Out with the oven

We made it through our first Thanksgiving in our new house and I didn’t mess up any of the dishes we ate. It’s not like I’m new to the whole Thanksgiving feast prep, but my appliances are new to me.

For the first time in my life, RV notwithstanding, I have a gas range. I hate it. I know, I know, let the controversy begin. I’m aware that most people love their gas ranges and wouldn’t cook without them, but I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why in a house that’s completely electric, a person would take the time to plumb a gas range, but only the top, not the oven. Plus tiles were added to the counters making the whole stove taller than it’s physically able, and it had to be set on top of wood blocks to make it high enough to fit over the counter. This makes the stove top very tall. I’m a tall person, so it’s not difficult for me to reach, but it heats up the microwave handle above it.

I also made almond roca, which is very early for me, but I wanted to send some home with my friends visiting from Florida so I didn’t have to mail it. The gas burner burned my hand as I stirred and heated up the pot handles. So again, I just don’t get it. The whole unit is a high quality one, Kenmore Elite, it’s in the name after all, but the oven is rather small. I was, however, impressed that it heated the side dishes evenly even though I had to place them on different racks over each other to fit them in.

My Florida friend’s daughter even made gingerbread house pieces because my daughters were at work and school. It kept her busy while they were gone. But I have to say, when they finally got around to putting the gingerbread houses together, they were rather staid. Not only were the kids unusually quiet during the making of said houses, but the houses are still intact.

Our Florida friends used to live in Maple Valley and we often spent holidays with them. In fact, the gingerbread house tradition started with them. After all the work I’d spend baking the house pieces I didn’t want the kids to destroy them immediately. My friend talked me into buying kits so the kids could eat them. After they left the state, my youngest wanted to start the baking of the walls again and said she’d help if they could eat them right away. Our friends hadn’t experienced my relaxed gingerbread house rules, so I was rather disappointed the kids didn’t dig into them. Not only that, but they are perfectly cute gingerbread houses instead of the radical creations of past years.

Still, I’m sorry to say, the range has got to go. I have a lot more candy to make and I don’t relish the thought of burning my hand through eight more batches. I also have turkey soup to make, which may have to be done before my new range is delivered because a nice holiday bug is working its way through my family, compliments of my youngest daughter. I normally don’t get sick with stuff my kids bring home, but I think the stress of moving, unpacking, selling our old house, watching my husband slowly move out of his old shop, and just having had an MS treatment a couple weeks ago has lowered my immune system.

Soup notwithstanding, it’s out with the oven.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a community near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.

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