A week ago Wednesday, I arrived home for lunch (one of the perks of living three blocks from where you work is walking home for the noontime meal), to find fresh-out-of-the-oven calzones cooling on the butcher block. Kevin had timed their creation to coincide with my schedule. They smelled delicious. As I leaned over them to drink in their mouth-watering aroma, I noticed that the oven door was ajar and its top coils were glowing bright red.
I was surprised, since those heating elements hadn't been working since the char-broiled dinner incident in January. When I reached to shut off the oven, though, I realized it already was!
This, after a 10-hour ordeal the Saturday before while attempting to appease the oven gods by giving a thorough cleaning. Instead, partway through the three-hour self-clean cycle, an error code appeared, locking us out for the entire afternoon as the oven blasted away at nearly 1,000 degrees!
Call us naive, but it wasn't until I explored customer service message boards online that we realized we could flip the breaker. The oven eventually cooled and I thoroughly wiped it clean in the hopes that maybe that's all it needed.
A couple test baking projects went off without a hitch. Even the calzones baked perfectly.
But an oven that heats when it's turned off is too much. At 16 years old, it was time to retire this baby.
After extending the gas line 20 feet -- a process that inadvertently burned out the thermal coupler on the boiler and left us waking up Sunday morning to a 47-degree house -- and comparison shopping for the best consumer-rated gas range we could afford on our limited budget, we now have a brand new convection oven!
So far, popcorn has popped light and fluffy; root vegetables have roasted so-so; and water for tea has boiled in a jiffy.
We'll get used to it, I'm sure. The major upside is we can now can our harvest inside the kitchen instead of on the gas grill's burner on the porch -- or, once fall arrives, on our wood stove! (The recently retired not-to-be-missed stove had a glass top that might have cracked had we attempted to use it for canning.)
So the boiler is humming in the wee hours of the night and the new oven heats only when we want it to.