Laughing At Spilled Milk: Franken-oven

This past July my most prized culinary possession – the convection oven – was killed by lightening.  Seriously, lightening hit our house and fried our range. It is a miracle that this was all that perished.

Now, I would love to blame the fact that we have gone four months without an oven on Troy (especially because it’s funnier when I interject some manashing on a guy who is always willing to be the butt of my blog jokes – to suffer for my “art” if you will. Such a sweetie) and his need to endlessly shop around before coming to a decision on any big (or small) ticket item but alas, this one is pretty much all me.

See, the insurance company gave us a nice chunk of change, so my thought is, if we’re going to buy something new, why not go for the best? Like convection and gas! After all, gas is where it’s at according to every cooking show on TV.  It heats up quickly, cooks evenly and gives you more control.  Plus, I grew up cooking with  gas and, aside from the fact that if there was a leak when turned on it could wipe out an entire housing block (my parents told me this so it must be true), I quite liked it. Oh, and I hear that you no longer have to contemplate your life as you stick your head in the oven with a match to light the pilot at the back. Nifty.

The bummer about transitioning from electric to gas is that you have to hire someone to run the gas line.  Now we’ve hit “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” territory because, frankly, if you get a gas oven, you will need to run a new line. If you run a new line, you will have to cut into the kitchen floor.  If you cut into the kitchen floor, you should replace the ugly 1980’s linoleum with the screwdriver pox in it (another story).  If you put in swanky new floor tile, you will need to replace the equally dated and abused countertops.  If you replace the countertops, you need to put up a new backsplash.  If you put in a new backsplash, the cupboards should be redone. You get the point.  This gas range will end in hardwood floors for the main floor, a bathroom remodel, and an updated wardrobe so that I look worthy of my new digs.

So, like I said, there has been no oven since July.

How do I cook?  My grandmother would be impressed, actually.  Because there are so many new fangled gadgets in my basement that for years have been collecting dust I can pretty much make anything I want.  There’s the bread machine for baking, three crock pots, a fryer, grill, and rice cooker with steam trays. (This is my favorite because I can make brown rice, veggies and fish all in one go. Feel like MacGyver…with emotional range). I was actually looking forward to the challenge of cooking a sit down Thanksgiving dinner for 22 except for one thing…

The food is not so great.  Let’s just say that the other day the boys came down from college and as they left on Sunday I overheard one of them remark that he couldn’t wait to get back to the dorm food.  Not good.

Plus it has put me in a mild depression. I mean, why even bother getting a new oven with three boys in college and a daughter who will fly the coop in 18 months? I should just talk Troy into a toaster oven (if I start now he should have one picked out by the time she graduates) where we can broil our little piece of salmon we will split due to our diminishing metabolism. This runs along the same lines of my “why even bother remodeling the house the way we always wanted it when we are just going to trade it in for a ranch that spares our aging knees from stairs” argument. Actually, if it wasn’t for the fact that we are drowning in college bills I would have no reason to get out of bed in the morning. And they all want gift cards and cash for Christmas so I’m no longer needed for shopping and wrapping.   Really, I should just give in and join a bridge club and an aquatic aerobics class.

Yes, this stupid oven that was struck by evil lightening (seriously, has it done any good since Ben Franklin?) re-triggered my mommy-grief.  But then…

Troy decided to chance it and order a replacement panel.  Two days before Thanksgiving – presto – our oven was brought back from the dead (we now refer to it as Franken-oven).  I quickly made up a pie chart (Not the math thingy; a Word doc that helps me plan out the 14 pies the overachiever in me bakes off each year), put 50lbs. of turkey in to brine, and furiously dice 60 cups of bread for stuffing (Occasionally I exaggerate for comedic effect.  This is not one of those times).  Thanksgiving came.  We took tons of pictures, had pounds of food, and loads of laughs – around a table I prepared. The mommy depression lifted. They still need me after all!

To my great relief, the season’s to-do list that I have loved to hate for 21 years now has overtaken my mind.  Even though I am spared endless trips to the mall because everything can pretty much be done online or at the grocery store gift card kiosk, there are still enough tasks weighing on me to get the holiday stress buzz we moms need in order to feel important: Christmas dinner to plan, dozens of cookies to bake, the “Happy Birthday, Jesus” cake to prepare, my holiday diet plan to map out and later abandon.  Once again, the comfort of food has saved me.

Man, but I love my oven!

This entry was posted in family, food, Holidays, Housekeeping, Laughing At Spilled Milk, Love, Mommy Grief, parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

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