Wednesday, January 18, 2012

At Least It Isn’t a Vacuum

puzzle gal

A corner of the Desperate Housewives puzzle we did over the holidays

We installed a new gas range this week. The old one just had to go. The interior glass in the door was cracked in several places so we couldn’t use the self-cleaning feature. It wasn’t terribly safe, either. The oven light hasn’t worked for years, and I kept a flashlight in a nearby drawer. Eventually “flashlight” became “oven light ha ha ha” even when referring to the Maglite in the glove box of the car. To the best of my knowledge, the temperature probe never worked. And one time I brushed some mysterious combination of digital buttons and the range went into Sabbath mode: The damn door wouldn’t open for twenty-four hours.

It still worked okay, though, and looked fine. In the summer I may have my no-oven menus, but in the winter the range gets a workout pretty much every day. Breads, simmering stews, chicken stock, slow-cooked meats … I hate throwing away something that still functions, even if I’m inconvenienced.

But when the burners kept going out on the lowest setting (and the gas was still seeping into the kitchen) and the oven temperature started running 25 to 75 degrees too hot – in a thoroughly unpredictable fashion – I gave in. In the interest of having the right tool for the job (as well as simple safety), we needed a new range.

This was the last meal cooked in the old oven.

puff pot pie

Chicken pot pie from this recipe I shared last year, only instead of a regular crust I made small casseroles and slapped some puff pastry on top. Easy peasy.

Then, while I worked on the new blog (The Lightfoot Chronicles will launch Monday, January 23rd), put in my time on the second Magical Bakery Mystery (untitled so far) and reviewed page proofs from Brownies and Broomsticks, K wrestled the range. As often happens it ended up requiring a certain amount of disassembly, shims and a visit from a plumber to move the gas line, but eventually he emerged victorious.

And the old “oven light ha ha ha”? Retired!

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