Buying spree

Recently I wrote about my new little cast-iron skillet, a Griswold #5. I am pleased to report that after significant testing, it is a truly superior omelette pan, holding enough heat to cook the eggs without scorching them. Woo-hoo!

But that wasn’t the end of my shopping this week.

I hate to shop. I mean, I REALLY hate to shop. I think I’m just so old that there really isn’t anything I want to put in that much effort to buy, except for, well, a few things. . .

I bought my first item on eBay this week, a terrific and very large Pyrex percolator. We’ve used these the entire time we’ve lived together, but they’re very fragile, and for the last couple of years we’ve been reduced to a couple of 6-cup pots. Works great for the two of us, but when we have company, I feel like I’m making a pot of coffee every 5 minutes.

So a few days ago, I successfully bid for a “rare 12-cup model.” It arrived yesterday. It’s really a 10-cupper, but it was in perfect condition, packed in a manner to survive shipping, and so much better than anything I had previously that I’m thrilled.

Then I went to town after a canning marathon. It is grossly unfair that canning has to be done during the hottest time of the year. If the vegetables got ripe in December and January, having the kitchen woodstove going all day would be a real treat. Having it going all day in August and September is a debilitating experience, even with all of the windows open.

Now I could can on my propane stove. But the idea of burning 1-2 gallons of propane to heat all of that water and do all of that cooking and end up with $2 worth of vegetables is not acceptable. So we fire up the wood stove. The heat there isn’t free, but the cost is mostly labor (not mine, the guys’) and a little chain saw gas.

I had to go to town a couple of days ago, and all the way in I was mulling over the problem of summertime cooking. As you may recall, I love to bake. The heat from the canning just about did me in, but I couldn’t stand the thought of not baking all summer. And I was thinking about my neighbor’s convection oven, which sits on a counter top and does amazing things by virtue of its 110 connection.

I have 110 power, it just takes a generator to get there. Over the past few days, I’d been thinking about this. I meant to go online and look for these ovens, fully expecting to pay $200-300 for one. But O never did. When I got to Bi-Mart, I got the things I went for (I don’t even remember what they were) and then went over to appliances to look for a counter top oven.

I made it past the 25 models of microwave (not interested, I have one I got for free that gets used occasionally to pop corn on movie nights) and found one countertop oven. It was under $90, and it had settings for bake, broil, convection, and rotisserie. And it only required a 1500-watt 100 power supply. Who could resist?

So I brought it home. Much to my surprise, Ben didn’t have a nervous breakdown at me bringing home an electric oven to our basically non-electric household. He’s pretty cool about new toys, probably because I’m generally pretty cool about his new toys, from the miniature chain saw to the Cobra mustang.

I did the burn-in tonight, and it seems to work just great on the generator. Apple pie is coming this weekend, and possibly biscuits. I also have more canning to do, but I’ll keep doing that on the wood stove as the most cost-effective option.

7 Responses to “Buying spree”

  1. ClapSo Says:

    Whistlers Brother

    I bought a new teapot today
    Not the ceramic type you steep in
    I have a whole collection of those

    The metal kind I bought
    The one you boil water in
    The kind that sounds the alarm when the tea water’s ready
    At least when it’s new

    My old one hadn’t sounded since 1969
    But I didn’t mind
    It was a stout little pot
    Made of stainless steel and Bakelite

    The new one isn’t as good
    Built of aluminum and poly something
    It won’t last as long as the old one

    My connection to the old one is much stronger
    It was a shower gift to my mom, back in 1955
    When she died in 1973
    I took possession by default
    Being the only tea drinker left in the house

    Every time I used that old pot
    My thoughts went back to the family home
    To mom served cups of tea
    Drank as comfort against our chilly north east winters

    I left the kitchen the first time I placed the new one on the heat
    I couldn’t stand to see it in old whistlers place

    But then the new one sounded for the first time
    It took me right back to 1969
    Mom was there letting it spout for longer then needed
    Cause she knew I loved the sound
    And the tea was as always sweet and strong

  2. Marianne Says:

    ClapSo–thanks. I love those whistlers, too. I burned up my favorite one after nearly 30 years. I still mourn its loss.

  3. ClapSo Says:

    Get a new one and it’ll hurt less 😉

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  4. Marianne Says:

    Now I boil my water mostly in Pyrex pots. Occasionally I forget it, but so far, not disastrously so.

    The truth of the matter is, I’m not very fond of “new” anymore. I’ve spent so much of the last 5 years divesting myself of stuff I can’t remember why I bought. My favorite thing these days is “functional.” If it does a job you need doing, it’s worth the investment. My second favorite (or maybe secretly my first) is “beautiful.”

  5. ClapSo Says:

    Yes, that’s why I like whistlers so much, the add a lovely sound to the mundane task of boiling water. To me beauty is the most important function 😉

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  6. jackiesgarden Says:

    You scored! Now I suppose you’ll be so busy shopping on ebay – we won’t see you posting! We have a combination microwave/convection oven in our motor home and I love it. I was pretty leery about it the first few times I used it – but it does a great job.
    The people that owned the home I bought before I married and moved up on this hill were pretty clever. They had a small building behind the house and poured a concrete deck beside it – and then put cupboards in and a roof over it. All for canning outside.

  7. Marianne Says:

    Jackie, we’ve talked for years about building a summer kitchen out back. But we gave the woodstove that would have gone in it to our nephew and his wife, so it will probably never happen.

    I promise to post again within a day or so, but I’m too tired tonight. It’s very hard being retired. There’s so much to do. . .

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