Pizza stone - Heard of it? No? Me too. This, until my good friend, James, called me at work on a Friday afternoon and asked if I want to come over for dinner as he's gonna inaugurate his partner's latest inspired purchase - pizza stone.
If you're still wondering what a pizza stone is - it's a hot plate that heats the pizza base, just like an oven. It's a neat replacement for an oven. Don't have an oven, still want to make pizzas? This is your tool.
I reached James's place. After chatting a bit, we rolled our sleeves and entered the kitchen. James's partner, Sarah, was happy that the boys were in the kitchen for a change and she was in the lounge watching TV with a glass of Shiraz. It was my first time making pizzas. Having flipped the odd Dosai at home with grace and panache, I thought making pizzas should be as easy as eating them. And it wasn't hard. James did most of the work by topping the pizza, all I had to do was take the pizza off the oven with the enormous spatula when the edges turned brown.
"Ah this must be the best bit...", I told myself as I slid the big spatula under the crusty brown base, expertly lifted it off the plate, turned towards the kitchen benchtop and....thwwap. I watched in disbelief as the friggin pizza landed face down on the kitchen floor!
When two men are at work in the kitchen, sudden silence means trouble. And women can somehow hear this loud silence very well.
"Howssit going?", Sarah enquired from the lounge.
"Er. Yea almost done. mm..lemme top up your glass", James said in a calm tone but a bit louder than normal and quickly walked out with bottle of Shiraz, his eyes still fixed on the bums-up pizza.
I immediately rescued the pizza. Removed chunks of pineapple, tomato paste, jalapeños, onions from the floor. I had to use the knife to remove the cheese as it stuck to the floor like a bubble gum. I redressed the pizza again but it still looked messed up. James and I made an echicootive decision to convert the vegetarian pizza into a Pepperoni Pizza so we can cover the messed up parts with Salami.
"All done. Ready!", James beamed as he walked into the lounge with two plates. One Pepperoni, and another Vegetarian pizza.
"Mmmm...yummm!", she said taking a bite.
Later that evening, James and I were in the kitchen as he was doing the dishes. He picked up a green crystal bowl, held it, and just like that, it leapt from his hand and crashed onto the floor into several thousand pieces. He was holding it one moment, the next moment I watched the slow motion disaster unfold with my ever widening eyes.
Sarah was asleep upstairs. We thought she might've have heard it, but nope, no sign of her.
"Man. That bowl looked expensive. She's gonna be mad at you", I said.
"yea. We'll clean it up right. She wouldn't know"
"She'll know", I said grimly.
"Okay. Just dont say anything in the morning okay.."
We swept, re-swept the floor to remove any vestige of evidence. We ruled out vacuuming as the noise may wake up Sarah.
Next day morning.
Brunch over. I was solid, didn't say anything when the topic of pizza came up.
Then after a while, Sarah cornered James in the kitchen. "Okay. What happened here yesterday? "
"Did you have an accident in kitchen?", she said giving him the look.
"We may have...why?", James said, his gaze shifted to me quickly and back to Sarah. I had the "I told you so" look.
"How did you know?", pleaded James.
"Well, you see that tiny shard of crystal at the corner of the pantry...that thing has been reflecting light from the kitchen".
"Ugh! You're good!", James said as he left the kitchen shaking his head.
Sarah will never find out about the pizza...um, until now.