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!