whatever… she knew. One cream, half sugar, and a single timbit. (‘course, sometimes she’d joke back, “no, we don’t have any coffee here”… Preet, I miss ya!)
Chocolate and my computer or a cookbook.Love to sit and browse drinking my favourite espresso.
I’m not a fan of sweet coffee but i love strong coffee with real cream. I have to be awake to drink it though, so its an after dinner drink for me – preferable with a dessert, especially still warm cookies of any kind.
Wow. Those look like the best pizzas ever–I actually want cold pizza with my coffee now! But really, as many have mentioned, the best thing to have with coffee is friends.
Love a great cinnamon bun from Home Ground(?) in Okotoks.
I am a chai girl (extra hot, non-fat, no foam from Starbucks!) and the best thing to have with it is a hermit cookie!
Those pizzas look amazing….
Hmmmm… I’ll have to go with the friend and conversation comment, too. But I did spy some pretty tasty things that would go nicely at The Wild Flour in Banff last weekend. Instead opted for the traditional ham panini with walnut pesto as it was lunch time. Damn good, it was.
My favorite food item to go with my coffee…a white chocolate raspberry scone from Good Earth bakery… warmed just enough so the white chocolate melts in your mouth. Sitting on my deck on a sunny summer morning listening to nature sounds would go nicely with this!
I have to say I love your punchy, busty, 2am posts, typos & all. You made me laugh out loud this morning!
My favourite thing to have with coffee the Saturday morning newspaper and an hour or so of peace & quiet before everyone else wakes up.
Love your FF giveaway this week. Got my fingers crossed! Thanks Julie!
What an awesome way to spend a Friday night!
My favorite coffee go-with, dessert(any kind); second favorite, vacation breakfasts (eggs, toast, hashbrowns, bacon, hollandaise sauce).
I love wandering around outside with my coffee looking at the garden and the animals and listening to the birds. (so glad the snow is gone)
so many things are improved when paired with a cup of coffee, but i’d have to say a chocolatine– a twice-baked croissant filled with bittersweet chocolate and almond paste. dessert masquerading as breakfast is perhaps what the french do best!
Being that I can’t stand coffee or anything coffee related – even tiramisu! – I will share Hubby’s fave. Give him a strong Americano, black, and an apple fritter from Starbucks. Makes him happy. He does treat himself to the deluxe stuff from Phil and Sebastion on the weekends.
Sounds like an amazing evening!
My favourite thing to have with my morning coffee (or any coffee, really) is fresh air and Leo. Sitting on the back patio while he plays in the morning sun is the BEST way to enjoy my java!! 🙂
Ok oKkkk the first cup of the day is plain just me and the newspaper and a cup of hot black coffee. dark roast of course. Now the rest of the cups of coffee when ever are really an excuse to eat sweets. Mars bars mummmmmmmmmm coookies, chocolate, cake, what ever I can find that is sweet. Mini eggs come to mind you can let them melt away, that mixed with coffee oh so good. Bye Julie keep writing do you think you could possibly blog all of next month too. I know how cruel am I but I miss ya when you are gone.
2am really brings out your genius Jule! Don’t change a thing, but I suppose if you want more sleep I can understand that…
Yesterday was a great coffee morning, had my book and homemade banana bread (from Grazing! Great recipe, as they all are) topped with chocolate hazelnut spread.
I love a baked good of any variety with a cup o’ joe. This week my topper of choice would be a butter tart. I’ve been eating sub par Safeway butter tarts to try and satiate the fix ( I am 5 1/2 months pregnant so something had to be done) but really the best I’ve ever had are my sister in laws who lives too far away to fulfill my craving.
Favorite thing with coffee? warm sun, deck chair and a good friend! Or an early morning ramble around the flower beds to see what might be new and emerging! It is the good life!
My favourite thing with coffee is to sit quietly, read the newspaper and plan my day.
