I love my new oven!

April 4, 2012


I actually accomplished half of my move-to-London-sometime-before-I-die action plan involving this year’s income tax refund. I got a new stove and I love it! (I’ll get the refrigerator next year.)

Now I admit, it wouldn’t be hard to improve on the old one. It probably dated back twenty-plus years to when my building was redone in the condominiums it is today. The guy from whom I bought my place did a nice job getting it in shape, but during my tenure the old stove did nothing to promote itself. It had two interrelated issues. The oven door handle kept coming unscrewed on one end and falling off, but to resecure it tightly enough, the inside panel of the door got misaligned.

The stove burners seemed a little floppy in their wells and I’d always have to poke at the edge to level my pan for symmetrical egg-cooking.

No longer so. Happy days are here again.


The new appliance’s initial selling point (other than its very newness) was its flat top. It seems like such a duh for an electric stove. But now that it’s delivered, installed, and in use—oh boy! The bonus of the flat stovetop is that it’s a much more practical staging area for putting the groceries away.


It’s true, it’s just the most basic, least expensive Kenmore model, but by golly, it’s awesome! I’ve been trying to restrict myself to synonyms of awesome, unless something truly warrants that adjective, because it is quite overused these days. I know a lot of what I’m experiencing is, again, by sheer virtue of its newness and the improvements in technology in the ensuing years, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable!

Though the delivery guys arrived at the very last moment of the stated delivery window, they were very professional and competent. I didn’t actually have any cooking planned until twenty-four hours later, so for the first while I merely gazed lovingly at the flat top. But since then, I’ve had several private moments of joy.


The oven door has a window. The oven has a light inside it. Not only does the light go on when I open the door, but there is a switch with which to turn it on if I simply want to watch the paint of my baking item dry.

The burners operate with traditional physical dials, but the oven is controlled by beepy electronic buttons. Baking temperature, check. Preheated indicator, check. But wait! THERE ARE TWO SPEEDS OF BROILER! You read that right. There is HI broil and LO broil! And as if that weren’t enough, there is an on-board timer. How did it know that I was about fed up with my crappy wind-up egg timer? My new stove is the captain’s chair of the Starship Enterprise!

By now, some of you Californians with fancy houses and, by extension, fancy kitchens, are probably sitting there thinking, aww, isn’t that cute. Well, as the NBC television network used to say a few years ago, “If you haven’t seen it, then it’s new to you!”

I haven’t seen it. It’s new to me.

And it’s AWESOME!



I just got back from a meet, greet, and get informed session about volunteering at Kitchen in the Market, the commercial kitchen space within the Midtown Global Market. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you know I love to cook, and while I don’t have any delusions that I’ll suddenly become a chef or anything remotely close, I thought this opportunity to be support staff for cooking class events (both public and private) would be an interesting something different to do.

It was billed as an information session to enlighten us as to what they look for in volunteers and what we as volunteers might expect. It turned out to be a little mini-class in its own right.

As soon as we arrived at the space, we were offered KITM’s “signature” champagne cocktail—glass drizzled with liquor, champagne poured, a few drops of bitters—after showing proper ID—”I don’t care if you look 112 or 12”—before anybody even said a word (an informational word, that is). Champagne? Okay, this is already fun!

There was presented actual information for a few minutes before we broke into three groups to prepare snackens for immediate consumption.


I was in the vegetables dipped in vodka then dipped in flavored salt group. I chopped the radishes with, I have to say, surprisingly, a rather dull knife (ahem). White=sea salt, orange=spiced/hot salt, grey=smoked salt.


Another group prepared delicious guacamole, which also contained a bit of the smoke salt and smoke something else which I don’t remember what.


The final group prepared a pomegranate-quincekumquat salsa. Well, I didn’t hear its official name but that’s what I’m calling it. And I think those orange, citrusy but bitter slices are quince, right?


All accompanied by a glass of wine whilst we chit-chatted amongst ourselves and with the KITM folks.

Volunteer duties include patron interface, food prep assisting, wine carafe and glass filling, clean-up (dishes and mopping), and the like. You know, I’ll give it a whirl. It seems like something that could take me down some unexpected path that jolts the routine of my life, and that would be exciting.