Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Patty Cake, Patty Cake Baker Man, Bake Me A Cake As Slow As You Can

Last night I baked two cakes for my class. I did the easy thing and used a mix. I hate to admit it, but since time is something I don't have lots of lately, I had to use a mix.

We have a gas stove that came with the house, and we are thrilled to have gas instead of electric because you have more control when cooking on the stovetop. The oven, however, takes for-freaking-ever to heat up. After getting off the phone with everyone who called last night it was about 10:00 before I even got to the mixing stage. The oven, luckily, had been turned on about an hour earlier, so it was ready whenever I was. I greased & parchmented (if that's even a word) the pans, threw the box of chemicals into the mixer along with the eggs, milk & oil and flicked it on and let it do its thing. I divided the batter into the pans and popped them in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

While the cakes were baking, I watched something on TV that I had recorded earlier that night and came upstairs just in time for the timer to go off. I pulled one of the pans out and noticed the batter was still pretty liquidy. Back in it went for another 10 minutes. I checked them again. Still fairly wet. Another 7 minutes. Looking a bit firmer, but the toothpick test told me the inside was still a long way off. Another 8 minutes. Another toothpick. Another 6 minutes. Another toothpick. Another 5 minutes. What are we up to now? Well over an hour. What the hell?

Finally they made it to the "done" stage, cooked throughout, golden on the top. Out they came to cool.

So what's with this oven? It appears something is screwed. That probably explains why it took about an hour and a half to make creme brulee instead of the half hour or so it was supposed to take. It also explains the butter tarts I made at Christmas that took more than twice the time as well.

The Squeeze and I just had to laugh about it this morning. Yet another part of this house that sucks the bag. What a surprise. NOT! Since we moved in back in August we have encountered, so far, an air conditioner unit that didn't work properly and flooded the base of our furnace. We replaced the A/C unit in the back yard, so now we should be set for a good number of years. Our garage door opener was installed in such a way that it doesn't open all the way so we have to duck on our way in and out. This opener also doesn't work in the cold months unless you push up on the door while it tries to lift it. We'll have to have a new opener installed eventually. The dishwasher detergent release door doesn't work, so we have to wait for the first cycle to finish and we have to manually add the detergent after it drains (when we remember). All three toilets in the house run on and on and on. Many faucets drip or squirt water from the handles. The roof in the garage leaks water due to a defective membrane on our flat deck above it. The entire condo needs to be re-roofed next month to the tune of $10,000 for each unit that we have to pay for. I tell ya, if you don't laugh, you'll cry. Obviously, the previous owners, were about as useless as tits on a bull. OK, the roof obviously had nothing to do with them, but there was little to no maintenance done on anything. Could they not figure out how to change a washer?

Today I'm going to call an appliance repair shop to get this thing looked at. Hopefully it can be repaired instead of having to have it replaced. If we can get a few more years out of it we'll be happy. If it can't be replaced, we're going to have to get used to doubling the cooking time on everything that goes in that oven. It's a good thing I have nothing better to do.

As if baking doesn't suck badly enough, a not hot enough oven makes it that much more fun.

I hate people who sell their problems to somebody else - probably knowing full well about all those issues. I don't really believe in suing all willy nilly, but perhaps you could just slap them upside the head?
Sounds like an oven I had 20 years ago, and oddly enough my current ovens, which are 25 year old O'Keefe & Merritt electric bitches and I hate them. Whoever built this house plumbed the entire house for gas EXCEPT the kitchen. Dumbass.

Nevertheless, the easiest & cheapest thing to do until you can afford the Vulcan commercial monstrosity any decent cook drools over is to pick up an oven thermometer for $5 from the gadget aisle of your local supermarket. Most oven thermostats don't work properly, so having an extra one inside will help you gauge how far off yours is & adjust accordingly.

If your favorite store doesn't have a gadget aisle, you can get one here: from Amazon

The yjdxwu just went off - time to turn the potatoes.
We're booked for a service call for Monday. Apparently they think they have the parts for it, so we'll see how it goes. The thought of forking over for a new stove isn't doing it for me right now.

kat: If it weren't for the fact that the family moved to Scotland, I'd be doing some drive-bys. Just to dump their useless crap on their new lawn. (btw, any time you're ready to fork over that recipe, I'm willing to take it!) :o)

dr: I have that thermometer and I even know where it is! Amazing in itself. If I need to bake before the service call I'm going to use it.
Major drag, dude. Speaking of appliances -- Does this cottage come with a propane coffee maker or are we just going to lie around every morning awaiting a slow decaffienated death?

any time is uyxbot time
I think I have to call Grandma for it. I don't bake, so I wouldn't bet money on me having it. It's a good excuse for calling Grandma, though. I'll get it to you soon. If not, just remind me.
FWG: I was thinking we'd just buy a barrel of chocolate covered coffee beans and munch on them until noon when the bar opens. The Squeeze, on the other hand, said some silly thing about pouring boiling water through a filter full of ground coffee. He says that's how it used to be done before some dude named Mr. Coffee showed up on the scene.

kat: No hurry. I'll be baking for years. Multiply that by 2.2 if this oven doesn't get fixed.

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