"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stone Walls and Kitchen Stoves

The weather is crisp, the air still and all of the leaves are starting to blush yellow and red. A and I spend the early morning hacking out the burning bushes and jet-berry that have grown up around the back edge of our property and then weeding and reassembling (in a rough way) the resurrected stone wall we hadn't known was along the back edge of our yard. Lovely to discover these little secrets. I had some qualms about ripping out the burning bushes right before they put on their amazing fall display but after the main trunks were sawed off and their various myriad sprouts trimmed away we were amazed at all the wide open space we'd been hiding there at the back of our lawn. I am still not sure what will go there to replace the errant shrubs. A second row of vegetable beds? A row of blackberries? A long strawberry bed? Who knows! But even if nothing else goes in there, it is amazing to discover that we have this hidden asset in space.

In other news, our rather ancient stove is now a bit dysfunctional. Not completely, just in a creeping sort of way. You remember this stove I'm sure...I mentioned it here and here. Well, welcome to a new stage in the saga.

First the oven thermostat is quite off...by as much as 50-100 degrees...too hot, oddly enough. I fixed that by adding a little temperature gauge that hangs inside the oven door. Then the broiler has never worked, which never seemed to matter much until our grill stopped working and then I was very sad about the whole notion. After the broiler the oven door stopped opening all the way. I had to move the racks up higher in the oven in order to be sure that I could get pans in and out without burning myself on the oven door. And sometimes it still makes me spill food off the pan, into the bottom of the oven with the angle of tilt that is required to maneuver the food in through the reduced opening. Pizzas are a particular challenge. Then this weekend two more disabilities visited our poor stove. First the oven door handle came off...fixable for now although hard to say how sturdy it is in the long run. And then one of the burners on the top of the stove had a sudden glitch which means that it now won't turn off.....worse yet, it is stuck at high power. We have resorted to popping the breaker after we finish making a meal to keep the stove from burning our house down while we're not looking.

Time for a new stove. That's expensive but also kind of exciting so, I'll go with the excitement part of it and be glad that we have a new subscription to Consumer Reports online to help with selecting a good bet financially. I am really relishing the thought of a modern self-cleaning oven, a smooth-top and another appliance with all the buttons and knobs working appropriately. Cold weather is calling and that will mean more baking and roasting and braising, and doing all of that in a newer oven sounds really alluring. I have a bunch of bananas in the freezer that want to be made into chilly leaf-kicking day, slices of toasty quick-bread with generous dollops of butter and hot mugs of tea. I can't wait to meet you, New Stove! Somewhere you're out there sitting in a giant box in a company warehouse, and soon you'll be in our house and I can promise once you come to live with us, the happy task of baking many birthday cakes, roasting many family Sunday dinners and a lot of happy wiping with toddler sponges! Please come quickly!
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