This definition might actually lead you to believe that I partake of cannabis. I do not. I am a unique type of stoner. As you may well know I am a preparer of foods. I LOVE to cook! I could put a cot in this beloved kitchen of mine and just live here. Obsessive? You betcha. What else am I totally infatuated with? Pizza. Any kind of pizza. Thick, thin, Chicago style, New York style, hot, cold, etc.! So, imagine my happy surprise when I received a pizza stone as a gift! Yes! I had heard about the benefits of baking up a pizza on this rock, but to actually have one added to my kitchen arsenal was a dream come true! So, MY definition of a stoner is: “a recipient and user of a pizza stone.” Let me tell you about my profligate life using this wonderful wheel of fortune.
I cannot begin to tell you when my pizza obsession began, but I can recall being 8 years old and my mother presenting us with homemade pizza. I loved the pizza sauce and the gooey mozzarella cheese. Sometimes one bite would make the mozzarella slip off the beloved sauce and stick onto my lips causing many yelps of displeasure until I could remove it. Still, each bite was like a fantasy. Saturdays became a day of excited nervousness: would it be tasty pizza for dinner or stinky cabbage soup. As you can imagine the smell emanating from the kitchen was definitely different for each. The smell of pizza is the best aroma in the world!
For bread lovers out there, I join you in adoring bread. And really what is pizza but bread with happy food surprises on top! Who would not or could not fall madly in love with pizza? (Ok, there are some of you out there, but I still believe you are missing out on actually being able to “taste” joy. Oh yes, I feel THAT strongly about it).
After Wiseguy and I moved in together I learned how to “order pizza”. Yes, I could call the pizza place and tell them…nay…order them to make me my preferred pizza pie. Sidebar: I really disliked this job. I disliked having to repeat myself. Although I have a voice that could wake the dead, for some reason my on-phone ordering skills seemed to change the decibel level of my voice to a pitch only a dog could hear. All in the line of duty if I wanted to have my pizza AND eat it too.
I first started experimenting and making my own pizzas when the kids were craving pizza and our wallet was craving obscurity. Instead of ordering 4 or 5 pizzas of differing toppings, all I had to do was make two large rectangular ones (using cookie sheets). I would account for several slices per person. I would top with requested meats and/or veggies for personalized slices. No fighting or whining about the pizza AND it saved us lots of dough. (Ha! Ha! dough…as in slang for money, but dough as in pizza dough as well! I’m ingenious!)
All of a sudden, a pizza revolution occurred! Forget about the franchise pizza places. Suddenly there were restaurants opening with unique crunchy, bubbled pizza crusts and exotic toppings. Some places even made their own mozzarella! What sort of craziness was this? Ah-ha! Imported wood pizza ovens from Italy. Mama mia! I had to try one of these super glamorous dough-based spheres. It appeared that at this time there weren’t many in my part of the globe and worse still, not even in my neighbourhood. I had heard rumours of one place that had opened in the newly renovated area of our city: The Bread Bar. It was local. It was a 15-minute drive from our place. We arrived. It was crowded. We went in. We ordered. 20 minutes later and 26.00 dollars lighter we hustled out with our hot little masterpiece. Mmmmmmm. More Mmmmmm. Still more Mmmmm. The crust, slightly charred with big air pockets. Nice crunch. Sauce was stupendous. We had ordered a basic meat/cheese pizza. I loved it! I wasn’t too keen on the price though. It was after this revelation that I decided it was time for me to start creating my own masterpieces. How?
Plan A: convince Wiseguy that we needed to import a wood burning stove from Italy. (Yes, he still gets tears in his eyes from laughing so hard.) Plan B: procure a pizza stone. As mentioned earlier…I got one! To add to my new pizza-making pleasure I found a neat setting on my Sub-zero Wolf stove dial. Check it out!
Other items for fantastic homemade pizza:
The final result:
Ok, besides my creepy, half-drooling voice…is it not fantastic!
I believe Dean Martin said it best: When the moon hits your eye / like a big pizza pie / That’s amore! TRANSLATION: Seeing a pizza the size of the moon means you love pizza.
P.S. Feel free to become a Stoner like me and join me in a different kind of high!