We cranked up the outdoor oven and made pizza for 13 at the farm this weekend. Fortunately, the weather was pleasant and semi-dry. The cob oven that we built—and rebuilt—has developed a few cracks again, but it still gets up to 800 degrees and does the job of a commercial oven. The uncooked pizza goes directly on the interior bricks and cooks in minutes. Even so, some waiting is required since the oven only holds one medium-sized pizza at a time.
A well-fashioned pizza takes an assembly line of hungry family and guests working together. Guys tend to take on the fire building, temperature maintenance, and pizza cooking—an activity that goes hand in hand with malt beverages. Children seem to enjoy shuttling the pizzas back and forth to the house, where there’s always those of all ages eager to slice and sample.
Three generations of cooks rolled and tossed the dough and “decorated it” with toppings, which is how my 4-year-old granddaughter describes what we do when we add the cheeses, meats and vegetables. The prepared dough was a bonus left in the freezer by my grandson, who had made a large batch when he was at the farm one weekend. So you might say a lot of hands went into the making of these wonderful tomato pies.
I always serve a salad with pizza and this time I went with one of Ina Garten’s creations: Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, that I featured here earlier.
My neighbors of many years, offered to bring dessert, but I never expected anything so spectacular. They made a Sour Cream Pound Cake with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream topped with Fresh Strawberries! It doesn’t get any better than that this time of the year. Truly, a sweet and beautiful finale.