For the past few years I have been cooking with an oven that works intermittently at best. My range has only two working burners. It started three Christmases ago, while I was roasting some sort of huge hunk of meat, and my oven began beeping with an ominous repeating display of F-5.
What F-5 meant was my oven just stopped working and I had eight people at my house to feed and the roast beast was medium raw at best.
Over the years I have learned how to adapt to my stove's incompetence. I know that once I turn my oven on, I may have to keep it on for hours at a time, because once I turn it off, it is done for the rest of the day. I have kept my oven on for eight hours at a stretch. I have been cooking on a daily basis, for my growing and always hungry family of four with only two burners. It has been a frustrating experience, because I really do enjoy cooking and feeding my family and friends. Some people out there that hate cooking. I am not one of them. (My hatred for CLEANING however will be another post!)
When owning a home, there is a never ending list of working parts to purchase and maintain just to keep the house treading water - such as a furnace (a luxury in New England) and washing machine. Unfortunately, the stove worked it's way down the list. We knew we needed a new one, but I kept muddling through, crossing my fingers while cooking our traditional Thanksgiving lasagna that F-5 didn't appear and shut the entire operation down.
Until the last six months. That frickin oven has taken a nose dive. The remaining two burners began to do what I called, "The Big Finish". I would turn the burner off, there would be a pause, and then, there would be a final poof! of blue gas flames. Safe. Very safe. And then the oven. I could not use it if I had the burners on - it was one or the other. And then when it was on, it would be inconsistent at best. Sometimes it stayed on long enough to roast a full chicken dinner. And then sometimes it would stop after 15 minutes, leaving me to slow roast brownies for hours using only the residual heat to complete the task.
I could not take it any longer. I meet Cliff at the door one Friday night like a crazy lady, screeching to the tune of "we're not going to eat dinner until 11o'clock tonight and if we don't get a frickin oven pronto! We're going to be eating take-out until it happens!"
And now, after much research and haggling on my part with salespeople (I love the haggle!) we just had a gorgeous, shiny, black stove delivered first thing Thursday morning.
I have to admit, it is taking some getting used to. The power and precision of the four burners. The oven turns on and off. And on again! I find myself a little clumsy when cooking. My rythym is off. It is like having a new lover. We need to get used to each other. It keeps catching me in the corner of my eye. I giggle when I walk by - I have even caught myself saying, "Oh, hi. Well, lookit you here. All new and wanting to be touched. I'll be right over." Excuse me for a moment. I have some cooking to do.