My parents were way ahead of the game back in the 70s. The house they bought in California 40 years ago came with a Jenn-Air indoor grill in the kitchen. I thought it was the coolest thing ever to have a working griddle/grill right smack in the middle of the kitchen island. Dad was a pilot, and on weekends when he was home, he’d make us pancakes. That’s some devotion right there; dude was jetlagged for YEARS, and every single Saturday when he was home, he’d wake up early and make us all pancakes. These days when I visit if we want pancakes, my Dad says, “Oh, you want pancakes? Let’s walk down to Fred’s. They’ve got good pancakes”, (which, indeed, they do).
Believe it or not, that Jenn-Air is still there and still works great 40 years later.
Their kitchen also came equipped with a second oven, right above the stove. That thing is still there too and it still works. I’m fairly sure that one of my dad’s mottos is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, although he doesn’t have a Southern accent even though he was born in Mississippi and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say “ain’t”. Meanwhile, I moan and whine about wanting a dual-fuel Dacor with double oven that we’d have to rip out kitchen cabinets in order to fit the damn thing in, that we also cannot afford mainly because I WANT one. But also because I don’t like our current stove.
There’s nothing wrong with our current stove. It works just fine. Our house in Baltimore had an electric range; and once you figure your way around electric, works great. But when we moved here, I was happy as shit to have a gas stove top because that meant Adjustable Heating! and It’s What All The Cool Kids Have! But it did take me a long, long time to adjust all the baking times on my recipes for cakes and cookies, and especially meringues. Gas is not ideal for baking and roasting, unless you want to pull a Sylvia Plath move (but please, don’t try that at home. Get help before that). (Incidentally, just to ensure that I got the cause of Plath’s death right as it’s been a couple few decades since I read The Bell Jar, I googled “Celebrities who stuck their heads in gas ovens”, as one is wont to do, and came across this list . Can you imagine being some contractor going about your day and tearing down a wall only to find Dante’s decrepit body? Good times. Something to tell the grandkids).
When we moved into this house, all of the appliances were kind of meh, and kind of falling apart and on the verge of breaking down. We made a rule that we couldn’t buy new appliances until they broke. For obvious reasons, we both wishfully hoped the stove would kick the bucket, but it was in the best shape of all the appliances. First to go was the refrigerator; that thing was at least 20 years old and the freezer side had been leaking all over the place for months before one day I got fed up with incessant mopping and we went a’shopping. Second to go was the dishwasher, so we replaced it with a fancy-pants one. Stainless steel finish, of course, to match the fridge. Then the washer filled up one day and didn’t drain out. Murphy must have been watching that day because it happened when I was washing a full load of towels and jeans. That shit only happens when you’ve got a full load of heavy stuff going on, then you’re forced to spend a grumbling hour or so bent over the bathtub wringing water out of drenched items that weigh a ton. So when that happened, we upgraded to a front-loading LG that I am still in awe over. I love that thing.
Appliances that work well are like cars that work well. We beat them up and slam their doors and, in the case of cars, drive them like crap and don’t waste time thinking about them, basically take them for granted. But when something breaks, we’re screwed. We’re isolated and lost. Also, have you ever noticed that when the fridge breaks down, it’s usually right after you’ve done a massive grocery shopping? When your car breaks down, I can guarantee you that you’ve just filled it up with gas. Yes, I’ve been there too.
So the Dacor range. Sigh. I don’t have the money for it, and can’t justify putting it on a credit card that will take me decades to pay off just because I Want A New One. I’m a spoiled little brat, but even I know my limits.
But ain't it pretty?