Her house, set on three acres up in the hills to the west of Napa is a small slice of heaven. The stone pizza oven, with interior parts replicating old Italian ovens, and the exterior stone built by hand is a presence in itself. I learned this weekend that the temperature (measured with a cool infrared laser device) must be at 800 degrees F to be hot enough. Wow!Dough was pre-made and after word began to spread that the oven beast was at the desired temperature, we got to work. All the party goers had fun mixing and matching with the the range of ingredients brought. I made only two pizzas, the first with greens from our garden and local pre-cooked fennel sausage, and the second with tomatoes and squash blossoms from farmer's markets in the bay area visited in the morning. However I probably tried at least 10 little slices as the pizza's came steaming out of the oven.
It was fun to see what everyone brought, and also to get to try so many different kinds. If I had to guess at least 50 little pizzas were made in just a few hours. Talking to another "chef" about similar party ideas he had been to a ravioli making party, dough provided, filling up to the attendees. The possibilities seem endless.
(photography by: alison clayshulte)