Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pizza and a Party

Like most people, I like pizza. I much prefer homemade; it's less greasy for starters! Plus they're pretty fun to make. When I'm at home, we quite often make them on Saturdays. We do the dough for the base in the afternoon, then it's ready for when we want to eat tea. I didn't quite do it this way when I had pizza on Saturday, but similarly. You might remember me saying that when I made the dough for the flatbreads to have with the pearl barley broth I made last week, I made the whole amount of dough even though I wouldn't need it all. It's hard to divide quantities for dough, and it's always handy to have extras in the freezer so it seemed silly not to. As the dough was one which could be made into lots of different things, including pizza dough, I decided to use one to make one of the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pizzas which were just a few pages further on in the book. I plumped for the beetroot and cheddar one (so I could buy smoked mackerel and have smoked mackerel and beetroot sandwiches- SUCH a good combination!). I simply got a portion of dough out of the freezer at lunch time and by the time I wanted to use it it was thawed. Now, I am all for variation and experimenting, but I do have a sliiiiight problem with something being called a pizza if it doesn't have tomato sauce on... this one did, but some of the Hugh recipes didn't. I'm sure they're nice, and I'll still try them, but to me it's not really a pizza!

The lighting is very bad, but there was literlly no other space to put my plate! The beetroot and cheddar were layered with mozzarella and onions before being baked. I also did sweet potato chips... no recipe, just half a sweet potato (it was giant!) baked in the oven on the very top shelf for about twelve minutes with the pizza. Of course, if you cut the pieces thicker it would take longer. I know that is a rectangle, which isn't traditional pizza shape, but I couldn't find a tray big enough to make a decent sized circle to get the filling on! Oh, and I would just like to mention that for the cheddar, I used a cheddar Babybel! As they were on offer, it was the cheapest way of buying cheddar, and one Babybel was just the amount that I needed. Plus I then had five more to eat for snacks. Wins all round I think.
That was the pizza, now for the party. I'm currently in  a house with five other students, and on Sunday we had a Christmas dinner before we all went back to our respective homes for the holidays. The meat we had was venison, which we all really enjoyed. The accompaniments were roasted parsnips, red onion and carrots with honey, roasted potato wedges, a mix of baby corn, sugarsnap peas and carrots, green beans with bacon, pigs in blankets, carrot and swede mash, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. We also had some Cadburys Marvellous Creations chocolate (I only hd one square to try because I knew there would be lots of food) and some tomato and cheese flatbread bought by two of our guests. Totally random, but hey, that's a student dinner for you! I think that's it! There were way too many vegetables, even with ten of us (We had four people join us; a girlfriend, two best friends and a former resident of the house!) but leftovers are the best part of big dinners like this. It's just not the same without leftovers! After we got the accompaniments from the shop, we prepared them together whilst drinking mulled wine and listening to Christmas music. One of the songs of which was Feliz Navidad meowed by cats. How people come up with such things I'll always wonder... Then while everything was cooking we watched the Harold and Kumar Christmas film. Such a festive afternoon and night. I love Christmas so this was the perfect way to end the week for me.

Also, with the meal we had some mead, a treat from one of my housemates. It was Lyme Bay 'Christmas mead' ordered from the internet (you can get it for £9.95 per bottle from Amazon) and it was so nice! It was just like drinking liquid honey. You could actually taste honey though, it wasn't just sweet and sugary. I'd definitely have it again. When I looked online, Lyme Bay do quite a lot of varieties which I would also like to try...
Very missmatched table heights, cutlery and serving dishes, but it's all part of the fun!

This is more to prove that I don't always spend time making my food look pretty ;)

Afterwards, we had a bonfire. We dragged two sofas outside and toasted marsmallows, and after a while we had my Christmas cake (by the way, I thought I had posted a photo of the finished product but I was mistken! I don't have one on my phone but I will try and figure out a way of getting one on here because I am rather pleased with the result.) I was SO full afterwards, but it was totally worth it. A great start to the festivities.