A few weeks ago we left on a Friday morning to go to San Mateo, to babysit the tiny grandchildren. The microwave oven, seen here, was working just fine. Terry heated his coffee, added it to his travel mug, and we were on our way.
Came home late Saturday. Turned on the microwave to heat some soup after our three hour drive, and got a buzzing sound. For anything we tried on the oven, we got a buzzing sound–light, fan, cooking unit. We would be gone the following week so decided to call a repairman after we returned, hoping that maybe the oven would magically fix itself.
Not only had the oven not fixed itself by the time the repairman came, he could not fix it either. The main circuit board had died, after only 10 years. He doubted the availability of such a replacement, and if he could order one, it would take a month to get. Also, it would cost around $400 for all repairs. The microwave only cost around $700 when new.
So, Terry started researching. That was disappointing. They don’t make this particular oven any more. They are also not as powerful. 1000 watts is about the strongest one can find. What happened to 1100 watts? Even the sales lady at Clovis Appliance couldn’t tell him. Finally, yesterday, he ordered the replacement. It’s similar, but not exact. It is a whole lot cheaper. Only around $350. How is that possible? Oh, I guess it’s all made in another country now. GE has abandoned America?
I’ll update you in a week or so when the new one is in place. Until then, I am using my cooktop and oven a lot more. Or just not making certain things, like coconut cream pie. Was all ready to make one yesterday when I realized I needed the microwave to cook the filling. I’ve not done it on the stove in so long, I wouldn’t know how.
After the cuisinart post, I thought I should tell you about my knives.
I use these on a daily basis. They are really good quality and very sharp. They have sat for decades in my friend’s kitchen, rarely being used. My friend, who died in November, did not cook but she had the very best cookware and kitchen gadgets. This block of knives was the only item that I felt compelled to take when we emptied her house. In 37 years of marriage, I had never had really good knives. Okay knives, but not top of the line. And certainly no block in which to store them, but rather just the kitchen drawer.
Every day, when I use them, I think of Gail, and I glory in how well they slice, dice, and cut up.
Sometimes it turns out right; sometimes it doesn't. But it's still fun to try.
A few weeks ago, when we went to visit our granddaughter who asked for us to come entertain her, my daughter and I combined efforts to make a gumbo. She had a bag of okra in the fridge and didn’t know what to do with it, and a gumbo sounded like a good thing to have for dinner. My daughter made the roux while I chopped the veggies, many of which I had brought from our CSA box. She has a gas stove which scares me so it worked well for her to do the stovetop duties while I took the prep job. I then whipped up a pan of cornbread to bake while the gumbo simmered. Our efforts produced a tasty melange of flavors.
Tonight, back home in my 70s kitchen, after baking chicken breasts in white wine, I attempted to make gravy from the delicious drippings. It turned into a horrible gelatinous mass that had to be pushed down the drain. Sometimes my cooking is a success and sometimes it just doesn’t come together.
If you have a bunch of fresh basil, be sure you treat it just like you do fresh flowers. Trim the stems and put the bunch in a glass of water. Not only is basil good for cooking, but also for decorating. The bunch I have now, from my CSA box, smells so good.
Turns out, today, at my daughter’s in San Mateo, it is cooler in the kitchen than the rest of the house. Of course, no cooking is going on.
San Mateo is usually pretty cool, like San Francisco, its neighbor 20 miles north, but today there was no marine layer; therefore, the temperature has hit 88 degrees by 4:30. Not so bad in a place like Fresno where we all have air conditioning. Pretty miserable in a place like San Mateo where AC is rarely needed. Even in Fresno I have four fans running during the hot summer days. My daughter has only one fan.
For now I’m hiding out in the kitchen, where there is a slight breeze coming in the window, and where I can feel the fan blowing some air from out in the living room. It’s also close to the ice.