An Appliance Nightmare On Thanksgiving Eve

It’s official. I’m living an appliance nightmare. I have finally confirmed that my new fridge has “issues” and that my new stove/oven is beyond nuts, much to my frustration and LCB’s complete devastation.

My husband has been itching for years to get a gas range, so when we moved to our new house that didn’t come with any kitchen appliances save a microwave, we decided to run a gas line and we ordered a gas stove and oven. With the images of the Ol’ Lonely Maytag repairman commercials swimming in his head, and having spent several years of his childhood in Newton, Iowa, growing up under the aura of the Maytag headquarters, LCB had high expectations when we narrowed our choice down to Maytag appliances.

Due to several factors, including Hurricane Irene actually, this took a few weeks to accomplish, but when we finally got the appliances all in and fully functional, we were excited. New appliances are always exciting, and the gas element was truly a major bonus of the new house for LCB.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, our new fridge started leaking. At first, we thought the water was from the outside water and ice dispenser that the small people sometimes overflow. But one day, after studying the pattern of the water for a minute, I called LCB, who quickly ascertained that the leak is coming from the back of the freezer.

So that pretty much stinks.

LCB called the manufacturer, who’s now sending someone out next week to hopefully fix the problem.

Then, last week I made Comfortably Domestic’s Chicken Pot Pie. It was fabulous, truly. But it took extra long to cook. This got me thinking about how things like the pizzas and the cookies we’ve made in the new oven also have seemed to take extra long to bake. However, since we don’t time these items but judge their readiness by sight, I wasn’t 100% sure of my assessment. Given, too, that we both have been unusually busy this fall, our oven use has been way down from what it normally is, so I hadn’t really thought it through much until now.

Sunday night, I removed all doubt that my oven has serious issues. On a whim driven by a carb craving, I made Comfortably Domestic’s Super Easy Popover recipe, obviously drawn to the words “Super Easy,” as one naturally should be. The recipe calls for baking them for about 25 minutes. Guess how long mine took?

One hour.

That was a long hour, my friends, watching the popovers for signs of popping over, trying to resist the urge to throw sharp objects at the oven and settling instead for giving it dirty looks.

Then, we started checking the actual temperature of the oven by resetting it, and found that it was consistently dropping 100+ degrees below the set temperature.

So there I was Monday night, having obligated myself several weeks ago to bake for my younger two children’s Thanksgiving feasts at school. For my son, I had volunteered to make cookies, which should have been easy, but turned out to be a giant experiment in frustration, because some cookies seemed to take the standard 10 minutes to cook, and others seemed to take 20+ minutes. I sat therefore, vigilant, eyes peeled to the oven for 2 hours, while I baked 5 dozen cookies.

For my daughter, I had volunteered to bring vegetables and rolls. I had plans to make a medley of rolls, but because of the oven problems, I decided instead to make the popovers again, despite the fact that I couldn’t serve them in their ideal state (fresh from the oven). I reasoned that I had already tried them in my new oven and knew what to expect, unlike my other recipes.

Did I have nagging thoughts in the back of my head about the potential failure of the popping over part?

Yes. Yes I did.

But it was getting late, and the words “super easy” seduced me yet again.

So I made the popovers while getting the kids ready for bed and cleaning up the cookie dishes, and didn’t begin giving the oven dirty looks until 30 minutes in, when I glanced over and the popovers still looked like soup. I spent the next 10 minutes ranting to LCB about the oven while I washed dishes, then turned around from the sink and gasped.

Most of the flour that was meant for the popovers was still sitting on the island counter, waiting to be poured.

LCB spent the next 10 minutes laughing that annoying “I’m really trying not to laugh but I can’t help it” laugh, until I pulled the popovers from the oven and said, “You know, these are almost like very plain mini-quiches without most of the flour in them.”

LCB’s head popped up from behind the couch, and three seconds later he was grabbing cheese and pepper and doctoring them up.

“Um, I’m not hungry at all, but these are really good,” he mumbled between bites.

So, I tried again. At about 30 minutes, the popovers started to pop up, and seconds later, dove sharply downward. I checked the oven temperature, which had dropped 125 degrees. They resurged slightly as the temperature reset, and then plummeted again, ensuring with their sadistic descent that a bunch of preschoolers and their families would ultimately eat store-bought rolls instead.

Oh yeah, that’s attractive. They look like hockey pucks.

I’ll keep you posted on the appliance developments. But I think it’s safe to say that Ol’ Lonely won’t be so lonely anymore.

5 Replies to “An Appliance Nightmare On Thanksgiving Eve”

  1. Oh, no! Did you politely explain to your appliances that crapping out before Thanksgiving is not advisable? How rude. I admit that I did laugh at the tale, but only in an “it’s the adversity that makes it memorable” kind of way. 😉 Funny that you just eyeball your baking because if I didn’t set a timer, I’d get distracted and forget anything was in the oven until the smoke detectors went off. You are a saint of a woman to spend an hour baking a batch of cookies!


    P.S. Thank you for the sweet shout-

    1. Oh, I “explained” a lot of things to my appliances that night. And, I’m sure I’ll laugh about it someday. And yes, that eyeballing it method has led to the smoke detectors going off before, I’ll admit, not to mention some extra crispy cookies and once, a pizza that served better as a frisbee when all was said and done. I’ve got my eye on your beer bread for next time, but at this rate, my blog could turn into the Uncomfortably Domestic blog in short order. 🙂

  2. Wow. Ovens are supposed to fluctuate a little bit, but that is just not good at all. I hope that it is something like a thermostat that can be replaced and not the whole oven. Part of the reason that we redid our kitchen at the time that we did, 4 1/2 years ago, was that the range that had come with the house started to work at either 250 or broil and nothing in between. This baker was not happy. Replacing the range was one of the catalysts for starting the project. I got a gas cook top and an electric convection oven out of the deal and am a much happier baker.

    Beer bread by Comfortably Domestic? I need to try that, too.

    Hope it is all resolved quickly.

  3. Oh how sad…so are you eating out tomorrow?

    1. No, we’ll be okay, thanks. More on that later. But thanks for asking!!:)

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