Far North Fun: Pizza Ovens

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What do we do for fun up here in the Far North? The Far North, being quite rural, where there is not much of a metropolis, you have to make your own fun!
Les cooking up pizzas
Pizza cooking next to fire
 The first day of school this term, one of the girls suggested that we as a staff do something together – one of her mates put on a Pizza night at his place every Thursday night during the summer. He charged $20, and provided 3 courses! It all started off with green-lipped mussels, which are just so delicious. Then he’d have  Tuatua pasta. Tuatuas (or pipis) are a local shellfish found on 90 Mile Beach. He’d cook them up in white wine and cream and the serve with spaghetti.

Then it was time for the main course – te Pizza!  The dough was pre-made, and all the toppings were pre-chopped. All you had to do was dress your pizza with your favourite items, and then it got stuck in the oven to become delicious.

There is just something that makes wood smoke cooked anything, taste so amazing. I love it.

I love me some good pizza. My dad used to make the base from scratch, and I learned from him before going to university… and that simple old recipe has since made for so made great pizza nights all over Canada AND New Zealand! (Thanks, Daddio!)

My neighbours have a pizza oven in the back yard, and one of my best friends, her boyfriends parents have a bach (a holiday home) up behind our house, and they share access to said pizza oven. We’ve used it before and it was amazing, and I decided to recreate that, bringing friends together from both coasts for a wee catch up and good food.

“the boys” waiting for some pizza Tony, Sandy, Thom and Phil
Tara, Tony & Sandy enjoying the stunning views of Ahipara.
Mel volunteered to drive the pizza-stick taking the pizzas in and out of the oven.
Fresh from the oven!
Soph chopping up her apricot chicken creation.  Yummy!

We made a great assortment and variety of pizzas with a wide range of toppings. Rather than charging money per person for toppings, we did a BYOTopping which worked really well and everyone ended up with the things they liked on their pizza, including hot chillies, capers, anchovies, feta, shrimp,chicken, smoked chicken, salami, salami-peperoni and sun-dried tomatoes.

We sat around and had some drinks, caught up, the neighbours played some music for us which just added to the real chill atmosphere. It was a clear night and not too damp to just lay in the grass and look up at all the twinkling beautiful stars.

I love the Far North and the people and scenery that make it so amazing!

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