I have a brand new oven! It is a very exciting development for me, because I am a somewhat obsessive bread-baker.
This is how the bread is supposed to look when it comes out of the oven. This is not how the bread looked when I pulled it out on December 23, when our old oven gave up the ghost mid-bake. Those loaves were pale and sad. I did my best to finish the off in the toaster oven (which is not a culinary technique I am likely to repeat).
Other things being equal, it would be better for major appliances to choose expiration dates other than the ones immediately preceding major holidays. We couldn't get anyone out to look at the oven until December 27, when we paid $129 to learn that the motherboard (more commonly known as the mother!$&#*!) was busted, and that They Don't Make That Part Anymore.
So off we went to the appliance store. The oven was eleven years old when it died, which is younger than we would have liked; but everyone in our family loves to cook and we use the oven constantly, so choosing a replacement was kind of fun (until the part where we had to produce a credit card and pay for the thing).
But still: a new oven! My breads will LOVE that! And the great thing about a new appliance is that someone delivers it, plugs it in, takes the old one away, and leaves; and just like that, you have a new and undoubtedly much better way to bake your whole-grain sourdough bread.
Except that our old oven uses both gas and electricity, so we needed a plumber to disconnect the old one before it could be carted off, and then to come back to reconnect the new one: Plumber--delivery--plumber. No problem; we love our plumber, and are always happy to see him, and once we called the amazing Eric he wasted no time at all in coming right over to disconnect our oven.
At which point we learned that the old oven was hard-wired; so that we would need an electrician to disconnect it before it could be carted off, and to install a new outlet so that the new one could be plugged in. We also found, when we slid the old oven out of its slot, that our stone countertop had been cut to fit the idiosyncratic shape of our old oven, and so we'd need a stonecutter to trim the sides of the granite in order to slide the new one into place.
OK. We used an electrician to install some light fixtures four or five years ago....got his number around somewhere. And counters. Who cuts counters? Maybe we could call the dealer who installed the counters when we bought them eleven years ago. Surely they have someone who could help us out?
A dozen phone calls later we have it all lined up: plumber-electrician-stove delivery-stonecutter-plumber again. And just like that, we will have a working oven! No sweat.
Only once the stove is here we find that there is a problem. There is a little strip of granite at the back of the oven that didn't get removed during the stonecutter's first visit, and so we can't push the stove in all the way, and thus we can't open our storage drawers because they are obstructed by the oven's handle:
So we need the stonecutter to come back out and trim the little strip in the back so we can push it flush to the wall. Plumber-electrician-appliance delivery-stonecutter-plumber-stonecutter. Easy!
And God bless this lovely stonecutter, who sends his nephew to trim our granite (for the second time) on a Saturday. Now THAT is service! We are so grateful that we will be able to fire this thing up AND get full access to our bowls, pots and pans before the weekend is out.
Except that even once the granite is trimmed, we still can't push the oven flush with the wall, because the electrician has installed the connection box about an inch too high for this particular model. So we will need to have the electrician come back out to re-install it an inch or two lower down. Plumber-electrician-appliance delivery-stonecutter-plumber-stonecutter-electrician. (This should sound familiar to those of you who sing the songs at the back of the Haggaddah at Passover.)
But it is all worth it, is it not? because at the end of all this, we have a brand new, super-effective oven! Just look at this beauty:
See that little word in the upper left-hand corner? Here it is, close up:
That is what the oven is supposed to say at the end of a self-cleaning cycle, as long as the temperature is still over 590 degrees. When the Hot message is showing, no further operation of the oven is possible.
The Hot message has shown continuously, since we managed to get the oven hooked up to gas and plugged in on Friday afternoon. Only in this case, it's not quite accurate. Here is how Hot our oven is:
Yes, my head is all the way inside. The oven thinks it's Hot, but in fact it is stone cold, as it has been since its arrival.
I think the problem is the mother!$&#*!.
Perhaps "Hot" is not really a statement of temperature, after all. Perhaps the oven is just trying to butter me up (as I would butter up my bread, had I the capacity to bake any), flattering me about my 51-year-old physique.
But I am on to you, Expensive-But-Useless-Oven. Flatter me all you want: I am painfully aware that I don't turn you on at all.