Round Up

Slab heaven

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My friend Judith and I visited a stone yard yesterday.  We were looking for slabs to use in our kitchens for working with bread dough, pastries and crusts.  My new kitchen doesn’t have the wonderful large granite island that my last space had.  And there is only so long one can go without pie.

Can I just say that we died and went to heaven?  Everywhere we looked there was a piece of marble or granite more gorgeous than the next.

There were other stones, too, like travertine and onyx.  The onyx was incredible; that’s a big piece of it, below.  It has a translucent gem-like quality.   The onyx is more fragile than the other stones, though, and not as good a choice for a work surface.

We were told that most bakers come in looking for white marble, and the white marble was beautiful, but the colors and patterns of the other stones were so tempting it was a real challenge to come to a decision.

The surface of the stone can be either honed or polished. The honed surface is matte, like the surface of Greek sculpture.  Bakers often prefer it because it doesn’t show scratches.  The polished surface highlights the colors and designs of the stone so much better, though.

The pieces are thick and very heavy, so they make the perfect cool nonstick surface for working with dough.  The nice thing about ‘shopping’ at the stone yard is that they have tons (literally!) of scraps and leftover bits from larger jobs hanging around that are just perfect for use in the kitchen.  They will cut the pieces to your specifications and polish them for you, and the cost was very reasonable.

This is Leonardo, namesake and grandson of the owner of the stone yard.  He was very knowledgeable and patient with the two of us who couldn’t stop squealing over each and every piece of stone (ok, I did the squealing, Judith was more composed) and kept asking him if he wouldn’t mind hauling out just one more piece for us to see from in between the monolithic stacks.

The piece I finally chose is a green granite, with lots of greys and browns swirling around it.  The size is 20×23 which was partly determined by the size of the original remnant.  Judith chose a beautiful delicately veined white marble. We both went for polished.
We picked up a few smaller pieces and shards as well, they make really nice cheese plates… 😉

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  • Reply
    September 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Have you ever heard that there is a lot of radon in granite (and I’m not sure if it is in all stones)? I have been told that the more pretty, the more colors, the more unusual…the more likely that it is higher in radon. I have been kind of concerned about this, as I don’t want to roll out dough on radon emissions. any thoughts? Have you heard of this?

    • Reply
      September 18, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      I haven’t heard that, Lauren, I’ll check it out!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Looks beautiful! I’m jealous! 🙂

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    May 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I can wander in this type of yard for ages – it took me so long to choose my benchtops. There are so many wonderful pieces – love your choice, looks good enough to eat.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    May 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Well with all that to choose from I’m sure it was tricky – but I love your slab!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    May 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Wow, such beautiful options! I love the idea of picking up a small piece to use for cheese 🙂

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    May 23, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Great photos. You’re so fortunate you can afford granite. I can only dream.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 23, 2012 at 2:06 am

      Lee Ann, that’s the great thing, the slab of granite is inexpensive— my counters are tile from the ’70s or something like that!

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    May 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    What a spectacularly fun shopping trip!! Can’t wait to see your piece.

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    May 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Sue, I am so jealous! And immediatly looking up the nearest stone yard. I love the cheese board idea. Guess I’d better make room in the closet…;)

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    May 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    What a wonderful outing! They are all so beautiful how did you ever decide? We can’t wait to see the crust rolled out on that one!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      The decision was agonizing, once I decided on one, I’d see another that I liked better. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for someone lucky enough to be choosing counters for a new kitchen. I never used a granite surface for dough before our last house, and now I can’t live without it.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    The piece you chose is absolutely gorgeous – I love it! And yes, what heaven that would be. I have a small, round piece that was given to me by an old friend of the family. It’s perfect for making pie dough (size and shape), though I do like it for other things as well. I’d love to actually visit a stone yard one day…

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      We seem to have a lot of them around here, maybe because it’s such a big city near ports, but then again a lot of stone is quarried in America, I bet there’s one near you, you should go!