Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Cured the Stone but Killed the Oven

Even when you don't believe it, sometimes the stars do line up in your favor. I went through 3 pizza stones before ordering one that should withstand temperatures of 750º. With a bit of a white lie, since they wouldn't deliver it to a residential address, only a commercial address, I told them to deliver it to Starbucks. What do they know, maybe Starbucks is expanding into the drive-thru coffee and pizza business. After 4 weeks this 16 pound stone arrived at Starbucks. I had to mention to the baristas that I had it shipped there so they wouldn't accidentally send it back or possibly break it. Naturally, questions abounded. To a select few, I promised I'd bring them a homemade pizza during their shift. I carefully removed the stone from the heavy cardboard box encased in strapping tape, then bubble wrap, then pop corn and then the shredded paper and there she was: Ooooooh, what a nice smooth and thick stone it was. This is the Fibrament D stone
that I had talked about in an earlier blog. The instructions called for me to cure the stone. I didn't know they were diseased! It said I had to bake it at increased temperatures of 100º for an hour for each hundred degrees. Then after I reached 500, keep it at 500º for 2 hours. Like a Swiss watch maker I worked that oven thermometer gauge in tandem with the timer until I reached my goal. Now, I had to cook dinner. The meatballs I made from Chef Gordon Ramsay's famous recipe were ready to go in. I shoved them in and reset the thermostat. After 45 minutes I went to take them out and nothing, no heat at all. After checking numerous times and resetting and even throwing the breaker I declared the oven had just died. Wow, what bum luck. I had cured the stone but killed the oven.
The stars do line up though. The next day we visited our local appliance store and got an education! We checked out Lowe's and Home Depot, came home and checked the internet. The one oven that I did like at Lowe's had ball bearing racks, cast iron burners, big knobs, wave-touch something or another and bunches of other features. One problem, it was $2299.00.
Much more than I could afford. But, there on the side, was a return of the same exact model half price but no warranty. Dang, I need that warranty. We headed home and checked the internet. There on Ebay the same darn oven in Texas for only $1299.00 with warranty and free shipping! Since it was Texas: no sales tax; that's another $100 saved. After we emailed several questions to them, we decided to call Texas. After 10 minutes on the phone, he knocked it down another $100 plus threw in a free gift card from American Express worth a $180! "OK, what's wrong with it?" we asked. Close-out: the manufacturers are discontinuing the color black and only going with stainless steel. Done deal! The range will be delivered free of charge next Tuesday.
The girls at Starbucks can have their promised home-baked by Chef Vincenzo pizza...finally.
I feel kind of like Bruce Willis after just saving the world from a huge apocalyptic calamity. Thank God, we can have pizza again! That's what's important, but I suppose we could have not bought a new range, avoid Starbucks forever and just go to Pizza Guys for pizza the rest of our lives. I'm thinking of keeping pictures of it in my wallet so when people show me pictures of their children or grand kids, I can show them pix of my new oven!

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