Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pressure cooker

When Jess and I were last at my mom's, I complained about the oven...again. I have been complaining about it for several years. She bought her oven when her "apartment" was being built, about 10 years ago. It wasn't an inexpensive oven, but I was disappointed the first time I came to her new place and tried it out. My mom is an avid cook. Rabid might be a better word. So you can understand my surprise and disappointment when that oven turned out to be a dud.

The burners are pathetically underpowered. The feeble flame hardly licks the bottom of pots and pans. Water takes forever to boil. The oven itself is spacious, but hasn't even the least of features such as time-bake. No convection, either. I don't know what it was about this oven that made it so attractive to my mom, but it is a piece of junk. It has a digital timer for the oven, but not a clock. But the timer stopped working years ago, when she used the self-cleaning feature for the first time. The oven was about two years old at the time, out of warranty. The self-clean overheated the oven and blew the timer as well as cracked and peeled the enameling on the bottom of the oven floor. It has always annoyed the crap out of me, this oven. My mother was hoodwinked by Sears.

So for the past three or four years, I have been hinting to my mom that she needs a new oven, She wasn't about to spend that kind of money, and I knew it, but I was trying to determine if she would be willing to part with her piece of junk.

She wasn't.

There was another issue, anyway: her living space isn't large, and I couldn't remember if the kitchen was built around the appliances or not. It seemed that we might be able to get the oven through the kitchen doorway, but it was going to be tight.

At any rate, after the latest trip, I pretty much insisted that she needed a new oven. She insisted that the oven was fine, only the rangetop was poor. I countered that the oven wasn't all that terrific, and didn't even have time-bake, a feature she had and used regularly on her ovens going back to when I was a kid. And I explained that there were many more options in rangetops that would make a big difference in her cooking, but 10 years of using the crappy model had made her forget about how good her prior ovens had been.

She started to expand on the discussion, which was promising. I had already scoped out ovens and knew what she needed: a standard-sized gas oven, but with a second oven where the warming drawer would usually be. Convection. Time-Bake. Clock. Timer. Self-cleaning feature. Five burners on the rangetop instead of four, with a griddle that can be used over the long center oval burner. Two high-powered burners that are 50% more powerful than the average rangetop burner. And all burners simmer at 500 BTU. I talked with my brother-in-law, who had constructed her apartment. The old oven would come out and the new one could go in without any modifications being necessary. Fabulous.

My mom lives on a fixed income and could not afford a new oven, but Jess and I could afford it...and we told her we would buy it for her if she was willing to accept it. She was, albeit reluctantly so. She's always the one who makes sacrifices for others; she's not a very good recipient of charity herself.

So I ordered the oven and it arrived, and she is using it...and using it. Her first comment was that she couldn't believe that she could boil water so quickly. She loves the burners because "they really get with it, but they simmer very low, too." And she really loves the double oven and the fact that she can once again use time-bake to help manage her busy schedule. And that makes us very happy.


At 2:12 PM, February 18, 2007, Blogger Jess said...

You're a good son, Mister Bokey.

At 10:01 AM, February 19, 2007, Blogger Cincy Diva said...

Awww! You're such a good bokey-boy (pat, pat, pat)

At 4:03 PM, February 21, 2007, Blogger pinknest said...

you guys are the best ever!!! so sweet.

ps i'm also in the market for a new oven. except it must fit my tiny kitchen space, and the ones i like do not. *sigh* i'm going to go look around soon.

At 1:53 AM, February 23, 2007, Blogger Tuna Girl said...

Awww. What a sweet gift.

I can understand her side though. I am so much better at giving than receiving. I'm glad she's enjoying it.


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