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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saga of the Oven, pt 4

Finally, an oven!
I spent hours and hours poring over websites, looking for an oven to fit the hole in our wall.  Most American-brand ovens didn't.  They were too tall or too wide or too black....  I finally settled on the idea of purchasing a professional quarter-size convection oven -- perhaps the Cadco OV-003 or the Equipex FC-26.  But have you ever tried to find reviews on that type of thing, without really being in the food business?  Nearly impossible.
And then I found a website with European models, smaller and more efficient -- and a good size for our kitchen.  I considered ordering online, but it seemed risky, so I went to Manny's.  They special-ordered it for me, matching the online price and giving me free local delivery.  It arrived nearly a week later.
It was March, and I finally had an oven.

A Bertazzoni F24PROXV, a convection single-wall oven with an enamel interior (hiding the elements in the bottom for easy clean-up) and a light and fan that stay on as long as the oven is on (so you never forget to turn off the oven).  It's a beaut.  And it makes lovely loaves of bread (how did I survive without European convection before?)


Friday, May 2, 2014

Saga of the Oven, pt 3

The purchase of a countertop oven allowed for a little more research and decision-making time before making the big-oven purchase, and in February we ripped the old oven out of the wall and set a small countertop oven in the hole.  I selected the Hamilton Beach 31103; it had fairly good reviews and came with not only a convection option, but also with a rotisserie option -- plus, it had a nice, roomy interior -- big enough for some real baking.

In this little oven, I managed to make nearly all the dishes I baked in the old oven; the only real problem was its size -- I could bake in it, but it wasn't big enough for a 3-course meal for three.  However, I did put it through its paces:

The HB worked well for us and gave me a little extra time to find the right oven.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Saga of the Oven, pt 2

Since I continue to be a slacker at blogging these days (blame the rain, the clouds, the continued cold weather, and the third person in the house), I decided to keep this short and sweet. 

Did you know that you can
  • bake cookies on a skillet?
  • bake potatoes in a slow cooker?
  • bake a pie in a stovetop dutch oven?
  • bake holiday cakes in a steamer?
  • bake rolls in a slow cooker?
You can -- it's true!  Since I went through the holidays without a working oven, I got creative with my other appliances and learned to bake with everything else, tweaking recipes and cooking times until I got things right.  I didn't take too many pictures, unfortunately, but you can see my work with the skillet below.
The cookies were perfect!  Crispy and light and delicate -- and maybe even easier to keep from burning than if I had used an oven.  Yummy!