The Stove is Dead, Long Live the Stove

Farewell, old friend!

Last Thursday, our stove died. The short version of this unexpected and scary event: the computer board that controls all functions of the stove ceased to function; the top heating element in the oven would not turn off. I had to pull the electrical cord to prevent a full meltdown.

I do not usually get sentimental about a household appliance, but this was My First Kitchen Stove. Mr. Food It Yourself and I bought it, refurbished, eight years ago just before moving into our house. I used it to cook the first Thanksgiving dinner we hosted. Together, my Stove and I baked hundreds of cookies and dozens of loaves of bread, boiled countless pounds of pasta and processed jar upon jar of jam. I will miss my Stove.

As soon as Mr. Food It Yourself and I knew the control panel in the stove was not worth fixing (darn you, modern appliance design!), we started looking for a new one. It will be delivered later this week. Will we give up our DIYet as we wait for our new hot box? Nope. Not even a little. We are going to leverage every other food heating appliance we own until the new stove here. It is actually a fun challenge.

I managed to make a little Thanksgiving in July with two slow cookers, an electric griddle, and a toaster oven.Not browned like you get from the oven, but still delicious and perfectly moist. You are looking at one bone in turkey breast over a bed of carrots, celery, and onion cooking in a slow cooker set to “high”. It took about six hours. Bonus- you can cook the turkey from frozen with zero worry about overcooking the outside before the middle is done.I found a bag of cranberries in the back of the freezer and a tiny slow cooker I had forgotten about on a high shelf. Home made cranberry sauce makes everything better. Slow cookers are also great for stew and chili. I have seen slow cooker recipes for lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and other noodle dishes. I have not tried them, but I am glad I have options if I am ever without an oven again.

Your electric griddle can do anything a frying pan on a burner can do. Eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, sauteed vegetables for the stuffing you’re making to go with the turkey in your slow cooker, you get the idea.

Yes, stuffing to go with the slow cooker turkey. Thank goodness Mr. Food It Yourself claimed this toaster oven before it was trashed by his workplace. Other things that work in a toaster oven include: English muffin pizzas (you knew that one, right?), leftovers that get soggy in a microwave, I even broiled a couple of pork chops in this baby. My top toaster oven tip is this: test fit the dish you are cooking in to make sure the door closes completely. Here is something I have not tried with a toaster oven, but I hope to:

  1. Make a batch of this stuff. Freeze it.
  2. Decide you want one or three cookies.
  3. Take a few slices out of the freezer and bake just enough.

If you try this before I do, let me know how it works out.

I fully admit that being without a kitchen stove is a first world problem. I still have electricity and a roof over my head and plenty of food available. I am extra blessed to have so many other ways to cook things. While I wait for my new stove I am using all my alternatives to their fullest potential.  What is the farthest you have stretched the ability of a kitchen appliance? Share in the comments!