During the post Christmas sales, I bought a pizza stone with the idea that it would be specifically for use on the barbecue. As I recall, it cost $10. It is much lighter weight and thinner than our bread stone. Even so, it seemed a bit extravagant and I was hesitant to mention that I had got it. For weeks, the stone has been sitting propped up against the sewing machine, waiting until the weather was warm enough.
And finally it is warm enough. Yes, spring has really sprung now. The tulips and periwinkle are in bloom and the brilliant yellow forsythia blossoms are starting to disappear behind the new growth of green leaves. It’s such a relief to know that the white stuff fluttering onto the patio stones is cherry petals from the tree two doors over.
And so, early this week, when we decided to have pizza on the barbecue, I decided to unveil the stone:
Me: I have a present for us. A surprise.
T: (eyes lighting up) A present? For us? What is it?!
Me: A surprise – ummm, errrr – it’s sort of a present for me – it’s for the barbecue – ummm, errrr – but I think it will be for you too – ummm, errrr – I’ll go upstairs to get it.
T: (after opening the bag) A pizza stone? Does it fit?
Me: I think so… isn’t it the same size as the pan we use?
T: And won’t it crack in the barbecue?
Of course I wasn’t certain that the stone would work. There’s nothing on the box that says “for use with gas barbecue”. In fact I didn’t even know if it would actually fit in the barbecue. And I hadn’t even considered that it might crack in two with the heat. But we didn’t think we really had anything to lose. If it didn’t fit or cracked in half, we could always use it in the oven….
My real reason for getting the stone was to eliminate need for the pan entirely. I wanted to be able to skip this step:
[…]after shaping the dough onto two lightly oiled pans, put the pans in the barbecue at medium heat (lid closed) until the bottoms are lightly golden – about 2 minutes. Remove the pans from the barbecue and flip the shells over. Dress the shells with your favourite toppings […]
Not to mention that one of our early adventures with making pizza on the barbecue still haunts me (as thrilling as it was, and as unlikely as it is ever to be repeated).
I made the dough in the morning and set it on the counter to rise. In the early evening, we put the stone in the barbecue (I can’t tell you how relieved I was that the stone fits into the barbecue perfectly AND that it’s almost exactly the same size as the pan we were using before!). T turned on the barbecue and we shaped the dough then dressed it with fresh tomato/red wine sauce, sautéed mushrooms, grilled and fresh red and yellow peppers, ham, onions, mozzarella and Moroccan oil-cured black olives.
It’s too bad that we have no way to record the sound of the pizza wheel whizzing through the light but crispy crust. And the taste! Oh my! oh my! Why does anyone EVER order pizza from a delivery service?!