Wednesday, June 13, 2007

100 Degrees and Not Cooking

It's been unseasonably cool here on the Two Bar, with highs in the 70s and low 80s and lows in the low 50s. We still have our flannel sheets on our beds, and the boys cuddle under blankets in the living room when they get up in the morning.

Today, though, the mercury hit 100 for the first time this year.

But we're not cooking.

I came home from taking the boys swimming last Thursday to a distraught Matisse. The stove, she said, wouldn't go out. The back burner wouldn't turn off; even in the OFF position, gas was still coming out of the valve. The smart girls had left the burner lit, on low, until I got home to fix the situation.

I experimented with the burner for a bit, determined that indeed it would not go off, and decided to shut off the gas to the stove. I showed the children where the shut-off valve was located and demonstrated How We Shut Off the Gas to an Appliance. I talked briefly about the situations where they might need to do this.

Okay, so we no longer had gas coming out of that burner, but the stove now had an annoying click-click-click as the electronic ignition tried to light the gas that wasn't coming out. I went down to the basement to shut off the breaker and realized that dinner wasn't going to happen.

The Old Stove

We managed to get a repairman out the next day. After examining the stove, he told us it was kaput, and that it wasn't safe for us to use it. Fortunately, we were able to find a replacement online, but meal preparation is very interesting in the meantime.

Our Current Stove

Yup, it's our ancient camp stove, pressed into service on the back deck. The girls won't use it, and I've only used it a couple of times.

Our Overworked Toaster Oven

This baby is in constant use, however. We line up at breakfast and dinner time to cook our suppers, one or two at a time.

We also use the electric tea kettle a lot. It can make 2 cups of tea and one cup of cocoa at a time (or two cups of cocoa and one cup of tea, but not 3 cups of tea). We've also found that it's useful for heating water to cook hot dogs and snow peas.

Our Tea Corner

Since we no longer use the old stove for cooking, we can use it for storage. Here it is being pressed into service as the tea corner. A new tea order came in yesterday, and the contents of the silver bags are waiting to go into the black tins. The electric kettle is in the right foreground, and the normal kettle and the teapot-we-can't-use-because-the-electric-kettle-won't-heat-enough-water-for-it are in the background.

We're eating lots of fresh fruit and salads, and everyone is getting tired of sandwiches.

I'm kind of hoping the new stove won't come too soon. It's not often I get a break from cooking.

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