I picked this up because I saw it on a list of the CWA Ian Fleming Award candidates (along with the Robatham author I had read recently…). I went in blind not knowing anything about the characters or even that the author’s name was a pseudonym – although I found that part out pretty quickly after adding it to Goodreads. But I was trying to avoid spoilers so I tried to avoid seeing anything about the story online.
I usually don’t start at #5 of a series of previously established characters- but that didn’t matter here. Good character depth and really well written.
I was a bit impatient in the middle – it’s a long book – but that’s because a lot of mysteries I read are pulp and I was thinking that this case would be solved quickly. I also read this as an e-book that’s why I wasn’t grasping that this would be that a long tale. But it was worth sticking out.
I recently posted a video to Instagram of me using an Ooni gas fired pizza oven when we were housesitting. I received a number of questions from you all basically asking the same thing: “Worth it?”
I wanted to give you some feedback and hopefully answer your question.
First I just wanted to say that I think the Ooni oven is a really well made product. It’s light, it’s relatively small (it can fit on a smaller table), it’s easy to hook up and get running and it’s very easy to clean up.
Notably, the interior pizza stone on the inside is removable and can be cleaned off if needed. Most of the time you can just do a “burn off” and flip the stone over to do this process. But you could use a grill brush after a burn off if needed.
That said- here’s my attempt to answer your question- “is it worth it?”
Yes and no.
Do you have outdoor space? Do you like to make multiple pizzas for one meal? Do you have a family and maybe each person wants their own pizza? Do you entertain frequently? If so, go for it.
Do you live in a small apartment with no outdoor space? Do you really only need to make one pizza to share for dinner? Then no, skip it. Get a baking steel.
The recommendations as an alternative idea for the “no”. When my friends bought their ovens (I have multiple friends with the Ooni), I received a birthday present called a Baking Steel. You may have seen them in use on Kenji Lopez-Alt’s videos. The Baking Steel is perfect for making pizzas on indoors in an oven. The version I have is also flippable and can sit on the stove as well. I used mine as a part-time griddle and also as a pizza steel.
It works in any oven, but excels in ovens where the broiler element is up top. Sadly, my broiler is one of those old-school drawer types that sits below the main oven compartment. But it’s still great.
I recommend the Baking Steel for anyone as it has multiple uses. You can even use it to make smash burgers (video below). That said- if I had outdoor space, I’d have an Ooni too.
Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions.
Here are some pics from the Ooni and my Baking Steel. Some useful videos below as well. Both Andris from BS and Kenji have loads of videos. Kenji has a lot using the Ooni as well as his Steel.
During the times of ‘Rona I’m not listening to podcasts as often as I was previously. I’m not commuting so I’m not listening to them with any regularity (or reading in the same way). But I do try to fire up something to listen to a few times during the week.
Here are some of what I’m listening to and have queued up. Below that are my old “regulars” that I still recommend and like (maybe with a note or two)
Queued up: Winds of Change. Recommended to me by multiple people, mostly because of novelty, but many because they know I’m from SA and SA has a special place for Scorpions trivia.
Bumping up in priority: Scene on the Radio (multiple recs, seems very timely with what’s going on right now).
And Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast is back for another “season”. I’ve just started listening again. The first episode here talks about golf and taxes in an interesting way. Of course I liked the way he brings up Theseus’s Paradox.
It was nice seeing some kids from my hometown playing with Sting last night at the Masonic. I hadn’t seen or heard of Last Bandoleros before, but I’m looking forward to checking them out more. Plus, they’re from SA!
In other news, I switched earplug brands and tried out some Alpines last night- they were great. And they’re a million times better than generic Hear-os for music.
I’m not bagging on the Hear-o, they’re not made for music, but I usually take a pair with me to concerts.
Here’s a link to Amazon if you want to buy a pair of Alpines. They come with two types of end pieces (the tiny metal bit on the end in that pic).