Yes, this current one matched the other appliances and had the flat cook top that I prefer. Those were the only two characteristics that endeared this maker of meals to me. The oven is as loony as an addict on crack. It takes twelve and a half minutes to preheat. The center of the oven might read 350 degrees while the sides would be dancing at different tunes. 275 on one side 425 on the other. Food has to be rotated every quarter of the cooking time.
And the broiler doesn't work at all. My brother-in-law visited and wanted to make nachos. The broiler wouldn't heat to pop a single kernel of popcorn much less melt cheese on nachos. My brother-in-law was not happy. Shouldn't we keep extended relatives contented cooks in our homes?
Christmas Eve arrived and still no large heavy box taking up most of the space under the Christmas tree. But the children were home and life was good. Robby awoke and requested chocolate chip muffins for breakfast. It is a pleasure to cook for your children when you don't do it on a regular basis.
I mixed up batter and turned on the turtle oven to preheat. Robby called out, "Hey Mom! I'm going to town with Dad. I'll eat the muffins when we get back." No problem. The oven might be at an acceptable temperature by the time you return.
Nicole awoke and staggered into the kitchen. "What smells?"
What did smell? It wasn't an offending smell, like the cats had eaten too many mice. It was a plasticie smell.
I opened the oven door and discovered what it was. Flames were doing a tango in my oven!
This year I was extremely organized. The bread for the stuffing had been dried, cut and stored in plastic bowls. However with so many sweets on the counter there was a lack of storage. So I stuck them in the oven. After all I always peek in the oven before I turn it on.
Flames danced around the inside of the oven. Plastic dripped from the racks. Bread crumbs lay charred at the bottom. The fire alarm in the oven began a piercing chirping.
Luckily Doug had not left for town yet. "Fire! Get Daddy!" I hollered to Nicole. He's the fireman. He can have this out in a snap.
Doug doesn't move too fast. I'm sure he didn't really believe there was a fire. But, I knew how to get those flames out. I am known for my hot air and ability to blow out numerous birthday candles with one breath. Taking a deep breath I began to blow on the flames.
"Mom! What are you doing? Don't you know oxygen makes fire bigger?" Nicole screamed.
When did the kids get so smart? I didn't know I was blowing oxygen. Just hot air.
Finally Doug arrives on the scene. He scampered out to the garage for a fire extinguisher. Pushing us all aside he prepares to PASS. Pull. Aim. Squeeze. Sweep. Nothing came out. Not even a trickle. Nada.
Nicole squatted down to assess the mess and think. She is of the generation that can not go for 1.2 seconds without a phone in their hand. My wonderful, stressed husband assumed she is talking on the phone. Did he think she was punching 911? Doug snapped at Nicole, "Go to your room!"
Nicole is 27. She doesn't live with us. Who tells a 27 year old to go to their room? A room they don't have.
About this time the fire really gains speed. The entire oven is now engulfed in bright orange, intense flames. Someone says to Doug, "Maybe we should call the fire department."
I have been married to Doug for twenty six years, four months, and 18 days. He was thinking: "Not going to happen. I am not calling my friends on the fire department. I will get this inferno out and no one will be the wiser." Then he slammed the oven door.
Cracking open the oven door, the flames were indeed extinguished. Black smoke poured out filling the kitchen and surrounding rooms with smoke and dead plastic smell. Windows were thrown open. Lucky for us it was 30 degrees outside, not -30.
Doug looks at me. "I didn't buy you a new oven for Christmas."
I had found a way to get one anyway!
Then Robby pipes up. "I can clean this up and you will be back in business."
He rummaged through my cleaning supplies. He scrubbed and rubbed and didn't even cuss. The darn thing looked good as new. I didn't have the heart to tell him I really wanted a new one.
We found extra oven racks in the porch closet and indeed I was back in business. All that excitement and not one new oven on Christmas morning.