I realize that I have left you all hanging, in doubt, uncertain of the outcome of my oven-dilemma on Monday morning. (Yeah, I am really sure that anyone cares… And, yes, I did talk about it on Monday; read the little orange-maroon postscripts.) I could have appended a note to yesterdayʼs post, but at 1600 words, I think that bit of longhorrea was extensive enough. (And I donʼt think I ever got around to actually quoting the directions that made no sense at all. Go on, go back, click those pictures and read the directions — those scans really turned out wonderfully. Can you decide which step is incomprehensible near-sense?)

Anyway. The oven.

I was typing away to create a belated Monday post on Monday morning, while also mixing and baking batch after batch of little breakfast quiches, when I realized that the latest (batch 5) cooking time had elapsed (21 minutes at 350°). When I went into the kitchen at about 10:40 to get the little muffin-sized vegetable delights out of the oven, I discovered the eggy mass in each cup was still uncooked (and the oven was decidedly not hot). Something was wrong.

On Saturday evening, creating for supper a potato/olive/tomato delight for our side dish, which was supposed to bake at 450°, Janet noticed that the ovenʼs preheating indicator never went out, the first sign of problems. However, Monday morning, I got the oven preheated successfully (complete with little chime and extinguishing of the indicator light) and baked at least three batches of quiches before disaster struck. I think the fourth batch baked mostly on the residual heat as the problem climaxed and the flames died with no hope of resurrection (at least not without professional help). With the uncooked fifth set of quiches, I realized (finally and for the first time) that I had a problem.

I called The Lovely One to make sure it would be okay with her for me to summon a repairman and then phoned our local appliance store, from which we had purchased the stove back in the late Nineties, when we redid the kitchen. I am appreciative that Mayberry Home Appliance still maintains a service staff, knowing from friend Kevin how low is the return/profit on service calls (on the other hand, Mayberry charges $60 or $65 dollars, as I just learned Monday, simply to show up at your house). Asked over the telephone to check if the stove itself (the burners on top) still lit, even if the oven was defunct, I tried one out, and the burner lit. They said this could be serious and got my information to add me to the service manʼs list of stops.

Neither of these clip art cartoons does Steve credit…

I got the big bowl of egg-and-veggies mixture into the refrigerator and even devised a way to cram both muffin pans of uncooked quiches in as well (no need for Sir Salmonella to get the chance to make a visit), and went back to work on the computer. I finished the editing on Mondayʼs post (a picture and the links, mostly, but also proofreading) and put it out into the digital æther not long after 11:00. About 11:50, the phone rang — Steve, the repairman trying to get a fix on just where our address was located. With my extra information he arrived about ten minutes later and got to work. I lingered in the kitchen talking with him for about ten minutes (the periods into which everything seemed to fall at that point), but as I always feel awkward standing over professionalsʼ shoulders as they work, I returned to the computer to continue my efforts on yesterdayʼs lengthy diatribe.

Within ten more minutes, he summoned me back to the kitchen to let me know that the problem was a bad igniter and to give me the actual bad news, the cost for the replacement — $145 for the part and his visit (and no further charge for labor because the basic call fee included a half-hourʼs work). We had to have an operating oven, so I agreed, and he got going on the replacement. Ten more minutes, and it was time to pay up. He even left me with the old, cracked igniter, which he told me, as I wrote the check, usually only lasted about seven years, so ours, having persisted since the kitchen renovation (1998?), had done more than its expected service. As he put it, “Youʼre way ahead on that one.”

He accepted my payment, with taxes amounting to our title today, and I got the oven back on, the muffin pans back inside, the quiche mixture back out, and everything back on track. I did have to walk fast to Aldi for more nonstick cooking spray while batch #9 baked, but the rest of the quiches got done as intended — just two hours later than I had figured. Thirteen batches plus eight more quiches = 320, good for eighty work days of breakfasts.

And I am sure that everyone cares. Still, a post is a post, and this one is nearly 900 words!

Perhaps we can indulge in some more vacation memories (and photos) soon. It will at least be a break from the boring life updates that have dominated this week so far.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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