Now that I've got your attention...
Take a look at my oven.
Seriously, take a close (really close) look at this picture and tell me how would YOU set this oven to 350 degrees?
Yeah, I know, NO TEMPERATURE SETTING!!! Seriously, doesn't ANYBODY bake in this country?
I'm all good with the top burners and that fact that it's like rubbing flint together to get the thing kick started but really the oven is just about to push me over the edge!
Last weekend I wanted to bake my beloved 12 month old son a much deserved (and 2 week belated by the way) birthday cake. I procrastinated for two whole weeks because I'm a little intimidated (OK, A LOT intimidated) by this oven. Honestly, the thing FRIGHTENS me!
I couldn't get the darn thing to light. I was turning the knob and pressing the "clicker button" (the ignition switch, if you want to get all technical on me). NO light, just a STRONG smell of gas. (Which is a whole other blog posting entirely - I think our landlord is trying to kill me slowly by fume inhalation!!!) So then it dawns on me: "OLD SCHOOL CAMPING TRIP"! I reflect (due to the fact that I am TOTALLY high in gas fumeage) on the YMCA Indian Princess camp outs that I used to go on with my Dad and kid-sister... GREEN COLMAN STOVE! I remembered (or was that hallucinated) that you need to use a match... yet another not so bright idea from the "Jann School Of Cooking With Idiots" when three sheets to the wind on gas.
Paul (my hero) returns to the house with a long nose lighter designer for this sort of drama and we get the thing to BURN!
AND BURN IT DID! We made it like a pow-wow in there. The Flusche & Aebi parents all stood in the "dirty" kitchen (where this dinosaur of an oven resides) and tried to get my oven to 350 degrees. We tried both the top and bottom burner on the lowest setting we could get with out the thing blowing out. The oven reached upwards of 600 million degrees. So we brainstorm and decide to take out the top burner all together, keeping the bottom burner on the lowest setting... we arrive at 450 degrees.
Now, lets think logically here... no cake recipe on this planet (or any other planet I'm aware of for that matter) instructs it's cook to bake a cake at a temperature THAT high. Hmmmm, that's our lowest setting and we're still reaching 450 degrees... hmmm... bake with the oven open? NO! THAT CAN'T BE SAFE!
(Check out the "fancy" wiring and hook up!)
(Here's a closer look, I have to turn this knob each time I want to use the stove or oven.)
Then again I don't think anything about this oven is safe. (See above petrographical evidence). So we cross our fingers, crank up the oven then shut 'er down, then crank 'er up and shut 'er down (you get the idea) and lo and behold...
The good Lord was watching over this poor ol' Mommy who didn't want to spoil her son's first birthday party. I would like to add that the birthday cake was actually eatable, more than that - it was GOOD.
I might even go as far as to say delicious.... naaa.
For this story, GOOD will do.