Something has stirred in the forest, still faint, but definitely stirring. The forest in question is the tangled thicket of my thoughts into which a seed has fallen and taken root. If it grows and thrives I shall tell you more about it. Having a computer, which can do more that two or three million things at the same time, allows me, a forgetful septuagenarian mortal, to let the seed grow or wither whilst I concern myself with meatier meditations on cooking in a wood fired pizza oven. Whatever my feelings on meat eating are, were or will be must be disregarded when confronted with a toothsome côte de boeuf looking as sexy, and bronzed as the one in the picture above these words….or the gigot below.
There is a visceral quality to cooking with a medium as direct as the living heat and fire of an oven such as this which quality extends as much to the burnt offerings and burnt hands of the novice as to the glorious look and unique taste of dishes that emerge successfully from the heat of furnace. I am very taken by this style of cooking whilst being equally aware of its demands…lots of wood and lots of time. There needs to be an intense heat created for the quick preparations such as pizzas or flatbreads but that which interests me most is the slow cooking that happens while the oven is cooling down……which is something that might well interest some of you who would like to spend a few days cooking and taking pictures in the Vendée in a new and glamorous location….and so the seed begins to grow.