Jazzy’s River House 27870310, that’s the place in Dominical, Costa Rica where the locals go for great music, food, art instruction, surf lessons, yoga, massage, theater, and friendship. Ruby Kim and Steve have opened their arms to the community for the last ten years. And they’ve added something new. Pizza.
Ruby Kim is like Old Faithful, bubbling and spouting regularly with creative new ideas. Her latest venture came about when she, Steve and friend Eduardo, who’s worked in many a pizza parlor, started the dream process.
Eduardo. “Hey, we could build one of those pizza ovens.”
Ruby K. “Like a kiln.”
Steve. “Let’s do it.”
And they did. Now it sits under a bamboo rancho all set about with Ruby’s designs: palm weavings, rock paths and driftwood benches on the Rio Baru.
The oven is glaring out at Eduardo and Steve in his pizza apron (the next creative adventure story), waiting for a pizza to be slid off the homemade wooden paddle into its fiery mouth. Friends and neighbors have been invited to bring the fixin’s depending on their pantries and capabilities: sauce, veggies, condiments, meat, cheese dough and firewood. We novices get cooking lessons. No, at my age, I’ve never made a pizza from scratch.
Ruby, with that great smile of hers, takes one look at my platter of eggplant parmigiana, “It’s too heavy. You can’t put all that eggplant in big chunks on the pizza crust, it’ll fall through.” Then to Nancy, another first timer, “A little oil on top, flour on the paddle.”
Nancy. “The closest I’ve been to making pizza is taking them out of the box and into the oven.”
Steve. “Tell ‘em not to forget the cornmeal.”
Eduardo. “Or they’re gonna stick.”
There’s a barter system going among good friends, but Ruby Kim and Steve bear the expense of the extras and they’re not rich.
Nancy. “Put out a tip jar.”
Jill. “You gotta pay for expenses or make a little money, so we can keep coming to these great parties.”
Bob starts right in creating his pizza. He’s a chef already. Charlie mumbles up to the paddle, slaps a glob of dough down and starts kneading. Ruby has to pressure me to let go and sling my pizza dough above my head. I’ll jump off a cliff, but neither am I brave enough to project my pizza off the paddle into the fire. I let Steve and Eduardo, the oven experts, do that.
While all this preparation and oven-watching is going on the jungle bred children of all ages are climbing trees and wrestling, laughing, monkeying around on the grass under the easy supervision of smiling Laraina. She only reels them in to color or play quiet games when they become too rowdy.
I get my pizza in the oven first as the test case. The kids are starving by this time. The oven is so hot it takes only two minutes to cook to perfection. And it’s gorgeous toasty, brown and bubbling. Cut up into small pieces we feed the little guys first. My pizza parmigiana is wolfed down by the pack. What a way to get kids to eat eggplant! And they love it. The rest of the varied and wondrous pizzas follow at five minute intervals until everyone is deliciously full of food, drink, camaraderie, sharing, fun and games. Fourteen pizzas in all come out of the oven with the expertise of Eduardo, Steve and Ruby Kim, and at least half of these are made by pizza virgins.
At the next “Sewing Circle” I reminisce, “What a fun, yummy party!”
And Ruby K brainstorms, “This could be Jazzy’s next venture.”
“Right, you could cater pizza dinners.”
“Clients could just enjoy the party, or they could learn how to make pizzas from scratch to dessert.”
“Just figure in your costs and a fair profit. It’s a great idea.”
So, I’m asking all of you Costa Rica Southern Zone tourists and residents alike, do you like this idea? If they build it, will you come???? Please pass this on and comment on my blog costajill.com or Facebook. Look for more Jazzy’s Pizza Party photos in my Facebook album. Please share this blog with your other Costa Rican friends. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.