At Home with the Range

My kitchen stove ranks over all the other kitchen cookware–toaster oven, microwave, my new instant pot, waffle iron, popcorn popper, and even the barbecue out the back door. It reigns supreme. But my kitchen stove was about to bite the dust–or rather, the old brick-patterned linoleum. The oven element was toast and two of the burners were acting up. Yay! Time to get a new stove!

It’s orange. It reminds me of a rotting pumpkin. A kitchen designer might call it “burnt orange.” Or maybe “poppy orange.” It’s one of those garish appliance colors that oozed out in the 1970’s, along with a dirty gold and an “avocado green” that was more the color of split pea soup. Yes, my stove is almost 50 years old. Would I be able to find another stove that would last 50 years?

Toshiba Digital Camera

I don’t like to replace any appliance that still chugs along. I love the Earth enough that I don’t want to dump any more junk onto it than I have to, plus if I’ve got enough money to replace an appliance on the basis of its color only, I’ve got enough money to feed a struggling family meals for a month or two.

That stove had seen me through a sizable portion of my life. For all those years our sons were growing up, it baked 2-4 loaves of bread every week or so. Every fall it processed jars and jars of grape juice, applesauce, and sliced pears. Cooked dozens of blueberry pancakes for hungry grandchildren. Produced Thanksgiving dinners for 12-20 people for many years. Endless apple crisps, Christmas cookies, birthday cakes, and Sunday pot roasts. Clam chowder after beach camping and sourdough bread and pancakes.

After thinking it over some more, and on the suggestions of two friends, I called Bill, our favorite appliance repairman. As he entered the kitchen, he brushed past me and headed for the stove, “Wow–when was the last time I saw one of these?” He replaced the oven unit and the two burners, and suggested we might replace a control knob at some point, but thinks that stove will last “forever.”

I was wrong. The stove’s not the color of rotting pumpkins. It matches the color in the wallpaper and the old brick-patterned linoleum. It’s more the color of fire. It’s one hot baby!

7 thoughts on “At Home with the Range

  1. I am so impressed with your cooking skills. During our first two years of teaching I remember we could barely boil water. My skills are just barely above that, but you? Wow!

    • Not really. I almost always use a recipe and I still find it hmmmm…challenging? Not doing as much as I used to, though! But you’re right, we could hardly boil water. The height (or depth) of it was when I lit my blouse on fire….

  2. Absolutely agree! We inherited Vic’s aunt’s GE refrigerator. I LOVED that appliance, never cared about the dirty gold color. It was one of first to have a bottom drawer freezer, and I was never replacing it until they came out with bottom freezers. We replaced the freezer gasket at least twice. At 60 years old, it was still running when we had to replace it because the plastic of the bottom drawer freezer was crumbling in our hands and could not be replaced. We have regular conversations with appliance repairmen because we have Maytag washer/dryers that are also ‘vintage’ that just keep working. Matching? Ha! And simple to use, too. (We could go on about that!)

    In a somewhat rushed decision, we’re in Hemet (where it’s currently snowing!) packing out the house, having decided to put it on the market and take advantage (hope, hope) of the very hot real estate market. The real estate agent expects to have it on the market tomorrow, just 2 weeks from when we first said, we’ll do this! Gulp. We’ll return to Idyllwild in a few days where there’s 16” of snow, which we’ll have to shovel to get in the gate, let alone up to the house…. So if you don’t hear from me for awhile…

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