Pizza in our frontier house in Sliven
“Livin’ in Slivin” was fun. The city will hardly make it to a tourist brochure handed to visitors to this country, but we are not one of those. We are special and we have connections.
Life is wonderful indeed. One day we don’t really know each other, then the next we are crashing the living room of our new friends in Sofia. And then the following moment reveals us in Sliven, in their old family house enjoying dinner by the fireplace in the garden. Not long after, we are by ourselves in this most charming dwelling, setting up our own fires.
The house is full of memories. Old photos are peaking from under dusty suitcases. Piles of embroided sheets carry the smell of life gone by. Crystal glasses gently chime in as we walk by from behind the old cabinets. Our hosts needn’t have worried about us, we loved the house. As I said to Luba “you see all that there is to be done in here, we see comfort and a place to call home for short while”.
So enters into this traveling story, the “Pioneer house”. I hope you are keeping up with all those terms, because they are growing quite rapidly as we go.
And here is how you make pizza in a frontier house to provide you with warm comfort and late night smiles.
First you get busy with the sauce. Yes, you can buy it ready made, but that means you will miss out on the fun of making it and there will be less dishes for Mr.Blab to wash with the cold water (the only temperature that comes out of the tap).
Saute a lot of garlic and some onion in a pan. Pour in the tomato passata/can of tomatoes and some oregano and/or basil and salt and sugar. Add in some extra virgin olive oil and if you are a fancy member of the pioneer club, a splash of balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the surrounding area is sufficiently splattered in red a.k.a the sauce thickens.
Side note: you have in front of you a classic, a museum piece of history in Bulgaria. This is “Rahovetz” – the staple oven/stove top for every household. My mom still uses hers, after at least 35 years of service, and she would not part with it for anything.
Find a pan for baking. Make sure it fits your oven, especially if it is worthy of being a museum piece. Oil up and spread the dough to the edges, as you fend swiftly the little creatures that try to steal your olives or the capsicums you have carefully cut up.
Ask the chef to approve the sauce.
Layer sauce and your chosen ingredients. Ours were olives, capsicums and onion. Finish generously with cheese.
Bake and enjoy with salad, water and good company.