Extravagant Almost-Seasonal Pizza

Last night we were scheduled to do our own version of Take on the Take-away (which we’ve done before) but decided that instead we’d drop the take-away bit, and just have a team pizza-making challenge.  Bases would be provided and each team was given a budget of £7 with which to buy toppings during a 40 minute visit to Tesco, before returning to the Church and having a further 30 minutes to produce their pizza and get it in the oven.

The shopping was competitive and secretive from the start as each team tried to keep their ingredients a secret from the other.  In my opinion the best part of the shopping was the interaction with the lady on the check-out when we tried to buy just three brussell sprouts with a total cost of 9p but with only 8p remaining in the budget, which led to to now immortal line: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford that – can I please put one back’.  It made the otherwise miserable Tesco employee smile a little.

On our return from Tesco we made our way to two separate areas for the pizza preparation, watched eagerly by Steph and Yolanda, the two judges.  There was much chopping, frying, spreading, tasting, and laughter, before the finished items were ready to go into the oven.  During the cooking we cracked on with eating the remaining ingredients, and tidying up, before heading into the kitchen for the big reveal.

JudgmentOne team had decided to complete their pizza in quarters, with a different theme of topping in each.  They included the ‘student special’ (spam and baked beans), ‘fuity meaty’ (kiwi on ham), ‘poulet et poivrons’ (chicken and peppers) and the extravagant and yet topical ‘credit crunch’ (caviar and sprouts).  The other team decided on an almost-seasonal pizza stacked high with Christmas lunch goodness, including: turkey, bacon, stuffing, sprouts, carrot and a ring of cranberry sauce around the crust.

JudgmentObviously those sound a little ‘out there’ but they were each delicious in their own way.  The Christmas meal was delicious in a comfortable, obvious kind of way (but delicious none the less), and the quatered pizza was (mostly) delicious in an adventurous kind of way.  We each tasted our own and the others’ pizza and made a few constructive criticisms on how it could be improved.  The judges judged that the Christmas pizza tasted best, but that the ‘quartet’ team scored higher on team-work and presentation, with the Christmas pizza winning overall.  Congratulations – and thanks for sharing the chocolate treat.

We must mention Steph’s adventure with the garlic bread tray, which burnt her hand and was subsequently thrown onto a plastic wrapper which promptly melted to the tray.  However, there are no life-threatening injuries, and the acrid smoke created by cooking the plastic with the garlic bread didn’t kill anyone or affect the taste.  This morning after a bucket of Cif, two wire-wool scourers and immeasurable human effort, the tray is now the cleanest it’s been in 20 years and currently in the oven again serving the lunch club cooks.

The Amicus gallery has been updated with a bunch on photos from the evening’s activities which will give you a visual flavour of the evening, if not an actual one.

Dancing NicciThis week’s quote of the week doesn’t come from Amicus for a change, but was good enough that I thought I’d share it here:

a: “Did you just fart while you were talking to me?”
b: “Yep.”
a: “You didn’t even pause!”
b: “Yes, I know how to multi-task.”
– Source: AuntMarvel on Twitter

As this week is half-term, we got together early on Monday morning for an Ikea Breakfast.  We had a good turn-out but we could still do better.  We’ll have another during the end of term break – check the diary nearer the time for details.  Following a second/third round of drinks at Ikea we headed off to Lynn Gibbs’ house to fulfil our second Promise Auction gardening promise.  Everyone worked really well together with minimal guidance and supervision, and Lynn was delighted with the outcome.  Thanks to all who took part!

Finally, the picture of Nicci ‘dancing’ was taken during a visit this week to see Alex Bradley in Southampton.

Next Week: Film Making – Part Two

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