A Birthday and a Pizza Oven

Lately, it seems we’ve never been too far away from a birthday. Normally, us girls swap our favourite party clothes with one another and head out into town to celebrate. But the latest birthday was much more easy on our bank balances, and as it was nearing the end of the month, I think we were all relieved to do something a little different.

Just over the road, Tim was turning 29 and he decided to mark it by inviting us all over to eat pizza and enjoy a few beers. We were all pretty excited by this, mainly because Tim and his housemate had decided to build their very own pizza oven – from scratch – in their back garden… as you do.

We all gathered spare ingredients from the back of our fridges and cupboards and hurried round to be greeted by the most delicious whiff of tomato and basil bubbling away on the hob, ready to be smeared over our freshly made pizza bases.

It was the first time the oven was going to fulfil its destiny, so we were all guessing on how thick and thin to make our pizzas. I decided to go for a tomato and basil base with ham, mozzarella, charcuterie and mushrooms – I even got cocky and fashioned a cheesy stuffed crust.

By the time my pizza was ready to go in, we’d worked out that it should be left in the oven for approximately 5 – 7 minutes (depending on how hot the embers were). Sadly for me, my overconfidence with the stuffed crust became my undoing and although it was still tasty, my pizza ended up a little on the charred and doughy side.

It didn’t matter too much though, as my attempt was just one of many made by everyone else and by the end of the night we were tucking into cheese and ham stuffed dough-balls and perfected thin bases. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m convinced our pizzas could rival top Italian restaurants, I mean, just look at this masterpiece…

And just to round everything off, the night coincided with Diwali, the festival of lights and later on in the evening we were surrounded by beautiful firework displays whilst munching on our cheesy creations.

The whole thing was a fantastic success and cost us next to nothing, apart from a few toppings and beers – it was a really innovative way to celebrate and still hold onto our pennies. I cannot wait for our next invitation from the pizza oven of dreams.

Overall rating: 9/10

Total cost: Under £10 per person (toppings and extras depending)