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Poetryart 05-28-2012 08:06 AM

Getting the hang of it now!
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Friday night was perfect! We cooked for enough food for the next couple of weeks! 8 loaves of bread, 5 ears of corn, pork ribs, brisket, 7 pizzas, a skillet full of peaches to pour over ice cream and roasted potatoes! I broke down and let my family use the rolling pin for the pizza dough and have to admit, even though the "bubbles" were missing, it was easier to eat massive amounts of pizza since the dough was thinner.
We started with the pizzas, ate them as they came out of the oven and at the end of the feast realized that (a). we never even bothered to get out plates (b). or silverware, (c). or napkins (d) or sat down to eat. Best dinner we've had in ages! Also realized that I need lots more paddles! We rolled out the dough on some slabs of marble in the house, then as the pizzas came out, we placed them on another slab of marble by the WFO and cut them. This was a great arrangement, but running back and forth to get the paddle slowed things down. I may just get some plywood and cut it the the right shape, just for loading the oven. And then keep the metal one for getting them out of the oven.
Once we ran out of dough, in went the rest of the food I'd prepped earlier. I kept the bread on cookie sheets just because I didn't want to deflate it, and it was easier to turn.
The meats stayed in the longest, once the bread was done and all the veggies, I took the coals out and closed the door. The ribs cooked the quickest, took them out about 3 or 4 hours later and left the brisket in another hour or so. Should have added water or something to the brisket, because the corners of it got a bit dry and tough. I had a bite of the tender part, thinking the whole thing was that way, and gave my husband a bite of what I didn't know was dry... he asked if I had given him a bite of one of his belts... oops. LOL. So much to learn!!!
Anyway I'm having a blast with this oven. It's really turned dinner into an event! Not the usual - me in the kitchen for an hour or more, they eat in 7 minutes flat and me in the kitchen for another hour or so to clean up... now the husband plays pyro, my daughter helps with the toppings prep, we hang out on the patio for hours with no tv it's great....!
Best dinner so far is a Rick Bayless recipe for short ribs
Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles, White Beans, Mushrooms and Beer
Costillas de Res Guisadas con Chile de Arbol, Alubias, Hongos y Cerveza
Meat, Chicken & Pork - Rick Bayless | Frontera
It's perfect for the WFO!
My oven doesn't seem to retain enough heat to cook the next day too, and has developed hairline expansion cracks so we're considering building the "little house" around it and filling it with perlite. We'll see, I'll keep you posted. If we don't do that, then I'd better get after finishing out the stucco and painting it to weather proof her.
Thanks for letting me ramble! By next week the thousand+ tomatoes in the garden will be ripe, as will the second peach tree...I'm drooling already!!! Oh, And I made a boat load of pesto from the pots and pots of basil that's come up!
~Shelley, aka, happy belly...

cobblerdave 05-30-2012 04:46 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
"Fantastcal" to see you enjoying the oven like you are....its amazing how good pizza tastes when it isn't "cooke cutter round"isn't it!
I was kinda wondering how your oven was going over the winter but now I know.
Best news is the oven is still a little wet....look at you pics theres still black soot on the walls which is a fair indication that it still has kept a little water in the bricks. No problems though it will just get better with every fire! so no use worring about more insulation just yet. Hope you are still thinking of using a bit of "artistic licence" to see that oven transformed into some mythical beast or something equally interesting.

Regards Dave

Faith In Virginia 05-30-2012 05:23 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
", a skillet full of peaches to pour over ice cream and roasted potatoes!

Did you really pour peaches over your roasted potatoes? Interesting!

Great job it looks so wonderful...yup...looks like your getting the hang of it for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Poetryart 06-01-2012 07:40 PM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
Haha, sorry, poor punctuation... Kinda like...
dinner's ready let's eat Grandma..
. Or... dinner's ready, let'eat, Grandma...
Potatoes -side dish
Peaches over ice cream- dessert
Guess I got excited telling you about it all!

And, Cobblerdave,I'm still thinking, planning and plotting on just how to jazz up the beast! Thanks for your encouragement!:rolleyes:

Faith In Virginia 06-02-2012 04:24 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
So Cool, looking forward to more pictures and cooking adventures. Don't eat grandama they get tough at that age. :-)

asimenia 10-08-2012 12:17 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
excellent = really pleased someone has the same shaped pizzas as me!!! Guess the country! LOL I'm another female who seems to have been made head chef of the oven - hubby's still in charge of the BBQ though. I think you have to be more organised to use the oven fully - that's where I come in! Also we have a homemade paddle out of plywood because we couldn't find one to buy when we first got the oven (apart from the type that we'd have to re-mortgage our house to get) - and (yes you've guessed it) 2 yrs later we are still using the homemade plywood one!

Poetryart 10-08-2012 06:24 PM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
I tried to make a paddle from plywood, however before I finished it I ran across an inexpensive one at a restaurant supply store. Sure makes it easier when we build the pizza on the wooden one and use a metal one for taking the pizza out.
What kind of pizza do you make in Greece?

asimenia 10-09-2012 12:14 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
What kind of pizza do you make in Greece? ............... whatever I have in the cupboard at the time - but I always use mozzarella mixed with other cheese - a pizza is not a pizza without mozzarella! As for flour - it's just normal 'plain flour' not much choice in Greek supermarkets /// they actually turn out better than shop bought - even pizzerias with wood ovens!

Zeke 10-10-2012 05:27 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
I loved your rambling. Especially, the parts about it being an all enjoyable day event and no TV watching. A sad day is when it rains like crazy up here in New England and we don't fire up the oven. So I'm really glad you posted all the details. It makes me think that my wife and I are not totally crazy about WFO cooking. Keep the WFO going and live a long life. :)

jeeppiper 10-10-2012 06:16 AM

Re: Getting the hang of it now!
Shelly, Wow! That is one busy oven! My family shares your excitement (as does most everyone on this forum). We quickly realized the need for more pizza peels. We now have 6 wooden peels an two metal. This works nicely when you have friends over.
We held a Taste-of-Tuscany" party this summer and had over 40 people making pizzas, etc. We made nearly 100 pizzas that day! While some people were making their pizzas on the peels, others were waiting for theirs to cook, while others were eating....(I tended the oven) and my kids taught pizza making techniques. So much fun! So exhausting!

Thanks for the story....and Keep Cookin!

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