Friday, December 12, 2008

Oven Fiasco

Using my new electric oven on Thanksgiving for the first time was a fiasco. I've been cooking for two years using my stove top, microwave and toaster oven when my regular oven ceased working and they've worked just fine for me. Meanwhile, I've been pondering just what all I might want to do to my kitchen. Pondering some decisions an unduly long time is what I realize I've been doing in the years since my husband died. Besides I kept getting side tracked from oven action this year when so many other replacements, repairs and other personal factors kept demanding my attention.

When I couldn't find anyone locally who could repair my oven, I finally decided I needed other plans. Later, I learned my new neighbor shipped the "innards" of his oven off to a Midwest address that he has since lost. He wanted to maintain his kitchen's '50's look. I considered my change by debating with myself giving up some cabinet shelf space to accommodate some other oven type built-in appliance configurations, ultimately deciding I didn't want those. I really have missed having my husband to exchange ideas with as he usually had a perspective with uniquely different aspects from my own. We didn't always agree, but neither of us ever totally wanted a rubber stamp of our own opinion.

I finally concluded a working full size oven was needed for these holidays. Early Thanksgiving week I had a new oven installed. The young man installer said the oven worked as together we watched all the lights, clock and timer functioning just fine. Neither of us had sense enough to open the oven door to see if it was actually heating. Personally, I prefer to accept no responsibility whatsoever for not having done so. That's right! Blame the installer -- it's all his fault Actually, my oven installer was remiss for not having checked for heat, but I should have checked, too.

Thanksgiving Day, unfortunately, the oven did everything but produce heat after twenty preheating (hah!) minutes. I was befuddled for a few moments as I thought about what to do. The toaster oven was not large enough to be a cooking option, but perhaps the trusty microwave would not let me down. I rescued the stuffed turkey roll from the cold oven and placed it in my microwave. I felt quite smug that I had salvaged the turkey roll, but pride was my downfall. I misjudged how long to cook the roll, did not carefully check it since I didn't have any guidelines. Later when the little bell chimed that the cooking process was complete I was in for a surprise. The bottom of the turkey roll meat strip had actually turned black which I soon noticed when I removed the roasting dish. Fortunately, my tasting revealed the other three quarters of the roll was not tainted by that burned meat. I will confess even though the stuffing was relatively moist, the rest of the turkey was, shall we say, just a bit dry and chewy?

I do wish my husband had been living as we would have had a hilarious time laughing at the Thanksgiving oven event. To make a long story short I checked my circuit breaker the next day (even though I had seen the oven installer turn it on those days earlier, or so he and I thought.) For the first time I learned that my circuit breaker could have one side "on" and the other side of the same breaker "off." The connection took multiple attempts on my part to turn both sides "on" at the same time, possibly because this is a really old circuit breaker system. I quickly checked my oven, have since baked stuffed pork chops and heat is forthcoming. Seems like it takes a long time to preheat, but guess I just need to get used to the oven. I'll get that opportunity in the weeks ahead.


  1. I have two wall ovens and only one of them is working now - the smaller one. I was told 8 years ago that I shouldn't bother to call a repairman when it broke, since it was so old they couldn't get parts for it anymore. We need a new oven, but I would have to order a set and the new ones are always larger than the ones I have now, which would require some cabinet work. It is all too costly and messy and I just want to scream and move to another house with woring appliances!!!

    Glad you got yours figured out!

  2. "working", I meant to say!

  3. Kenju: I understand your frustration. Cabinet work was one of my concerns since these built-ins never seem to fit the hole for the oven being replaced. My oven was about fifty years old. They did have to lengthen and narrow the hole for the new oven but the mess was minimal. I need to consider cabinet work but will leave that to another time. Yesterday several large pieces of paint fell from the dining area ceiling -- more fun!

  4. I would think it is a bunch of little things, like an oven (or, maybe this is major) that would be hard in widowhood.

    So many times one thing leads to another and another so it isn't a little easy thing.

    When things don't work as they should -- appliances or cars -- it is so frustrating.

  5. I feel the same way you do Joared...and I definitely miss my husband when it comes to this stuff too. I have a relatively new double wall oven too. We got it right before my husband died. I barely use it now....mostly for holidays actually. I cook so little for myself these days....I almost have to remind myself how to use it. I have a burner on my range that isn't working properly that needs repair now. I have to remember to tell all my kids when they come in for the holidays not to use it....they're making the Xmas dinner this year.'s ALWAYS something! Happy Peaceful Holidays Sweetie....

  6. Joared
    I am glad you told us about your "Oven Caper" so we could laugh AND cry with you.
    I hope all goes just fine from now on as you enjoy using it.

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