La grand chef

Once again we have guests in the House Back East®, this time for a lengthy stay, and tonight they inquired how to operate the gas oven.

Imagine my embarrassment. I had no bloody idea.

I don’t remember the last time I cooked with gas, unless you count the grill, which I don’t. Santa Fe? Denver? Pueblo? And the HBE® has a rather elderly appliance. For all I knew, it might have required matches, incantations, the rubbing together of sticks.

Nope. Found the owner’s manual. Push in the temperature knob, assign a temperature, turn the other knob to “Bake.”

Another guest successfully unkilled. Winning!


21 Responses to “La grand chef”

  1. Libby Says:

    Never had gas growing up – natural gas was not even an option. Bad experiences with it as a renter – boiler and stove.
    Happy New Year! How are you celebrating, Patrick?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      An early Happy New Year back at you, Libby. Herself and I, along with our guests, are going to pop by the revitalized Ivywild School for a bit of musical entertainment. How about you?

      Me, I had bad experiences with fuel oil as a trailer owner. You ever wake up in the middle of a December night in a Greeley trailer park next to the railroad tracks to find the water in your toilet frozen solid?

      • Libby Says:

        Tonight I’ll be at home. But this afternoon? A festive get-together of knitters at a local yarn shop. Sounds tame but it’s a hoot. We’re a rowdy bunch and very handy with our needles. Cheers!

    • Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

      Libby, I guess cycling and knitting go together. Sandy, the talented O’Brien in our house, blogs about weaving, knitting, and spinning.

  2. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    I prefer gas for stove top cooking, especially with a wok. I like the quick heat control.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’d have a gas/electric combo if it were up to me. Alas, the finished basement makes routing a gas line to the kitchen problematic. And an electric range makes wok cookery, searing and sauces problematic. Woe, woe. Your basic First World tragedy, no?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    That sounds like my mom’s old gas oven. I think hers did require a match to start the pilot light in the oven.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I remember a rental with a gas setup like your mom’s, K. I had to light the burners and the oven using a long wooden match. A satisfying whumph! followed and I was able to prepare my Hormel chili and/or Totino’s frozen pizza.

      Good God, I can’t believe I’m still alive given some of the shit I used to eat.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        If you want to be healthy, then put that chili on a plate full of Minute rice. But, even in hard times, I have never eaten a Vienna sausage.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Oh, yeah. Hormel on the Minute, with some crumbled Fritos and a sprinkling of Kraft yellow whatever on top. That’s some good eatin’, son.

        Never et a Vienna sausage? Wish I could say that. One of the little devils is probably hiding somewhere in a dark corner of my motheaten carcass, just waiting to cause some mischief.

  4. Sharon Says:

    We’ve always had gas stoves – love cooking with a flame. Even our cabin has a gas stove, albeit a Coleman! Wouldn’t even know how to operate an electric oven. But probably what you get used to, is what works best for you – comfort with your equipment so to speak.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve done most of my actual cooking on electric, and it can be exasperating. Hitting a simmer just right, walking that fine line between seared and scorched, blistering the cheese atop all the enchiladas, not just a few — ay, Chihuahua.

      And don’t get me started on refrigerators that either freeze everything solid or mutate it into a soggy gray mush.

      I have a beat-to-shit two-burner Coleman stove that I haul on car-camping trips. What a wondrous piece of machinery.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        A few years ago we lost our natural gas for 3 days during a nasty cold spell. Our old Primus propane camp stove did the cooking along with the microwave. And, our Hotman propane shower kept us clean. Having camping gear comes in handy these days with the aging national infrastructure.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I prefer gas to electric for its instant on/off and adjustability. We’ve lost electric more often than gas up here by a long shot. But routing a gas lone to the kitchen was going to cost several k more than the stove back when we re-did the kitchen. In retrospect, shit, we should have done it. No kids and we can’t take it with us.

        Speaking of taking it with us…did anyone else catch that story on NPR this morning about the “grim reaper” watch that tells you the years, months, days, hours, etc. till you croak? Frickin’ morbid!

        Happy New Year to all. I’m counting down the days till I hit that 60 number in January. Patrick, I’ll let you know if I make it, since you are on my wheel.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Camping gear was a must-have up Weirdcliffe way. When the power went out, which it did, frequently, we lost not only the lights and the satellite Innertubez but the range/oven, the fridge and the well pump.

        Thus we kept a few jerrycans of water in the hall closet, along with plenty of canned grub. We’d break out the old Coleman two-burner and the MSR for cookery, light the oil lamps, and toss another log on the fire. Good times.

      • Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

        Khal, you are on my wheel, which isn’t a difficult position to attain and hold, since I enter the medicare window in June.

  5. veloben Says:

    Gas stove you mean like a Svea 123?

    Fast – can burn anything in a minute, and noisy – just turn it to boil to drown out the nature noises.

    Happy New Year to all!

    • grumbly old guy Says:

      I still have a Svea, but for general ugliness in the wild I love my old MSR multifuel for melting snow and tents as well as terrifying all life within 100 meters

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I have an elderly MSR RapidFire that originally ran on isobutane canisters that look like cans of Krylon. Reasonably lightweight for bike/backpacking, but man, does it ever take a long time to do its bizniz. Sounds like a buzzworm in extended-hiss mode.

      Recently bought a Soto OD-1R but haven’t had a chance to check it out. I need me a camping trip.

  6. Larry T. Says:

    As they say, “we’re cooking with gas now!” though I’m fortunate my wife is 100% Italian in the kitchen and can cook on pretty much anything, though an electric setup is nice for simmering that huge pot of broth overnight. Our summer apartment in Italy has an induction setup, which if you have the proper cookware, might be the best of both worlds?
    Happy New Year to all!

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