Monday, January 10, 2011

A stove is a stove, right?

Things you take for granted about your stove.
When you push a button or turn a knob it comes on.
The oven has a thermostat and it is accurate to within a degree or two.
Years ago, when I selected a stove for this house I chose the smallest and probably cheapest oven-cooktop at the local appliance store. At that time we were only here for a few weeks at a time and I figured a stove was a stove. My priorities were that it fit in the funny little galley kitchen and that it could be installed quickly. That seemed straight forward enough.
Shopping Village, Brantome

Shopping Street, Rue Puy Jolie

A day or two later the stove was delivered. They wheeled it down the sidewalk that leads to our home. Popped it into a corner of the kitchen where it could be connected to a gas tank. And voila, time to get cooking that fancy french food!
Tom and the installer stood back admiringly and I stepped in to check it out. I turned a knob on the stove top. Nothing happened. I looked around at Tom and the technician. How do I turn it on? Well with a match of course. A match?! Ever since I played with Grandma’s matches and almost burned down my favorite motel I have been afraid of matches. Now add gas to the equation and I was completely flipped out. And there was more to worry about.
The oven also has to be lit with a match. Now putting my head in an oven, trying to get enough gas pooled, and then get it lit was way more than I could handle. Loosing some eye brow does get you a lit oven, but it doesn’t get you the temperature you want.  Neither of us noticed that our itty-bitty, low-cost, white-enameled unit doesn’t have a thermostat. The temperature range is: on, not really off, and off.
How had this happened? How could the appliance store carry such a stupid oven? Why would anyone even manufacture something like that!?
My favorite appliance store. Just need to remember to check out all the parts.
Do I hear you saying cheap, impatient........or was I thinking I may have found the latest in French Country chic?
PS-- I now cook by smell and never even think about temperature and time.


La Vida Artesania said...

Susan, we had the same when we moved in but managed to upgrade a bit to a stove with an electric clicker to start. Amazing, it still works. Stove lights with a match though.

La Vida Artesania said...

Sorry I meant to say, oven lights with a match.