Friday, March 09, 2007

Asshole II

I have had a lot of really crappy stoves. For six (?) years I lived in a tiny apartment with a behemoth (irony!) with no thermostat and a hole in the back. Actually, the biggest irony was that it was (or had once been) white but the "brand" name was BROWN. God that cracked me up.

The thing about the BROWN stove was that it cranked out amazing food. The temperature range went all the way from on to off, and although I would very rarely modulate it by opening the door, mostly I just cooked everything at 500 degrees. I don't know how, but I fucking mastered that thing, everything from toast (the apt. was on a single 15 amp fuse, so no toaster) to a legendary rib roast. It took me two years to adjust to a normal shitty stove after I moved.

Anyway, yesterday we finally chucked the biscuit-colored MAGIC CHEF (even funnier than BROWN!) in favor of a new yuppie stove. Not a real yuppie stove, more of a brand aspirational stove but still. Fuck you, it is not stainless, but it does have continuous grates. It allegedly cleans itself and convects. I can only allege the last part because it immediately blew the GFI circuit which means I have to spend at least a weekend crawling around in filth and knocking holes in walls to rewire the kitchen. Which I guess is fitting punishment for buying a yuppie stove.



Anonymous dana said...

Can I just say? that I would like to applaud you for not joining this blasted stainless steel following? Ugh. My mother just bought all new appliances and even though I told her that stainless would become the avocado of the aughts she still went for it. I warned her too that she'd be wiping fingerprints off the fridge every fifteen minutes, but I think she figured that since she has only nine fingers (at last count) that it wouldn't be as big a problem.

Sat Mar 10, 03:31:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it does self-cleaning, will you override whatever protections there are for self-cleaning mode (dunno, just vaguely remember reading somebody's notes about it somewhere) to reach pizza-oven temperatures?

Sun Mar 11, 11:27:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

Avocado of the aughts! I'm stealing that. Steeling.

Anon, Steingarten tried pizza in the self-clean cycle, with hi-larious results. The problem is that the oven locks and won't open until it's done, which is like two hours. So the pizza was reduced to ash too. Unfortch.

Mon Mar 12, 04:07:00 PM GMT  
Blogger alizinha said...

I think Anon is remembering the guy who cut the lock off of his self-cleaning oven so he could make New York-style pizza in his home kitchen.

Tue Mar 13, 04:09:00 AM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...


Anyone remotely interested in pizza needs to read Ali's link.

However, I'm not quite ready to cut the lock off. [I wonder, though, if some kind of oven ECU hacking isn't in my future].

It is important to note that the high heat will be wasted on substandard (i.e., hand kneadable) dough, which is what I make since I lack that other yuppie trapping, a stand mixer.

Viking makes a nice one in stainless.

Tue Mar 13, 05:16:00 PM GMT  
Blogger the patriarch said...

I'm still waiting for a self-cooking stove, but I hear you on the stainless. While I am inclined to appreciate its cold, unattainable beauty, I am practical enough to realize that a household with 3 children (meaning 30 unwashed, mostly, fingers) should not have any stainless steel appliances. At least not without a staff of 2 whose sole dedication is fingerprint eradication.

I don't know the brand of our current stove, but I do know that it is white and electric. The back, where the knobs are, is falling off, and yet it cooks beautifully.

My parents are buying a gleaming Viking range. I told them I'm calling it the Hummer, as in, "Hey ma, what's in the Hummer tonight?" Such is the limitation of my wit.

Thu Mar 15, 08:07:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Adrian said...

In my tiny Parisian kitchen, too small to have a real stove, I have a do-all Whirlpool oven-microwave-grill that does the business. From defrosting to grilling, perfectly searing fish and meat, and steam-cooking veggies, it makes my life a whole lot easier and pleasant. Big things can be done in small space.

Thu Mar 15, 08:41:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

Sac, don't you mean 40 unwashed fingers?

I'm sure your wife has clean hands.

Fri Mar 16, 07:01:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous dubarry said...

am i understanding correctly that you bought an electric oven? is the cooktop electric? do they even make hybrids. i have read -- i guess in that science & cooking book, not the harold mcgee the other one -- that electrics = gas, but i am not convinced.

on a heavier note, i am building a smokehouse in the air shaft. (we make due, n'est-ce pas?)

Tue Mar 20, 02:31:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

God no. They do make gas top/electric oven hybrids, but my poor primitive electrical service could never handle it. Although it has both gas and electric broiler elements for some reason, the fan that drives the convection is what tripped the circuit. Since it's a 15 amp circuit with no other load at the time but the coffeemaker clock, it's an issue with the GFI, not the load per se. I'm not sure why though.

Tue Mar 20, 05:40:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Maccers said...


I outasshole you for having bought a stainless oven thingy. It also has a removeable grate so that I can, or rather could, put the griddle thingy there and do griddling or something. I dust it only as there are never fingerprints. I use the oven for storage.

Wed Mar 21, 02:41:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous dubarry said...

you need to call the super.

Wed Mar 21, 03:31:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

Maccers wins!

Wed Mar 21, 04:06:00 PM GMT  

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