You know those weekends that are just perfect. Lazy days, good food, fun and good company? Well I’ve just had one. It started off with bands, cooking and dinner with a friend, and ended with a beautiful Sunday in the country. I don’t drive much, living in the city. There’s no need to with public transport so close and affordable. In fact, last year I drove a total of 4000 km. That’s it. So to go on a road trip, over an hour from home, is a real novelty. I feel like I’m going somewhere.
The beautiful Heidi invited me to her parents’ place on the Mornington Peninsula. Heidi’s husband Ben is away in Sydney working at his awesome tutoring business for two months, and then they’re going to America for three months (I KNOW, RIGHT?!), so she’s back living with her parents. As I expected, they’re so wonderful too – friendly, welcoming, and foodies. Such foodies. If my parents and Heidi’s parents got together they’d start a restaurant, I’m sure. That or they would talk about food for a week. They have ham on the bone and a love for different cheeses. Like me, they’re wholefood fans, and adventurous. We had a pizza festival last Sunday afternoon. Oh it was wonderful. It featured food cooked from scratch, food cooked with love.
Heidi took me for a drive around the area. In the 10 years I’ve lived in Melbourne I’ve only been to Mornington once. We started off by going to a cafe/provodore and then the Shoreham beach – Heidi has lovely memories of the beach and I feel privileged she shared them with me. The sea air smelled amazing and I have returned with enough sand in my shoes to feel like I’ve had a seaside holiday.
When we returned home, we got started on making pizzas. Heidi’s Dad made the dough and got the outdoor pizza oven fired up.
Their garden is lush and rambling – filled with roses, fruit trees, herbs and vegie gardens, plus pretty decorations that make it homely. I’m not a fan of the outdoors, as you know, but on Sunday, I really liked being outside.
While the dough was rising, we got started on preparing the toppings. I am a believer that anything can be a pizza topping, but also less is more, and Heidi and her family follow that pizza belief too. We prepared toppings for four pizzas. My contribution to the menu was a fig, cheese and ham pizza – I picked up some fresh figs from my local grocer on the way.
Heidi and I sat outside in the sunshine, drinking adult cordial that her Dad prepared – it was delicious. It’s a cocktail of tart plum syrup (leftover from baked plums), ginger and sugar syrup, ginger liqueur, bourbon, soda water amd raspberries. It was delicious. And rather elegant.
We chatted about writing, boys (my boy confusion, and how she’s so in love with Ben – her love for him is so cute!!), music (we are both currently loving The Lumineers), American travel and food. So much talk about food. I love Heid’s passion for food – she told me how she adores making pastry, and she’s always reading cookbooks and learning about wholefoods and nutrition. And I joked that she was a “walking boom box” when she ensured we had music everywhere we went – courtesy of her iPhone in her pocket. So much innuendo captioning this photo!
Finally the pizza dough was ready to be rolled, just in time for Heidi’s Mum’s arrival home after a stay in the city. Warning: many pizza photos ahead. You’re lucky you’re not seeing photos of us taking photos of the pizzas. Because we did do that – and agreed it was a pyschologically normal trait of active social media users to do this.
On the left, there’s chorizo, bocconcini, tomato and Parmesan, and on the right is button mushroom, shiitake mushroom and Parmesan.
This one is the fig, blue cheese, mozzarella and ham. Some leftover craisons and garlic oil was added too.
The pizzas didn’t take long to cook in the oven – maybe 10 minutes each. We cooked them two at a time.