It’s not often I find myself on a sunny Sunday afternoon drinking cider and making my own pizza, but that’s something I did recently after The Stable on John Bright St opened its doors for a bloggers afternoon.
Allen Hogan from Hogan’s cider, based up the road in Alcester (at least if the 50 bus is to be believed) started the afternoon with a session talking about his company’s cider brand; he has been making cider for 30 odd years, but it has only been within the last ten that they’ve been selling to the public. Hogan’s make what they call “authentic, fresh pressed ciders” and we started the tasting with more traditional style ciders, those slightly cloud,y still ciders which pack a bit of a punch. I think was a bit of a shock to some of the other bloggers who were more used to the sparkling, fruity-flavoured stuff.
After all the cider it was time to have a go at making our own pizza. Now if I’m feeling particularly enthusiastic I’ll make my own pizza from scratch with a pretty basic dough, but at The Stable they use sourdough bases to give extra flavour. We were given the option of adding our own toppings and I was very pleased to hear they had vegan cheese and although I didn’t go for it, others did and professed it some of the best cheese-alternative they’ve tried.
True to form I failed to stick to any of the topping suggestions offered by their menu and freestyled it. Which mainly means I can’t tell you what I added but it was a mix of black olives, ham, peppers and the like. Once we’d loaded our pizzas we got to use one of the oven peels (those things that look a bit like giant spatulas on sticks) to pick up the pizzas and transfer them to the oven. If this had been a competition the group I was with would totally have floored everyone else with our oven peel using skills, which I’m weirdly quite proud of.
And then it was a case of waiting for the pizzas to cook; usually the doors are closed and as we asked them to open then I began to understand why – they pack out quite a heat! Thankfully the pizzas don’t take too long, which means that The Stable is a pretty good place to go for a quick bite and a pint – echoed by the informal banquet seating.
Disclosure: It was a bloggers event, which should tell you that the cider and pizzas were complimentary. And we weren’t obliged to a) writer anything or b) be nice about them.