Tuesday, January 13
I did it. After celebrating christmas eve and the excitement of christmas morning, a full days bake got underway, the wood oven was used to its capacity.
I also was passed out on the couch by 9 pm.
Lesson No.1 of wood oven management: if you've invited guests over, dont expect to socialise much! It's incredibly hard work and i have discovered first hand the reason why the electric and gas oven was invented. Maybe doing it without a breastfeeding 8 month old kid would also help.
So, the guests had a good time but i spent most of mine 'managing' whatever was in the oven and organising what was to come next, despite having spent the previous day preparing. We did pizza (no pics of those as i figured you're all sick to death of them),
trays of vegetables i picked from the garden that morning roasted inolive oil, garlic and dukka,
the wild kid which had marinated overnight with preserved lemon, homemade verjus, olive oil and rosemary,
loaves of sourdough from a poolish made the night before
a nectarine and red currant tart with an almond meal crust and streusel topping,
Russell Jeavons 12 egg, flourless chocolate cake, complete with ash burns
and dried herbs. I would have managed the meringue (they sit in the cooling oven overnight) but i had no whites, which are kind of required for meringue but I'd misread the chocolate cake recipe which didnt call for just 12 egg yolks, but 12 whole eggs. As for toasting what was left over from last years nut crop... the guests, who obligingly shelled walnuts for the occasion, informed me that fresh walnuts were better than toasted and the hazelnuts were so hard no one wanted that job!
I figure 7 outa 9 aint bad. Not bad for a first attempt at managing a live beast such is the wood oven. But being such a perfectionist, a part of me is miffed that i didnt manage it all AND i forgot to bring out the christmas crackers. damn.
My husband thinks im nuts and maybe just a little obsessed and suggests i think about taking life a little more slowly. Hmmmm. SLOW, slow...hang on...SLOW just became fast and frenzied...will have to think about the inherent contradiction. I think i might just heed his advice but sometimes i find it incredibly difficult to not try and do it all. I am also incredibly pleased that we planned the day yesterday as todays weather is projected to hit 41 C (105.8)!
I can see how much more efficient it is to 'specialise'. If i were just doing bread or cake or veges it would have been easier. It was the preparing many different foods and doing it pretty much single handedly (simon was mainly doing host duties and hot coal moving) that killed me.
Next time, no guests.