Monday, February 1, 2010

Stove shopping

So our oven died last week. It was a slow and quiet death, and I didn't realize what was happening until I tried to bake four loaves of bread and they burned on top and were still dough on the bottom. (And if you've made bread from scratch without a breadmaker or mixer, then you can imagine my reaction when I realized all that work was wasted. The children came in to see why I was yelling at the oven.) Then I remembered the potatoes a week before that had taken forever to cook, and the biscuits that had been surprisingly pale on the bottom, and several other things that hadn't turned out quite as I expected. Just to test it one more time, I turned the oven up to 450 degrees, waited about 20 minutes, then held my hand in there at different spots. Sure enough, down near the bottom element it was hardly warm at all, and near the top one it was hotter, but not 450 degrees.

Mike and I are reasonably frugal, and we're often willing to get things fixed rather than just replacing them, but this stove had lived out its lifetime. (Almost 11 years since we've been in this house, and it wasn't new when we moved in.) The top burners had been quirky for years. So off we went tonight to look at stoves.

Whenever we have to buy an appliance that I've never bought before, it's a little strange. It just seems weird to walk into a store and buy a stove. Stoves are just there, right? It's like when I went to college and all of a sudden I was opening a checking account, paying rent, and doing my own grocery shopping, and I would think, "Wait, this is what grownups do." Well, I guess grownups also have to buy washers and refrigerators and furnaces, and now stoves. Someday we will have bought every major appliance at least once, and maybe then I won't feel like I'm just pretending to be a grownup. (But I will not tempt fate by listing the few things that we still haven't had to replace!)

We found a stove without much trouble. It's one of those flat-topped ones that still look futuristic to me, and I'm looking forward to never, ever having to clean under the burners again.

T. went shopping with us. He took his job as helper very seriously, opening every oven door to look inside and deciding which stove he liked best. We didn't get that one, but he took it well. Actually, all the kids took the news well. A couple of years ago we had to replace our refrigerator, and our middle child cried and said she would miss the old broken one too much, so could we please keep it in the basement for her? (No.) This time, nobody asked to keep the old stove. Maybe that's partly because it really, really needed a good cleaning. But hey! One more thing to take off my to-do list!


Lisa said...

My first thought was "Stoves can break?" which probably reveals my lack of adultness, too.

Holly said...

Way to be all adult-like and buy a stove! I was feeling your pain as you realized your bread didn't turn out. Last year I made a whole oven full of bread only to cut it open and realize that I had left out one ingredient. SALT. Three hours wasted.

Tamary said...

Holly, one time I left out the salt too. I realized it after I had already kneaded the dough and shaped the loaves, so I tried just kneading some salt into each of the loaves. It turned out awful. That was about 8 years ago and I still check every single time to make sure I didn't forget the salt.

Tamary said...

And my family will never forget the time I made brownies for them in a big rush, since I was leaving for a book group that evening. I got home later that night and the pan of brownies was sitting there, mostly untouched. When I asked Mike about it, he said, "Why don't you taste one." I had left out the sugar. Oops.