Newbie question about baking stones
Hi. I've baked a loaf of bread here and there throughout my cooking "career" but never wanted to do more than that until now. Free time in the country does a lot to get hobbies started :) Anyway, I have a few questions and thought this would be a great place to start.
I want to invest in a baking stone and have found a great site (bakingstone.com) with what I want. But if I leave this in the oven as is the logical storage space, how do I deal with baking? I love to cook, but that doesn't mean that I'm NEAT when I do. I have several spots on the floor of the oven cavity now from spills. Would I need to cover the stone with foil every time I bake if I am not baking on the stone? Or if the spillage comes from an already hot liquid, does it matter? What about grease spills?
Also, I have been given a small baking stone that I researched online and see that it actually lists for a decent amount on e-bay and a few other sites. Evidently the company is out of business... The Carmel Kiln Company which made a "Greatful Bread Plate". It's a glazed ceramic stone with dimples in it and was once touted as being "the best".. though no one else has taken up that idea since so I suppose it was another good idea that never got momentum. Anyway, my question is, am I crazy not to use it? I like the decorative look but it seems that it would be small to bake on.