Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Viking and I, Part I.

I love living out here, but this house has some interesting quirks of its own. Like not really having a front door (I use the one by the garage).  Small bedrooms, but a giant kitchen. And the world’s biggest laundry room. As soon as I can figure out how to move the washer & dryer, I’m turning that into a dining room. Until then, I mostly keep the appliances covered and use the rest of the room as my gallery/studio. It gets good light—from both sides—but isn’t insulated, and is really c-c-c-cold in the winter.

I digress. Back to the giant kitchen. And the giant Viking stove.

The one that hasn’t worked well since I moved in, and has been getting worse. Those yummy Blondies, which should take about 25 minutes to bake, come out half raw inside after an hour and a half. (They’re actually really good that way, but still.)

For the past couple of months, I’ve been mostly ‘cooking’ in an old toaster oven a friend of mine was going to throw out. It doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen, which was nice during the summer, and actually works great for a lot of things. Not for baking, though. Which has been good for my waistline, but…

So, with the weather turning, and the holidays rapidly approaching, I finally got somebody out here to take a look.

Took me almost two years before it got so bad that I had to do something about it.

Took almost a week between me calling, and them actually showing up.

Took him almost fifteen minutes before he was packing up and writing up an invoice.

This is where my insecurities come in. Now, mind you, I really did wait until I was ABSOLUTELY sure that there was something wrong with the oven (and the burners weren’t all that reliable either) before I called. That it wasn’t me. That I hadn’t, every single time, forgotten an ingredient, or set the timer wrong, or forgotten how long it takes to roast a chicken. Or bake a batch of Blondies.

So I only had to watch him, stunned, for a minute or two before I got up the courage to ask “You’re already done?!”

(Internally, the dialogue went something like this: He’s been here five minutes! I can’t believe I’m going to have to pay him $65 to give me one of those condescending looks and say “Lady, “ (I hate being called “Lady” that way) “There’s nothing wrong with this oven…”)

He did none of those things.

He told me, in slightly more detail than required, exactly what was wrong with my oven and the range above, which parts he was going to order, how he was going to replace them, and the adjustments he’d make once the new parts were in to make sure that the temperature stayed even, that the burners didn’t sputter, and that never, ever, ever again would the flame go out leaving the gas flowing and me worried that the dog and I would asphyxiate in the middle of the night and that weeks later the neighbors would start complaining about the smell and send the fire department in to find our dead rotting bodies… that is, if the house hadn’t blown up first.

I almost kissed him.