After consulting with two repairmen, I realized I didn’t break the oven, I saved our lives. Greg may not agree, but he’s not a professional handyman, nor is this his post.
More on the oven later…
We learned some valuable lessons the week our oven was out. For starters, a crock pot isn’t for us. We borrowed one from a generous coworker, but couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Yes, we consulted recipes and talked to my parents.
The black beans we slow cooked made the house smell wonderful, but they weren’t as flavorful as the ones we make on the stove despite a huge ham bone. And the beef stew a few nights later? Mushy potatoes and thin broth. All vegetables are not created equal and shouldn’t be thrown in the pot at the same time.
Our grill and blender came to the rescue a few times. Hamburger meat thawed in a jiff that first night and some leftover grilled pineapple we used in a salsa for the burgers made for a great marinade for chicken we grilled a few nights later. We blended the fruit with about a half cup of cilantro and a jalapeno, plus a little salt, pepper and olive oil. We hardly ever have croutons when we need them, but had tossed some stale bread cubes in a sorghum vinaigrette a few days earlier.
Not too shabby, hey?
And we even used the nuker to make rice for those subpar beans. (They actually got better after a night in the refrigerator.)
Emergency White Rice
- 1 1/2 cups white long-grain rice
- 3 cups water or broth
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Romano
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe casserole dish. Cover. Microwave on high for nine minutes. Stir and fluff. If not done, microwave in 30 second increments on high until it is. (Not all microwaves are created equal.) Cover until ready to serve. Adjust seasoning as needed.
So what exactly happened to our oven? First, I ran the clean cycle. Then I lifted the heating element, once it had cooled, to sweep out the ash. Something shorted out, pretty loudly, and our oven wouldn’t come to heat. The oven repairman blamed the cleaning cycle, which he said ovens really aren’t designed to handle, and said “This isn’t your fault.” I made him repeat that to Greg on the phone. But since the proper amount of voltage was coming through and the breaker seemed weak, he referred us to an electrician. The electrician explained that the wires under the stove hadn’t been grounded properly and could have proved hazardous. He replaced some plastic caps, charged us $45 and was on his way. We’d only paid the oven repairman about $60 for his service call and didn’t need to replace a $400 part. So for about $100, I became a hero. And if Greg doesn’t start seeing it this way, he’s getting a crock pot for Christmas.