almost a foodie

The Oven: Episode II

No one likes to wait for a sequel, so why postpone episode II of my oven saga until April?

Religion is a funny thing. We all want to do what we “think” is right but what we “think” and what we “do,” might be very different things. It was shortly before Pesach and my new oven was about five months old. It was now time to make it kosher for Passover. That was easy part. I know how to do that the right way. But how does one clean the burner grates? Before I get to that, let me tell you a little about my oven. It’s in the middle of an island. It’s not against the wall, so the vent is next to the flames. I know, not the safest place for an oven but let’s save that for another time. Now, back to Koshering! I was told to put the burners on high and let the grates heat up. If a napkin burns when it touches the metal, mission accomplished–usually about 30 minutes. So, like a good Jewish girl, that’s exactly what I did. But how can one be a better Jew?

I decided that I was going to make my stove extra-kosher! I took bleach (metal piece and placed it over the range) and cranked all four burners to the highest setting. I started a timer for 20 minutes and walked away feeling pretty pleased with myself. About five minutes later, I heard a loud BOOM and BANG! I ran into the kitchen and discovered a busted oven that was hissing like the world’s angriest cat. Nothing worked. Damn, my oven broke again! By this time, I was an expert on hot plate cooking, so I wasn’t too worried. I decided to call an electrician in the morning. How bad can it be?

At about 2 A.M., our carbon monoxide detector went off. My husband went downstairs to check it out. He pulled it off the wall and came back upstairs. I had to remind him that the oven was broken but still very, very hot and still hissing. I sent him back downstairs again. This time, I heard the front door open and close a few times. He came up upstairs and asked, “What does it mean if the detector goes down to zero when I’m outside, then climbs back up when I’m inside?” It means carbon monoxide is in our house! We woke up the kids and put them in the car. Once again, we called the fire department. With sirens blaring, two firetrucks and few cars completely shut down our small block. The firemen didn’t scratch up our floors this time but they did shut off our gas. Apparently, I burned a quarter-inch hole in a gas pipe and it was leaking all night.

I won’t lie, when all this was happening, I tried to start the oven. I pressed all the buttons to start a flame a few times. Okay, I did it more than a few times. All I can say is that I’m glad I couldn’t spark a flame. According to the fire department, I would have blown up the house!

In the end, I fried the oven’s computer and destroyed the gas line. It took more than a month to fix everything. So, if you’re looking for a recipe today, my advice is…TAKE OUT!

Toby
“What does a graphic designer know about food? Nothing!”

Drop me a line: almostafoodie@tobyschwartz.com