Author Topic: Elephant poo oven in the African bush  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 02:02:42 AM »
Cheers, 3.14 Guy (I like what you did there) Norma and Bob!

After crack fixing, I made a couple of pizzas. The cracks reappeared and the brickwork on the arch has taken a bit of a hit, but overall for my first efforts on this oven, I was quite pleased.

The second one was better, flavour and crust-wise, but I was also at the other end of a 6 pack by then, so - as a man of science - my judgement may have been clouded. It was also getting dark by then, as well as windy, and looking like it might rain. Anyway, they cooked fast. I gave them a spin half-way through (i wasn't timing but i'm fairly sure half-way was less than a minute) to even out the charring and on the second pizza gave it a little longer to get a crisper base. Whatever I can say about the lack of flour here, pizza dough made with the 'white wheat bread flour' has a really pleasing melt-in-mouth quality.

Anyway, here's a picture of pizza no1, that I should have left in a little longer.

Bob - the pizza/wildlife shot I really want is an elephant at the fence behind the oven. My avatar is one of our bull elephants about 4 yards in front of me, but on the other side of our fence. He was stood by our gate which needed closing and was a little antsy about me closing the gate in his face; eventually I'd squatted down by the fence and as he wandered along he clocked me, unsure what I was, but certainly smelling like a person (albeit a very short one) and came to investigate - we have an ''elephobic'' volunteer here who (from some distance away in the house) took a video, which makes me look a lot cooler and calmer about it than I was. An unusual perspective for the photo but I like it! We have a lot of stuff come to the waterhole, some of which may be more familiar (elephants, giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, lion, impala) - and some of it perhaps less - (kudu, eland, aardvark). Our facebook page had a shot of three volunteers posing in the pool last November with an elephant behind them, which was neat! Anyway, I really ought to go and do some work..

Thanks again for your interest, pizza people.

mark


Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 08:39:02 AM »
Great African Pizza experiment!!!! :o

Is that  basil I see on top?

And are you doing a DS (square) pie? You are a master of that oven already!

You go!!!! :chef:

John K

Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 09:35:53 AM »
Hi John

It is square, yes, and it is basil.

We are trying to grow what we can here, in a small chicken-wire cage to keep porcupines out, although everything is taking a hammering from caterpillars after the recent rains. Two things we have discovered grow well here: basil and chillies. The idea is to grow what is either rubbish in the supermarkets (tomatoes are a good example) or stuff that doesn't keep and is expensive (such as basil and coriander/cilantro). Our weekly shopping involves a 300mile round trip, incidentally. Oh, and needless to say, we enriched the soil in the growing area with elephant poo as well (and a dead guinea pig, but that's another story).

The reason it is square (rectangular, really) is that we have no device for getting pizza in and out of the oven as yet, and I chanced upon the idea of using a baking sheet upside down to get it in, then using braai (for the non-South Africans, a braai is very much like a barbecue, but never involves burgers) tongs to pull it up onto the tray for turning and removing, which as it happens works perfectly. I am in the middle of very badly sawing a piece of plywood to see if it will work, but otherwise am happy with the upside down tray! The dough amount perfectly fits the tray as well, so perhaps it is telling me something! Would you mind telling what a DS pie is, though? This whole world of referring to pizza as pie is a new one to me, and throwing random abbreviations in as well... I might need to have a beer and a sit down.

Apart from the fact that the brick arch has developed an alarming crack during yesterday's experimental firing, it is fair to say I love the oven. With some tinkering with recipes, we will be knocking out the best pizza in the Limpopo valley, if we arent already. Not that that is saying much...

Thanks again for your interest!

mark

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 09:51:40 AM »
Detroit Style.

Just search for Detroit Style or Buddy's Clone and you'll see the wonder of DS pies!

Trust me, you do not want to even go NEAR that stuff right now. Just reading the posts here on Norma's DS experiments adds 1.3% to my body fat.  :P

JohnK

Online norma427

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 11:27:48 AM »
Mark,

Just hearing you talk about all the wild animals that live very close to you is very interesting.  I have always love wild animals.  The only wild animals that are in my area are deer, skunks, raccoons, a few red foxes, possums, rabbits, and a few wild pheasants. 

Your pizza sure looks good for you not having a lot of experiments under your belt.  The 300 mile round trip to get groceries is really something else too.  :o  I will be watching your journey into making pizza and also what ever other pictures you have a chance to post.

