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Out Of Range

March 9, 2017

[NB: Maybe it was International Women’s Day, but yes, I was thinking about this song when I came up with the title for today’s post.]

There I was, standing in the kitchen, minding my own business. I had gathered all the random ends of foodstuffs from the refrigerator, and I was preparing to make some kind of smorgasbord of leftovers.

Mrs. Fussy was going to have the split pea soup.
The kids were going to eat the black beans.
I was going for the rotini with tomato sauce.

It was going to be a multi-pot meal that would push the limits of the four burners on the stovetop. Mostly because I was running late and was using two burners to bring fresh, cold water to a boil at an accelerated rate.

Then I caught a flash out of the corner of my eye, and heard a loud pop. Apparently, the range had some kind of short circuit. It had been on its last legs for a while. It was the original stove from this house that was built sometime in the early 80’s. Appliances don’t last forever.

Anyhow, do you know that scene in every movie where the father gets something totally wrong?

Yeah. Well that happened. Because I was absolutely convinced that the problem was localized to one burner. But it turned out, none of the burners were working. Cleverly, I realized the problem must be the circuit breaker. So I took Young Master Fussy out into the garage to explain all about electricity.

Of course, I made sure everything on the range was turned off before heading into the garage to flip the circuit breaker. Except, once the circuit was connected, the light on the range indicated the stovetop was on, even though everything was very clearly off.

So, it was back out to the garage to turn off the range for good, and into the car for dinner at Five Guys.

It was there when we decided to just buy a new range. Interestingly, I had just talked to our plumber last week about the possibility of running a gas line from the garage into the kitchen so I could have the gas stove of my dreams.

Dreams are meant to be shattered for the sake of family. They are. How do you know family is important if you don’t make sacrifices for them. I’ll spare you the details, but trust me when I say that getting another crappy electric range is truly the best thing for the peace and harmony of our home. Sigh. Kids.

The new oven is coming. It will be here on Monday. It’s pretty much exactly like the old oven, which was fine. You know, except for the electric arcs and all.

But today is Thursday.

We use the oven all the time. I cook. That’s how I eat. The microwave is the thing I use to bring my heating pad up to a therapeutic temperature. I cook my lunches. I cook my dinners. Fortunately, I’m not in the middle of any serious cooking projects at the moment.

That said, I could really use a few suggestions. Mostly because I don’t want to eat out at family friendly neighborhood restaurants for the next five days. But it may be just as soul killing to eat microwavable meals. Honestly, I don’t know which one is worse. Plus the replacement blade for the Cuisinart still hasn’t come, so I can’t do things like hummus either.

Maybe the weather will be nice enough to do some grilling. I know that people do that all year long, even in these parts. I’m made of less sturdy stuff. But it might be worth a try.

It feels strange being out of my comfort zone. But I know that there are lots of people who get by every day without a stove and without cooking. I just don’t know how they do it.

Even when the new range arrives on Monday, cooking on it will be a learning process. It always takes time to understand the dynamics of a new cooking device. The upside of this new appliance is that it has twice as many high powered coils as the dinosaur it’s replacing. Plus it has a self cleaning oven, which will be nice I guess.

But I’ve never cleaned an oven, and honestly, I’m not entirely sure why one would ever do such a thing. Maybe someone can explain that to me too.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. llcwine permalink
    March 9, 2017 10:54 am

    Crockpot cooking…try no boil noodles and sauce…also I have an electric grill…..plugs into an outlet and works fine when I can’t get out onto the deck.

  2. EPT permalink
    March 9, 2017 11:17 am

    You must have a toaster oven of sorts, use that. You can also by an inexpensive single electric burner.actually come in handy as an adjunct to the grill. I don’t have a crock pot, my preference is a pressure cooker. You’ll survive, pizza and salad, a rotisserie chicken, Italian subs, stop by Chesters, hit the Asian market for some gyoza….

    BTW, search the web to see if your stove have it’s own fuse, independent of the breaker.

  3. EPT permalink
    March 9, 2017 11:18 am

    Excuse the typos, laptop acting up.

  4. Jamie permalink
    March 9, 2017 11:30 am

    Hey Mr. Fussy.

    A few years ago I picked up the Cuisinart Griddler Grill and Panini Press.

    It’s a fantastic little indoor grill that we’ve cooked everything from sandwiches to grilled meats and vegetables. I even wrapped fresh asparagus in some foil with some olive oil, a splash of balsamic, salt and pepper and grilled it to perfection. It closes like a panini press or opens flat. The grilling plates are easily removed for cleaning and there is a good sized grease / oil drawer that also pulls out for cleaning.

    I noticed the new version has temperature control too!

    Definitely a great tool to have around for everyday and backup.

  5. March 9, 2017 11:49 am

    May I ask why you are not using this golden opportunity to switch to a gas range? You allude to some family issues…

    • March 9, 2017 11:53 am

      I’m going to allow them their privacy on this matter, but I’ll gladly tell you in person.

      • Dave permalink
        March 9, 2017 9:05 pm

        We have a gas line that we could run right to our kitchen. I have an electric range for now. Don’t want my maniac children (or oblivious wife) to explode our house or suffocate us all with gas… Those are my family issues. I’ll put in a gas range in a few years.

  6. MikeH permalink
    March 9, 2017 12:19 pm

    Bought an inexpensive ($25) black and decker griddle last fall mainly for cooking up Sunday morning breakfasts but find we are using it all the time. Chicken cutlets, burgers, quesadillas, grilled cheese, pancakes, French toast, bacon, etc. It does the work of two, maybe three fry pans all in one.

    We had a gas line run to the location of our electric stove about 10 years ago. Still waiting for it to die….

  7. Doug permalink
    March 9, 2017 12:36 pm

    For a hundred bucks or so you can get a single-burner convection hob. Much faster heating than conventional electric, and if you have a flat-bottomed steel wok, you would be amazed at how hot it gets. We use ours all the time, even though our electric range works just fine. Only drawback is your cookware has to be magnetic — no anodized aluminum.

  8. Shawn permalink
    March 9, 2017 2:28 pm

    Slow cooker is the way to go.

  9. Amanda permalink
    March 9, 2017 9:44 pm

    Get outside and grill!

    • Amanda permalink
      March 9, 2017 9:46 pm

      P.S. PM me if you want to borrow my induction burner.

  10. albanylandlord permalink
    March 10, 2017 1:49 am

    We pull our grill right up to the door and grill standing in the doorway. Great in the rain too. THough it is warm enough now to wander outside. The grill can be used like an oven too if you pay attention to the temps. Maybe yours is charcoal? Thats a bit more of a commitment for dinner.

    Necessity is the mother of invention – wandering out of your comfort zone might have great benefits!

  11. Jenny permalink
    March 10, 2017 5:57 pm

    I was going to say crock pot, but that has been taken. But you can do lots of things in the crock pot, including roast chicken. How about the waffle iron? Serious eats did a whole series on things you can cook in the waffle iron. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, you could still probably use it to make a mean panini. As to the grill, if you don’t want to stand over your grill in the cold, try something that you can cook in foil — e.g. fish en papillote

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