Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Another Ramble pizzas, post offices and the clown

There really isn’t very much in the way of local news at the moment, the electrical power went off for about two hours in Ramsgate town centre today, Harbour Street and parts of The High Street were affected. Although being in King Street we didn’t loose power, the general post office in The High Street was out of action for about two hours.

This meant that our posting was delayed as a modern post office can’t work without electricity and I had to go through the peculiar business of telephoning the post office to see if they had reopened.

The phone number for the post office, this is the general in Ramsgate you understand, is a sort of secret, what they publish on the internet being a totally automated line for all post offices, divulged to me by St Lawrence post office the number of which is published online.

I am making pizza while writing this post, using Google docs, which means I can add to the same document from any computer or smartphone. Making pizza is very Italian, the kitchen has to be as hot as Italy and you use oil instead of flour to stop the dough from sticking to things including your hands, hence the bowl of oil.   

Google docs involves something like MS Word documents that live online somewhere, like the business with the camera in my phone, that is linked to the internet, I think the phrase for this is clown computing.

having spent many years clowning about and trying to master being a passable fool, so I find this all very useful.

Some pizza making tips here, get the oven a hot as you can, start it heating up first, mix up about a pound of flour with the yeast and warm water, a bit dryer than you would for bread, because of the oil, put it in an oiled bowl covered in cling film, on top of your cooker, it should be warm there because of the oven heating up. have a bowl of oil about and oil everything including your hands when handling the dough. It takes about half an hour to rise, work it out flat to roughly pizza shapes on oiled baking sheets or trays. As for the whole kneading business, do it if you can, but the children seem get perfectly ok pizzas just squidging it out. You don't need olive oil, vegetable oil works just as well.

The sauce bit is made by pushing a tin of tomatoes through a sieve - or bunging it in a food processor, then boiling it for a bit, mozzarella cheese is easiest cut up with an egg cutter.

The main tricks are, near the top of a very hot oven, a minimum amount of sauce, cheese and any other topping ingredients, cook for about ten mins and eat immediately. Remember this is a poverty food so if the ingredient cost for a large pizza exceed about 50p it will be ghastly.     

The 1849 map of Ramsgate that I have reprinted is starting to sell and people seem pleased with the result.

at the moment it is only available from my bookshop, hopefully it will be available by post in the next few weeks.

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