Thirteen steps to a pizza stone

People have been making bread for hundreds of years.  You wouldn’t think it would be this complicated.

One: Realize that you apparently need an expensive slab of porous rock in your oven to make good bread.  Weigh the pros and cons of simply removing a few bricks from your building’s courtyard landscaping, before ultimately deciding that it’s easier just to buy a pizza stone.

Two: Call Target to ask whether they carry pizza stones.  This inquiry dumbfounds the guy at customer service, who quickly transfers you to a chick in housewares.  The chick in housewares hems and haws and then passes you off to someone who “might know better about this.”  Who is apparently the girl in Jewelry.  Pizza.  STONE.  Um, yeah….

Three: Suck it up and accept that you’re going to have to go to a fancy kitchen store in order to buy a sheet of rock for your oven.  The nearest Williams-Sonoma is in the local Yuppie Mall.  Ugh.  Mall.  Saturday afternoon.  Ugh.

Four: Go to the mall.  Grit your teeth and pay for a $50 slab of rock.  Ugh.  Decide that as a consolation, you really need one of those buttered soft pretzels that you can only get at the mall.  Lug your heavy purchase through the crowds in pursuit.

Five: Arrive at national pretzel chain place, which shall not be named but might rhyme with Panty Stan’s.  Wait in twenty-person line.  Wonder what on earth is taking the people in front of you so long: all the place sells is pretzels, for cripe’s sake.  Get to the front of the line (finally!) and learn that they are only taking cash today.  Do you have cash?  Of course not.  Storm off in a huff.

Six: Seethe.  Because you just. Want. A. Mother. Loving. Soft. Pretzel.   Remember that there’s another pretzel place in the mall, in the food court, on the opposite end of the building.  High-tail it over there, mouth watering in anticipation of butter and salt.

Seven: Curse loudly, and well within earshot of several children, when the shopping bag carrying your heavy pizza stone breaks.

Tuck the massive thing under your arm and continue on your way.

Eight: Arrive at other pretzel place to find it staffed by the marginally literate.

But at least you get your damn pretzel.  Finally.

Nine: Belly full of pretzel and arm aching from carrying the pizza stone, you return to the mall entrance nearest your vehicle.  Only to find this:

The photo does not do the golf-ball-sized hailstones justice.

Ten: Dawdle for a bit.  Consider bellying up to the Cheesecake Factory bar to wait the storm out.  Until the mall lights start to flicker, and a voice comes over the PA system announcing a tornado warning.  Oh hell no.  If you are going to die, it’s not going to be in this stank-hole shopping mall, surrounded by suburbanites with questionable taste in food.

Eleven: Make a run for it.  Fortunately your car is only about fifty feet from the mall door.  Marvel at just how thoroughly drenched you manage to get, in spite of the short distance.

Twelve: Drive your soggy ass home.  Be thankful that you have an SUV, as you watch sedans and compacts strand themselves in front of troughs in the road, which are under a good two feet of water.  Stop at the store on the way home for some beer, because you need it at this point.

Thirteen: Arrive home only to discover that your building’s elevators are out of service.  You know, because of the tornado (?).  Sigh, shake your head, and head for the stairwell, feeling that this pretty much caps off a ridiculous afternoon.

Um, so.  This pizza stone?  That put me through hell this afternoon?  It’d better produce a hell of a loaf of bread.

On the bright side, I managed to win the 5K race I ran this morning.  Even though I ran my slowest time yet this year.  Err…oh well.  Not really sure what was wrong with me this morning.  But a win is a win, right?

Let’s hope that my breadmaking skills are as good as my racing skills.  And by “skills,” I mean expending the minimal level of effort necessary to secure the win, apparently.

Sounds tasty enough to me!


24 responses to “Thirteen steps to a pizza stone

  1. I haven’t had a pretzel in forever. Wow that sounds good. On a sidenote—way to win. 🙂 Haha. Love how that was your sidenote. So humble. 🙂

  2. snort- love your blog. Sorry about the mall fiasco.

  3. Believe it or not, I actually have 2 pizza stones. One we purchased by choice, and the other was a wedding gift (ps this is why wedding guests should always shop off the registry people!). So somewhere in my basement is this unused pizza stone, still in it’s original box, and I would have happily given it to you had I known you wanted one! Maybe you could make it your next blog give away. 😛

  4. ahhh were you at crabtree? the weather really did get kinda scary yesterday! but i respect your conviction NOT to live your last moments in the mall.

    ps: this post is hilarious

    pps: i love the soft pretzels at mill town! (in carrboro)

  5. OMG that picture of you is priceless! I feel like I wear that expression a lot.

    I need a stone too – curious to see how you like yours. We made pizza on a cookie sheet last week and it was…not all we hoped for.

  6. Your dedication to finding a pizza stone is admirable. We have one… I think it was from Target. I bought it as a pendant in a necklace, but I take it apart when I want to cook with it.

  7. When I end up having to hit up the mall, it’s amazing how long the lines are for the pretzel places. Is this a trend I’m not aware of?

    Good luck with the stone. I love mine. Errr… I mean the one that is actually Mon’s that she let me borrow and I haven’t given back from almost a year ago. Damnit, she’s probably going to want it back when I move- William Sonoma, eh?

  8. On the bright side, that pizza stone will be awesome. Make sure you never wash it with soap. Trust me.

    Congrats on your slow win!

    • Uh oh, what happens if you wash it? 🙂

      The salesgirl at W-S said to just brush it off after use. She also said I should leave it in my oven full-time which seems weird. But that thing is large and heavy, so I can see how moving it would be unappealing.

  9. Wow, your fortitude in venturing out to the mall is inspiring. I order everything online for this very reason. I do not want to a) leave my house or b) see people.

    • See, in theory I like online shopping. The problem is that I’m just too impatient for it to satisfy me. I get it in my head that I need to buy something and I have to have it NOW. Not three days from now. Even if that means risking life and limb. It’s stupid….

  10. I love our pizza stone! I don’t remember how we got it though, which probably means it didn’t involve 13 steps. Congrats on the win!

  11. lol what an adventure.

    Congrats on the win.
    Now besides baking bread you need to start making your own pretzels. 🙂

  12. I am always laughing at the crazy drama that goes down in your life – you do such a great job of writing it all out…!

  13. SUPER SECRET ALERT: my boyfriend and I had a similar debacle, which ended up with us learning the little-known-fact that you can use a HOME DEPOT TILE for a pizza stone.

    It is a very specific coral-colored clay tile. It was like $1.50 each, so we buy 2 and use it for 6 months and then replace them (they crack sometimes).

    • Oh hell no. I had the feeling that something like this would be the case (that fancy kitchen stores were making a killing off of something really simple and basic). Grrrrr!

      Thanks for letting me know, though…next time, it’s Home Depot all the way!

  14. This post totally made me LOL. Sorry about your pizza stone getting adventure, but at least you got it & your soft pretzel!

    I have cheapass pizza stone for making pizza/calzones on, but I’ve never used it for making bread. I always use a silicone loaf pan for those adventures, hah.

  15. We’ve been looking for a pizza stone for awhile! I’ve yet to find one in the store. It might be an online purchase…?

  16. That photo of you would only be *more* EPIC if you were rockin’ the kissy face/peace sign.


  17. Pingback: Making and breaking bread | eat, drink, run

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