Articles and Opinions

May 3, 2018

Nearby friends of ours installed a rooftop solar water heater in their home about a year ago. Knowing the perils of this under-regulated and non-standardized industry, they really did their homework well. They investigated the different configurations, sizes and collector technologies available and considered these against their needs and the operating environment. They even briefly consulted with us for an additional opinion to ensure they were on the right track. For their use case, the best solution was the very common...

May 1, 2018

So you've decided to do the addition or renovation to your home - do you need to hire an architect or can you just go ahead by yourself or with a small-time builder?

Here are 5 points to help you decide whether you need to go to the extra expense of getting a professional on board and when you need not.

(Note: this is generalised advice applicable in the South African context)

But first, understand what an architect can offer you...

Architect's services can include:

  1. Design advice. An architect's training and experience will...

March 25, 2018

You may have heard that Amazon announced the buy-out of the Ring doorbell business to include into their suit of smart home solutions. Knowing that not all of these connected home solutions work well in the bottom end of Africa (I'm talking about you Alexa) I thought I would offer a local view on my connected doorbell experience. 

Toto's beloved "Rain down in Africa" has cost me dearly over the years. By the vagaries of a Highveld lighting storm, I needed to replace a fried video doorbell about a year ago. At that stag...

March 5, 2018


After enjoying straight-out-the-oven pizzas we are always left feeling that the remaining heat of the oven is wasted (except for the kids roasting marshmallows on the end of long bamboo shoots). 

So we planned ahead a little and prepared veg and chicken in a cast iron pot for roasting after pizza.

This Post-Pizza Pot Roast provided a tasty Re-heat-'n-Eat the next day - Sunday lunch sorted!

The recipe went like this:

  • 12 baby potatoes (whole)

  • 3 medium carrots (cut into thick slices)

  • 6 baby marrows (halved)

  • ...

February 27, 2018

A great Neapolitan Pizza should have a thin and flaky base of about 2.5 mm thick at the centre. It should be firm enough to support your topping but delicate enough to cook through before topping gets over-done. The fast cooking times in a forno oven are intolerant of sub-standard pizza dough or (heaven forbid) thick base pizza.

After much anguish and trial and error, we found this simple recipe that works for us. We have mixed this by hand and had our bread maker just do it for us with equal success. This makes a dough tha...

February 11, 2018

It is said that the pizza is the emergency room of the stomach. I have no idea what this means, but I do know that the fiery glow from a pizza oven is a metaphor for comfort food. There are undoubtedly easier routes to pizza than building your own forno oven from scratch, but where's the adventure in that?

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©2018 by The Good Home - Urban Living.