Love cinnamon buns, chocolate covered yeast donuts, anything lemon….. BUT, for some reason those don’t go WITH my coffee. Instead, it’s just my morning coffee, some peace and quiet, and the newspaper!!! I’ll save the above for later in the day with a nice, cold, glass of milk 🙂
My favorite thing(s)/ people to have with coffee: My husband to share a cup with. Second, A good friend to share it with. Third thing: Bailey’s Irish Cream. Fourth: Camping.
A guy that made his own wood-fired oven now that is an awesome accomplishment. Sounds like a fun evening.
I vote for Jill to win at least some of the Starbucks. Sounds like a hellish time, Jill, good luck w/ your exams.
My favourite morning thing with coffee is whole wheat toast with marmalade!
I love Green Mountain’s Dark Magic coffee. Usually all by itself, but it’s definitely best when enjoyed outside any time of year.
Ah, coffee, I need you more than you need me. 😉 I hardly ever drank coffee before I had kids! Now, my nearly 3 year old daughter can spot the Starbucks logo at 100 paces!
I’m a coffee and chocolate girl. But I also love anything freshly baked, especially cinnamon buns or a ginger cream from The Lazy Loaf and Kettle.
I just want to say the pizza looks great:)
Being blessed with a Saeco Vienna machine (years old and many times repaired) I have but one cup of deliciouso espresso coffee per day, in the morning while on my laptop checking food blogs (yours first, of course!). If a fresh authentic croissant happens to find its way onto a plate beside me, all the butter…ah, better, that is.
P.S. Any chance your new friend with the wood-fired oven might share the plans for such a beast? I’ve been thinking of building one for a while now but have yet to find a good set of plans.
Those pizzas look delicious, mouth watering! I *heart* Starbucks!! I would have a Frapp with some yummy dark Chocolate! 🙂
Hi, is this open to the U.S? 🙂 Thanks, I’m excited about this giveaway!
Oh yes! He actually got all his plans online, as well as advice/support… I’ll ask what his source was!
I love coffee in the mornings. Especially when all else are sleeping and I have a good book. When I have the chance, I like ginger spice cookies with it. Camping coffee is also a favourite.
I love to have a really nice piece of biscotti or a chocolate chip cookie. Being a mom of 3, quiet is a also very good
Coffee with chocolate mocha brownies is my favorite!
I’ll take anything Starbuck’s – coffee beans or latte gift card. My favourite thing with coffee is milk, the foamy kind. No sugar, no pastry. I too am blessed with a cappuccino machine which we’ve had since Starbuck’s first opened in Calgary. No repairs and it’s ground a mountain of beans in the interim.
Okay, my youngest son’s favorite coffee experience is drinking it in a vehicle on a fun road trip (like en route to Banff to ski), beautiful scenery and great music playing loud…my favorite coffee’s are enjoyed with my three sons. Daughter is too young, but not too young to enjoy coffee flavored ice cream! :-]
Nice strong perked coffee and a homemade muffin, full of grains, and fruit for brekkie.
Starbucks makes THE best coffee!
I love sitting with a cup of coffee and the crossword in the morning. As for food, I have recently discovered muffins at a bakery here in Vancouver and they are so delicious! I look for reasons to go past there in the morning…so bad, but soo good.
I love a toffee or ginger pudding with caramel sauce and cinnamon flavoured ice cream on the side. This goes perfectly with my vanilla latte.
I enjoy a buttery shortbread cookie with either tea or coffee.
I LOVE any sort of coffee/ tea^^ What’s the best thing to have with a good cup of something? An excellent conversation or heart to heart with a good friend. Foodwise, I LOVE pairing it with apple pie.
I’m a tea drinker, and love a big mug full of a citrus-y rooibos tea, along with a tasty fruit salad.
The white chocolate cranberry scones from a local bakery in town. Big chunks of warm gooey white chocolate and the tartness of the cranberries….and a hot cup of coffee, got me through the winter :).
Those pizzas look amazing by the way! What and incredible oven, wish we could all have one!
Coffee and Homemade Egg McMuffins. It is great to take for work and fast/easy to make.
