|The Old Stove huddles nervously in its corner|
Part of that we attribute to the overzealous cleaning methods and overly lavish application of cleansing agents applied by our energetic but often insouciant house cleaning girl, Srta. M. (The younger half of our house cleaning team.) Many times after a cleaning, the burners would not light until thoroughly dried and regularly reamed with a wire to reopen the orifices. The piezoelectric spark plugs were failing. One large burner lost its spark plug when it irretrievably fell down inside the burner plate as my wife was cleaning it.
But we could get by, if necessary with the rangetop. We could light it with a butane torch. What I couldn't tolerate was the wimpy oven. It was good for baking cookies, but not much else. I was badly wanting a new stove and oven. After a year or two of searching, reading and reviewing the possibilities, I'd decided on the following requisites.
1. Heavy range burners.
2. Heavy, well built construction.
3. Oven with two racks.
4. Stainless steel finish.
5. Electronic ignition.
6. Brand: Probably IO Mabe or GE.
6. Brand: Probably IO Mabe or GE.
7. "Estufa de piso"; that is, on legs, not a built in.
8. Runs on LP gas, not electric.
What I didn't want, deeming as unnecessary: a "capelo", or hinged glass cover; digital controls, "auto slide oven racks." Nor did I want to spend over $10,000 pesos, tops. ¡JA JA JA JA JA!
It was on a Tuesday 3 weeks ago, while visiting Ms RedShoes in Morelia, that we went to Sears at Paseo Altozano to "just look over" stove prospects. There was a substantial array of stoves, many of which met some of my criteria but not all. One in particular was very attractive. A GE (made by Mabe in México). Heavy burner grids. Sturdy construction.Electronic ignition. Stainless steel cladding. Oven with two racks, auto slide could be enabled or disabled by the user. Capelo. Seemingly a useless frill, but almost impossible to avoid having. Comal thrown in. "Deli drawer" under the upper burners, which at first seemed to be a broiler. Wishful thinking. It was truthfully described by the salesman as a "cheese melter" or food or plate warmer. At the time we were unaware that this feature was electrically powered. I should have known by the digital control panel. But that was not a deal breaker.
The real gasper was the list price. Over $19,000 pesos. But lucky us! There was a sale on in February. We could save 20 % on any stove, including this one. After a few more pass by in review of the other ranges, I took a deep breath and ordered the top model. Final price was about $14, 500 pesos. You know that you wanted to ask ...
After much paperwork and getting 6 months' free maintenance coverage, we determined that it would be delivered in "about" a week. There would be a delivery charge of $500 pesos, payable to the transportistas.
The stove arrived on the Wednesday of the following week. The transport guys unpacked it and placed it in front of the stove recess in the kitchen, but not in it. The reason became apparent. The "Técnico" would have to come and set it up. After all, this is a sophisticated piece of kitchen equipment. Ms M helped by calling the Sears Technical Services Department, and we expected that the Tec would come on Friday. But that was not to be. On Friday afternoon, I called again, and learned that the next Tuesday would be The Day.
We'd sold our old stove to Sra. Salud for a token amount, and the transportistas had kindly hauled it down the street to her house. So now we were without a working stove.
|Beautiful, tantalizing but inútil.|
|Que te vaya bien, mi vieja estufa|
On Tuesday I was enjoying breakfast with my mates at Restaurant El Camino Real when Sra. Cuevas called from home. ""Better get here soon. The Tec is here!"
|Hot little red Sears truck|
When I arrive, the Tec had finished the challenging task of leveling the new stove on an uneven floor, and was ready to continue the setup.
At this point, we watched raptly as he setup and explained various parts and functions. Rather than bore you with further verbiage, I'll let the photo slideshow illustrate it for me.
After an hour or more of preheating the oven in order to burn off Factory Odors", I was ready to cook. I cooked and baked so much in the next few days that I've forgotten most of what it was.
I've had the new stove now for a week. I love it. A highlight was baking two batches of Danish Pastries on two separate days. I've made soups, stir fries and baked heavy, Five Grain Bread for 2 1/2 hours. I got to like the auto slide oven racks. I learned that the Triple Burner wasn't for higher heat but for incremental nuances of lower heat levels. I used the comal once or twice for rewarming tortillas. I haven't used the Deli drawer "gratinator/ plate/food warmer yet.
The new stove has been placed Strictly Off Limits to our house cleaning duo by my edict. I cover it with a large black plastic before they arrive. I think we understand each other. (I hope.)