Your thread is very intriguing.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2013, 07:15:05 AM »
John I think we are going for bush style. Sandveld style, perhaps. I could keep going... but I feel a pizza sub-genre is born! Thin base, cooked with mopane wood for nothing else will do (and the reserve manager would flip a tit if we started using anything else), solid-block South African mozzarella... you get the picture. Oh... and the base... tinned tomatoes reduced with organo, home-grown basil, garlic from a tub, a little sugar and a little salt (the tomatoes we use are not the best, but we are on a budget, innit) and olive oil (South African would be good, but again, we take whatever is on offer at the supermarket!).

Norma thanks again - I could fill this thread with wildlfe shots, but won't. Yesterday the boss was out with the crew and found one of our lionesses... quite unexpectedly with cubs! 2 or possibly three - the grass was long and they were moving about a bit, unlike mum who was fixing the vehicle with that ''i can and will kill you if you push your luck'' look that lionesses (especially here) do so very well. But if I manage to get the elephant and pizza oven shot, I will post that for sure! Reserve manager popped in yesterday morning and said the on wood-fired oven they had built at another property further south from here, they had found one morning a fairly substantial python wrapped around the dome, enjoying the residual warmth. I for one am down wth my snake brothers, but I appreciate that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. The only animals here that I object to are ticks and - at the moment - whatever caterpillars are hammering my basil, chillies and salad leaves. Grrr.

Thanks again for your comments and interest! Oh... and on the pizza topic, we started dough yeterday afternoon for tomorrows pizza night. It was going to be today but England ought to be beating France in thr 6Nations rugby and that takes precedence over pizza cooking... dough here rises in a crazy fashion - even in the freezer it threatens to knock the door open. We're starting a casual and relaxed unofficial experiment with yeast volumes, as if we don't have enough to do!

OK... that's me for now!

mark

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2013, 07:52:41 AM »
Mark,

Your posts are like a mixture of reading "Food and Wine" and a Rudyard Kipling novel! Keep it up!

John K

Online norma427

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2013, 01:14:31 PM »
I agree John, I really enjoy Mark's posts.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2013, 05:52:52 AM »
Hi all

Sorry for the protracted absence...

Since I last posted, quite a few things have happened, but the oven still stands! We've knocked out somewhere in the order of 120 pizzas, and I finally managed to get a picture of the oven + an elephant, which is the main reason I am posting now.

Hope you're all OK wherever you are, and thanks again for the interest in our oven! 

Mark

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2013, 08:46:35 AM »
How cool is that!
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.


Offline mbrulato

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2013, 09:00:54 AM »
Very cool.  Are my eyes tricking me or does it look like the elephant is blowing something out his trunk?
Mary Ann

Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2013, 09:26:30 AM »
Yeah - he's by the waterhole outside camp, and they're fussy about water - they'll usually blow out the first couple of trunks full (up to 16pints at a time, which for me when i was younger was about one weekends' worth) to remove the warmest water and any debris on the surface, then dig deeper for the cooler water. You can't help but love elephants, even when they are ripping your water pipes out of the ground, then coming back to rip out the repaired pipes a few hours later. If there's more oven & wildlife shots, I'll post them for sure.

Til then, love and pizzas,

mark

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2013, 09:35:37 AM »
I look forward to your posts and pictures, Mark.  This is a great thread!

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2013, 11:13:43 AM »
Mark,

I'm always telling people how absolutely cool this site is --- especially because of pizza aficionados like yourself who are posting from places most of us will never visit in our lives. And yet here we all are, chit-chatting about one of our common passions --- PIZZA!!

Your postings and pictures have been missed. Please, if you have the time, post some pics of the oven "at work" and any pies if you are able.

Be well, and may your water pipes be ever-flowing!

John K

Offline One Eyed Jack

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2013, 12:11:12 PM »
Mark I'm subscribed to this  thread!AWESOME!Fire that puppy up,and bake us something!I would not think twice about eating anything that comes out of it.A Big Ol"H-E double hockey sticks,for your ingenuity!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 06:32:15 PM by One Eyed Jack »

Offline limpopomark

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Re: Elephant poo oven in the African bush
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2013, 09:34:23 AM »
Hey folks

Points duly noted about my absence and so on... and lack of action shots - next time I will be sure to take a few! Thanks as always for your interest in what we do out here though, honestly.

Anyway, in the ongoing series of animals and pizza ovens (not ''animals in pizza ovens'') here's a picture from Christmas day, when a bunch of blue wildebeest came over for a drink. Enjoy!

Best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy 2014 - look after yourselves folks.

mark


 

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