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Thursday, April 03, 2003  

Hot in Therre

My schedule, my dad’s schedule, and the proper parts finally converged last weekend in a way that allowed us to finish installing our new (used) oven. You’d think, after nearly two months of being without a fully functioning oven, living off what scraps we can scrape together out of the microwave, toaster oven, stove, and credit card, that we’d be anxious to christen our new kitchen appliance the moment it was up and running.

Ew, not like that. Also, ow.

Except we didn’t. We’d been living without an oven for so long that we’d almost forgotten what to use one for. We’d just “enjoyed” a batch of unevenly cooked biscuits from the toaster oven that very morning, in fact. We’d even gotten used to walking past the gaping metal hole in one wall of our kitchen, where I was storing the tools we were using for the project because we’d be wrapping it up “any day now.” Not that that last part was so hard, because our old oven was so ugly that nailing a dead badger to the wall in its place would have been an improvement.

But anyway, my dad came over on Sunday with the part he needed and we got the new oven up and running in an hour or so. The hardest part was figuring out how to fit together the puzzle of metal rods that constitute the adjustable broiling rack and motorized rotisserie spit. But once we got that out of the way, we had a brand new (to us), clean, shiny oven that actually fits the current décor of our kitchen rather than looking like the anachronistic eyesore that our old oven was.

Last night, I fired it up for the first time.

It’s not really accurate to say we never use our oven. It’s more true to say we are always using our oven, because if nothing’s baking in it, we’re using it for storage. We have more stuff than space in our kitchen, and even though we quit getting new kitchen stuff and started buying new kitchen space a while ago, the ratio is still askew. That means we use the oven to store the overspill of cookie sheets and casserole pans between meals. I hope you’re not too shocked to hear that.

Anyway, before I put Trash and my head-sized potatoes in the oven, I took those items out of the oven and set them aside. Then I popped our foil-wrapped starch bombs in our shiny new oven, set the timer, and went off to do something else.

You can probably tell what direction this is taking based on that last sentence.

Ten minutes later, two rooms away, I picked up a whiff of hot plastic. Oops.

I went into the kitchen, where the smell of heated petrochemicals bordered on toxic. I’d forgotten the casserole pan in the broiler section of the oven. The casserole pan with the plastic lid. The lid whose edges were still neatly clamped around the top of the pan, but whose top had melted into a navy-blue puddle with a big hole in the middle. The letters embossed on what used to be the top of the lid were now so distorted they were illegible, but I imagine they included something along the theme of “Do not use lid in oven.” Again, oops.

But it’s not a tragedy, even on the pettiest of domestic scales. None of the plastic dripped into the actual oven, imparting our brand-new appliance with an inexpugnable aroma of a chemical factory. Once the lid cooled, it peeled neatly off the glass pan, leaving the latter in perfect condition. And the potatoes turned out just fine.

So our new oven has been well and truly christened. Not only have I cooked something in it, I ruined something in it at the same time. It’s part of the family now.

posted by M. Giant 3:20 PM 0 comments


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