Sunday, August 28, 2005

Monstrosity in the kitchen

11 years ago we found this house which we fell in love with and bought. However, the kitchen needed to be renovated as it was then 30 years old. This included replacing the oven. Back then, I took one look at it and I said, "This has got to be the first thing to go".

11 years on, and it's still here. Even though it has lost bits and pieces over the years, and not everything works, we can still cook and bake, plus it has 4 electric burners hidden in a slide away drawer if we need that. That came in handy a few years ago when Victoria's gas supply was cut off for about 2 weeks due to an explosion in the power plant. Our regular cooktop is gas, but we were still able to cook, and heat up our water for our "showers" on the electric burners. (That was fun - NOT!).

Anyway, this old monstrosity consists of two side by side ovens, which are both at just the right height - no bending down. The larger oven is really large too, not these tiny ovens they make these days. But what a marvel it must have been 40 years ago in the 1960s when it was new and everything was working: rotisserie, programmable to turn on and off, there was a built in meat thermometer which turned off the heat when the meat reached the right temperature, and there are even powerpoints. Note modern day accessories (click on photo to enlarge): additional thermometer on top of oven, and bottle of wine at the ready to smooth the cooking process.

All four of us are used to coping with the wild fluctuations in temperature, eventually getting the thing to stabilise. The other night Toby cooked one of his specialties, the mustard coated roast lamb from a Julia Child cookbook. Although he complained about the usual scenario of the temperature soaring at first, then having to use tricks to reduce it but maintain the correct temperature, the roast came out perfectly. Ah yes, these men who can cook...

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