Fruit, Nut and Seed Scones from a local coffee shop.This week I found a recipe for scones that might be close (California Raisin Marketing Board website). Or maybe it would be more calorie-wise to keep shelling out $3 for each scone….
My favorite thing to go with a coffee is a good book first and a donut second. But not just any donut – only a cruller will do!
Those pizzas look divine…they put the Dr. Oetker’s and Coco Brooks’ currently residing in my freezer to shame!
Hey Julie –
My absolute favourite thing to have with coffee (on vacation) is to sit on the balcony of the condo we rent in Siesta Key and look at the beautiful view of the whitest sand beach and blue Gulf of Mexico. And then have a second cuppa. Only then contemplating food and what to do with the day. Close second would be all of the above sharing the Sunday paper with DH. Ahh heaven on earth.:)
When home on the weekends, my favourite way to enjoy my latte is with the laptop tuned to my favourite blogs and websites, the newspaper, and some peace and quiet!!
That Wood burning oven is absolutely the coolest thing ever … Seriously, fresh bread from an outdoor wood burning oven … is there anything more comforting than that? So cool!
So … on to coffee. Ahhh this is one of my favorite things in life. I find myself starting to anticipate the warm dark liquid as I’m loading my coffee pot into the dishwasher at night. I usualy only have 1 or 2 cups in the morning but I enjoy them so much. My favorite thing to go with my coffee is not food … it’s my favorite cup, it’s a big mug that has Chicago writen across it with old school pics of the city. My best friend who lives in Chicago gave me for my last birthday. I love it because it’s big, it’s from by BF and because it says Chicago which is where Edward Cullen was born (feel free to make fun of me about that one lol). I love my coffee with lots of cream and any sweet food makes my cup that much better!
Really enjoyed reading about the wood fired oven. Took me back to vacation two years ago at Cison di Valmarino at the Arte Culinaire La Casa Gialla cooking school. We too made pizza and popped them into their wood fired oven. Pizza tastes much
better this way. And yes, bread was also made although I did find the crust a wee bit crunchy. Thanks for bringing back memories. The only way to enjoy Starbucks is double Cappuccino with all foam – that way you’re getting your calcium (I’m a dreamer) as well as a good jolt.
I love everything to do with coffee, but I think my favourite thing is the smell. When I open that bag in the morning, and take a nice big whiff, I sometimes think that alone will get me through the day! Ok, maybe not quite….
I like my coffee on its own, first thing in the morning, with LOTS of cream and a little sugar. Oh, and my latest favorite thing is a little sprinkle of cinnamon in it. So good!
OMG…have you seen the animated movie “Igor” In it there is a character named “Brian”. He is a brain in a jar but he wrote Brian instead of Brain on his jar and his friends tease him about it. It is a great family movie and of course I thought of it instantly when you mentioned it!
You can leave me out of the FSF draw, as I am not a coffee drinker.
I love to savour my coffee with a crossword from the local newspaper. If I’m lucky enough to wake up before the rest of the house, I will enjoy this on the back deck while listening to the birds awaken in the forest around our home. It’s a great way to start the day!
That pizza looks like a yummy way to end the day!
Thanks Janice S. I’ll look into fornobravo.com!
Ahh, to have an oven like that! I’ll dream of it next time I’m making naan on the stone in my BBQ.
Favorite with coffee is a good bitter chocolate, or (and maybe this is weird) cheese like feta or queso fresco. My grandfather used to put a sugar cube between his teeth and drink his coffee from a teacup and saucer (but he would pour the coffee into the suacer and drink from that) I think it was some sort remnant of heritage from Finland.
I had the Pikes Place roast at Starbucks the other day – very nice!
Morning Julie! My favourite thing with coffee is to sit on my front patio (in the warmer months) and watch the sun come up (over the houses across the street mind you). Nothing better than a black cup of joe, fresh air, and the chirping of birds to start the day.
