Pizza Pizza!

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We have a wood-fired pizza oven at our house. Let me just warn you that I have never cooked in a wood-fired oven so if anything is completely wrong please let me know. Randy found a great site that I kind of used, but didn’t follow directly because I was either chasing Eloise around or starting a fire 😉

Here is the site: http://www.slowfoodandhandforgedtools.com.au/recipes.html

Just a normal Tuesday here in Playa Esterillos. Eloise and I went out this morning to the mini super in Oeste and picked up some flour, yeast, pizza sauce, mozzarella, and chorizo. Oh and of course some more Imperial! Then we headed to the beach in search of driftwood. We loaded up the back of our Pathfinder with all different sizes and headed home.

First I made the dough and let it rise.

While it was rising, I started a huge fire with all the wood. It was burning hot and I just made sure all of it caught fire and let it burn down to very hot coals.

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Back in the kitchen I kneaded the dough again and made into pizza forms. Put it in the fridge and prepped all the toppings so I could compile them quickly.

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After some time, I pushed all the very hot coals to the sides of the oven and sprinkled some flour as a test. It was hot!

Stretched the pizza dough a bit more and put all the toppings on… into the oven it went.

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I think I waited a bit too long and maybe needed to make a bigger fire because it needed a little longer than what I had read. But still it was baked and tasted great! I went in for my second pizza and found that the temperature stayed about the same.

We were lucky enough to share our first pizza experience with some new friends we met on the beach. A nice family from Quebec joined us for our pizza adventure. They have a daughter only a few months older than Eloise so everyone had fun.

Some things that I will try to do next time…

  • Put some olive oil on the crust. It didn’t need it, but I think it will improve the flavor.
  • Use cornmeal underneath the pizza.
  • Make the fire bigger so there are more coals.
  • Make more dough so we can make more pizzas!

We will keep you posted as our pizza knowledge grows.

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First week in Esterillos Este

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Our home for the next three months.

We have officially been at our beach house in Costa Rica for a week. We are just getting the hang of things. Some things that we have learned are…

  • Lock everything up even when you are home and around – luckily we haven’t learned this the hard way, but by repeated advice from neighbors.
  • A floor bed in this house is not reasonable for our 1 year old. There are way too many ants, iguanas, and bats.
  • You cannot bring enough sunscreen to Costa Rica! It’s way expensive down here.
  • Cloth diapers will take too much effort to be worth it. We are using our disposable inserts in our Grovia hybrid shells and it seems to be working well thus far.

We were hoping to find some kind of local farm to buy fresh produce, etc.   Luckily for us we found a family that sells milk, eggs, cheese, coconut oil, and whole butchered chickens. We had our first Sunday roast chicken from them and it was tasty!

We also found another cow farm that produces all sorts of milk products. Including yoghurt. Randy has been making a fresh fruit smoothie every morning and this yoghurt is a welcomed addition.

Another great find was a spice farm, Villa Vanilla. They grow all sorts of spices, fruits, and veggies. We went for a nice walking tour there and then bought some of their delicious spices. We will certainly be back! Here’s the website if you are in the area. http://www.rainforestspices.com

Right now our vegetables and fruit come from a large fruit market in Jaco. I don’t think they are grown in a wonderful manner so we are still looking for a good source for fresh produce. We will keep you posted.

There is a great meat shop next to the fruit market that sells fresh and delicious meats.

A typical morning smoothie consists of the following:

  • Fresh fruit (starfruit, strawberries, banana, mango, pineapple, watermelon, passionfruit, etc.)
  • Local yoghurt
  • Chia seeds (Atenas, Costa Rica)
  • Cinnamon (Villa Vanilla)
  • Cacao nibs (Villa Vanilla)

Buying our car in San Jose!

Buying a car in San Jose was a lot easier than expected. Mostly because we used a service to help us get it done. Not only did we find a superb vehicle that matched our criteria, but we did it in a day. The secret is the service we used. Before we arrived Russ, the owner, communicated with us via email. He scoped out some vehicles that matched our criteria so that when we arrived he had a list of cars for us to choose from. Since we our traveling with our one-year-old daughter Randy went out alone with Russ to check them out. He said that Russ helped him by looking at the small things that change from country to country. One example, most people put water in the coolant tank here instead of antifreeze. He checked everyone and let Randy know which ones did and which ones didn’t.

After we found the car we wanted he took us to a lawyer where we made it official and transferred the papers and money.   Then he set up the meeting with the insurance agent.   His price for all of this is $280.

Could we have bought a car without him? Yes, but it would have taken a lot longer, and we would maybe have to learn the hard way about some of those differences that he pointed out. We highly recommend this service! Here is his website.

http://wheelscr.com/car-buying-costa-rica-help/

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Our 2002 Nissan Pathfinder

It’s official, we are moving to Costa Rica!

We are off on a great adventure to Costa Rica for three months this winter. Here is the plan. We will fly from Washington, D.C. to San Jose on January 1st. We will stay in San Jose for a few days to visit friends and buy a car. Then we will make our way down to our rented beach house in Playa Esterillos Este on the 5th. Here we go!
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This is our luggage all packed and ready to go to the airport.

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This is us on the plane. Yay!

More to come soon…