I mentioned in my post yesterday, “Winds of Change” that we had recently hosted friends visiting from out of town for a couple of days; I also mentioned that the weekend “went without a hitch”. This is further evidence of my oft demonstrated history of repressing negative, challenging or unpleasant memories.
The weekend didn’t go quite without a hitch. There was one hitch. In fact, given we were hosting three guests, bringing the grand total of friends, family and us enjoying the weekend to six, it was not a huge hitch but not entirely insignificant.
The oven broke down. Done. Dead. Talk about life unscripted!
I first clued into something being amiss when on Friday, the day before everyone was due to arrive, I was prepping and cooking as much of the food we were going to be serving in advance as I could. On the menu for dessert the next night was Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce. I’ve made this dish a few times before and it never fails to impress. Until this time.
At 10:30am I started preheating my oven to the required 450°. The time is important because as I became distracted working on anther dish and then didn’t check the oven temp again until 11:05 you can imagine my surprise/horror that it had only reached 265° in the span of 35 minutes.
Back when we bought the house last year one of the interior draws was the kitchen; it’s nice and big, perfect for entertaining. And it had, what seemed to be a beautiful dual fuel range. My heart was all aflutter. The charm quickly wore off as we discovered that said range took what seemed like forever to heat up. Small inconvenience, we thought as we made a mental note that sometime in the next while we might start looking at new ranges. Now please don’t work up a lecture for me on consumerism and over-consumption; how could we take what is a still functioning, large appliance and toss it in landfill just because it isn’t working up to snuff anymore? We weren’t; the plan was to move it downstairs for a guest/entertaining kitchen. All good.
Anyway, back to my culinary misadventures… Needless to say, I was more than a little worried that it was taking so long to heat up but thought, even if one element has burned out (my assumption), the other one would surely be able to do the job, if a bit more slowly. Man was I wrong there!
SIX HOURS later the oven hadn’t come close to the required 450° and I had given up hope at around noon so I just figured I’d put the puddings (individually sized; that has to be better, right?) into the oven and do a ‘slow bake’. Turns out, there’s no such thing. I took them out at dinner time figuring they looked baked on top and when performing the old ‘stick a toothpick in it’ test, seemed to come out clean.
Side note: I’ve made an appointment to have my eyes checked.
Fast forward to Saturday night dinner; the “puddings” were warming in our barbecue (our replacement for everything else we were planning on cooking in the oven over the weekend) and I held out moderate hope that they would be at least palatable. I served them with the toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream and sat down to observe everyone’s faces.
Conjure up, if you will, the blue soup scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary. With pudding. Pudding soup to be more precise. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone was remarkably kind in their comments. “The flavour is really good”, “you did the best you could given the circumstances” and on and on. With one blessed exception.
Sitting to my left was Steve. Steve loved the pudding soup. He LOVED it. He loved it so much he couldn’t understand what the issue was; why weren’t people eating it? Cakey on the outside, gooey on the inside. Gooey! It was at this point that I began to question every compliment Steve had given me in regard to food over the seven-plus years that I had known him while at the same time thinking ‘thank God for Steve’.
Happily, that was the worst of the ‘this-was-supposed-to-be-cooked-in-the-oven-but-we-MacGyvered-it-on-the-bbq’ dishes and everything else was well enjoyed.
The replacement element is on order; until its arrival it’s leftovers and barbecue for us.