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Un-kerploded (Kerploey Part 3)

Behold! For my repair angel hath descended upon my kitchen! Thanks Dadini! For just the bargain price of some roasted coffee beans and a couple of chocolate Digestives, he came, he saw, he resurrected the oven.

Magnificent.

We pulled the beast out of the wall (I took a moment to clean out the scunge from the cavity, a sentence guaranteed to spike my Google search hits), pulled the back off and replaced the element — I feel so self-reliant and independent, since I didn’t have to call in a professional tradie, but the reality is that I couldn’t have done it and all credit goes to Dadini, may his Digestives never break in his coffee. It needed a wicked clean, since the ruptured element had belched ash and smoke all through the oven. I choose to enshrine this unusual state of cleanness through these photos.

Fiercely good.

I thought it’d be a huge pain in the arse, but cooking without the oven has been almost a non-issue. Despite thinking of it as the heart of the kitchen, essential to all things culinary, we’ve worked around it. The number of things we oven bake is surprisingly low — but for those things, there is no substitute. Bread, for example. Making bread without an oven is a definite challenge. We took to bringing ziploc bags of bread dough with us when we went to family dinners and begging use of their oven. Not optimal, but kept us in sammiches and toast for a while. Pizza is a bit tricky without an oven, too, although I have heard legends speak of pan-fried pizza and other mysteries.

I don’t want to give the impression that I could go on living without the oven for any long time — I think we only really got through it so easily because we knew the oven-free state would be short-lived. If we were talking save-up-and-buy-a-whole-new-oven level of repairs, we might have to go without for a long time and I’d find that challenging.

Wait, I just thought of something. We’ve got a Webber on the back porch, which has made mighty fine pizza in summers past (when it was too hot to stand having the oven on, but standing outside next to a barbecue seemed fine) — I bet I could make awsome bread in that if I had to. Hmm…

…can you hear the gears in my head churning? I can. It’s as loud as hell in here.

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