|A large fire is built to heat the oven to over 500 degrees.|
The last couple weeks of any field season is filled with mixed emotions. Frustration - where are the whales? Overwhelmed - we have so much to do before closing up the field station. Defeated - I didn't accomplish everything you wanted to during the field season. Everyone has a different way of dealing with all these feelings. My answer to all of this is to fire up the pizza oven! Pizza seems to make everything better, or at the very least it seems to make everyone happy.
|Burning for over 6 hours it's almost pizza time.|
We are very fortunate that many years ago two of our cooks built a brick and clay pizza oven in our backyard. With clay from a local farm, the oven took many days of careful layering and curing to construct. Many years later we are still enjoying the novelty of having our own clay pizza oven.
|Toppings are set out and labeled for easy pizza assembly.|
Pizza night at the field station is no small undertaken. A fire needs to burn for at least five or six hours prior to cooking in order to properly heat the clay and brick to allow cooking at a temp over 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
|A freshly created pizza sits atop a cornmeal covered board prior to cooking.|
Dough and sauce is made in the morning and by the afternoon a small group of us are grating cheese, chopping toppings and organizing it all for quick and easy assembly. Once the oven is hot it cooks for about one and a half hours before cooling down.
|Finished pizza line the table and are grouped into three sections (vegan, veggie and meat).|
We had many Birthdays to celebrate this season and we found it easier to just keep the banner up.