PS I have been feeding Herman (my ss) and am just about ready to split with my friends. I froze a portion of the original that you gave me just in case. When you feed yours, do you let it sit on the counter for a while or does it just go back into the firdge?
I love coffee and get a grande drip coffee at Starbucks everyday. Plain old coffee and cream is perfect. My all time favourite combo is coffee with a lunch of salad with blue cheese dressing. Haven’t had it for ages but those two go together well. Try it!
Sarah – I do sometimes – I asked its Dad and he said he doesn’t – he just pops it back into the fridge!
My favorite thing with coffee is to sit on a deck and watch the sunrise, be it at a lake, at the beach, or in my back yard… peace and quite a time to plan my day bliss
Oh! Forgot to add that the best treat to go with coffee at Starbucks is their apple fritter!! OMG so crunchy, sweet, doughy and so not good for the waistline…..
Love giving Starbucks cards as gifts and got a whole stack of ten dollar ones at Christmas to give away to teachers, friends etc. You’ll have fun giving those prizes away and I’m keeping my fingers crossed…
Great. Now I have to admit , in front of everybody, how easy I am. Coffee is good with Everything or Anything. Really good coffee (the kind I like to make) is even good with Nothing. If I were to have something with it I would choose someone nice to have it with. Anyone of you perhaps…. Fingers crossed on this one. 😉
the best thing with coffee, definetely a square of dark chocolate. or, when in Banff an amazing chocolate from The Fudgery and a dark roast Grande Starbucks Coffee
I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago (for no particular reason), and have now returned to it with a vengeance. I look forward to that first cup of coffee in the morning.
If I had to pick a favourite ‘partner’ for my cuppa, I think that it would be scones, fresh from the oven with butter melting into them.
By the way, scone recipe comes from my paternal Grandmother via my Mother. My Mom always suspected that her Mother-in-law was a little less than honest in the recipe and told her less milk than the recipe needs. Over the years, I have learned to make them based on feel. When I first started making them, I despaired of ever learning the feel.
I loved the story of the typo’s. Unfortunately, one of my frequent typo’s is losing the “l” in public.
“Did you get that? Stimulating people of quality. That’s me.”
Well, you are one smart cookie…
Ooooh, I love the idea of an outdoor pizza oven–or any kind of outdoor kitchen! (Of course, right now all things “house” are on my mind…we are looking at a move away from the city into slightly more rural surroundings.) As for my favorite thing to have with my coffee, it would be any of the little treats my sweet husband has been baking up on the weekends. Lately, it has been lemon blueberry muffins or brown sugar oatmeal pancakes, topped with my mom’s homemade pumpkin butter!
Hold the sweets, I’ve discovered the pleasure of sandwiches with rich, dark coffee — top choice, a scrumptiously toasted-bread BLT, mayo on both pieces, and loaded with crispy-chewy B, a little L, lotsa T with salt n pepper. Also like Italian and coldcut subs or sammies with coffee. I used to think I had to have soda & potato chips with sandwiches. Now it’s coffee. Of course, I’m not to object to a toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese either.
I am completely and totally jealous of that oven.
They sell them in Black Diamond! http://www.alfrescoimports.com
i wonder if i missed the time line here…completely forgot, i saw the post for the “lower fat cookies” and went straight away to make those….
which now happen to be my favourite thing to enjoy with a nice latte…plus of course the dinner with julie blog! 🙂
those cookies are fabulous…now to get my hubby to make one of those pizza ovens….hmmmm
If I have a Tazo Chai Latte, I don’t need anything beside it but you, Julie.
If I just have regular coffee or tea, just a little sweet will do…like something I have made from MY NEW OSC COOKBOOK!
Hi Julie, I have been reading your blog for a long time but this is my first time to write. Saturday night pizzas (homemade of course) are a family tradition. they are great but I love the idea of the pizza oven!
I love Starbucks grande, extra hot, non-fat latte on a cold, dark morning on the way to our cabin. I am listening to classical music on CKUA. My favorite man, the love of my life, is driving. There is nothing finer!