Happy days are here again, though they're not so much salad days as bread days. For those who've been in on the drama for the last few months and have been nodding sympathetically at our whining and moaning, we've finally got a new stove to replace our previous one!
First up, sautéing onions for chili!
For those who haven't been so privileged, the Jenn-Air range that was installed in our kitchen remodel back in 2006 was not pleased with Dave's foray into breadbaking. In the last several months, its digital control panel started shutting down, to the point where we were left with two preset oven temperatures—350° and 375°—which would only work if you stood there and reset them every three minutes. Not ideal.
Apparently a lot of newer ovens with digital panels don't like high temperatures, the one required for the kind of bread that Dave makes (500°) or the one that is preset on the oven's self-cleaning function. It's apparently common for these high temps to burn out the digital controls over time, so our choice was to replace the panel, long out of warranty, which would cost about $1,000, or replace the stove entirely.
Low simmer setting on all four burners…be still my heart!
One might ask, "Why would a manufacturer install a feature like self-cleaning and then say (as we heard from several dealers), that it shouldn't be used or, if it was, the life of the oven would be shortened, as would cooking at the high temperatures that are allowed on the oven controls?" Good question.
So we began the search for a non-digital, slide-in range that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, since we need all our appendages for making enough money to pay the rent. On the advice of my friend Diane Morgan, we went to Eastbank Appliance and spoke with the very genial and informative Terry Hellman, who initally pointed us to an all-gas Electrolux range that had no digital controls, just an electric igniter for the burners and a fan for the oven, which would run us about $3,000, not including installation. Yes, we gulped, too.
Unfortunately—or, as it turned out, fortunately for us, Electrolux discontinued that model and Terry tracked down a different brand, the be-acronymed NXR, that would fit our requirements and, happy days, was on sale and would end up costing a little over half of the Electrolux. It was installed yesterday and, so far, looks like it will be ideal for just about everything we need. I'll keep you posted!