I hate my stove. And not just because as a cook, I make an excellent woodworker.
I hate my stove because it was a POS when it was new. It was the cheapest one the dude who built my house could find in the scratch n' dent aisle of Sears. It's 13 years old now, and time has not been good to it. It's not level. If it ever was. Making an omelette is an intricate Pas de bourrée combining the cat-like reflexes of a Ninja and the attempt to defy gravity. It's true what they say: Eggs Roll Downhill (or something like that). Pancakes are just as bad. My children think all pancakes are oval and burnt on one end. And before you ask, yes I know stoves can be adjusted, but the feet on this one are irrevocably "gunked" in place by 13 years of kitchen particulate. Every attempt has grossed me out so badly that learning the Danse Culinaire seemed easier.
The oven underneath the stove is just as bad. It heats so unevenly that a 20-minute tray of tater-tots requires no less than 6 separate adjustments to brown evenly. During which operation I am guaranteed to burn myself somehow. It's like being shackled to a 200lb Rube Goldberg experiment for the duration of all food prep.
But hey, at least we have a stove. I mean, microwaved tatertots would be pretty bad fare, even by my standards. I've just been waiting for the damn thing to finally blow out some way, so we could replace it with something better. A bonfire on the floor, say.
Forward-thinking parents that we are, Phillip and I have lately embarked on a crusade to teach our children to feed themselves. We sometimes make them prepare meals. This is partly so we will feel confident when we throw them outta here that they won't starve, and partly because they are ALWAYS hungry, and we get sick of feeding them.
It was just such a situation on Saturday, when Phillip instructed Lindsay and Campbell to begin preparing the evening meal. We smugly relaxed in the living room, awaiting any call for assistance ("Mom, which one is the Boiling Knob?").
And that's when the sickening crash, followed by shrieks and cries emitted from the kitchen:
I gathered the sobbing Campbell into my arms, checking him all over for injuries (of which there were none, thanks God), while Phillip calmed the hyperventilating Lindsay ("I didn't do it, Dad; it wasn't me!"). I think she may have had a coffee table flashback.
I actually laughed when I saw that stoopid stovetop. When you drop the lid to the Dutch oven from a fairly good height onto the ceramic stovetop, the result is pretty much what you'd expect. What a clever shortcut to the new stove we've been needing! Thanks, Campbell. How come I never did that?
We ordered Pizza. And then waited for the appliance store to open the next day.
Which was a good thing, because the washing machine started to make a horrible screaming noise (even louder than the one in my head), later that night.
My house has become the Elephant Graveyard of appliances. For those not keeping track, The list of things requiring replacement within the last 8 days it goes like this:
1. Coffee table top (Not really an appliance, but definitely a catalyst)
2. Spray arm in dishwasher (Did I mention we were already washing by hand?)
3. Kitchen Stove/Oven (See above)
4. Washing Machine (OK, Household Chaos Gnomes, this is No Longer Funny)
We priced refrigerators while we were at the appliance place, just to steel ourselves against the sticker shock, in case that's next.
And on the way home, the "Maintenance Required" light came on in the car.
If I just wreck the car, can I get a new one?