Friday, March 14, 2014

Oven Demo

I've mentioned before that the couple I bought this house from had a tendency to cut corners when they purchased things for their home.  The stove I inherited from them, for instance, has been a source of constant annoyance.

It's actually a pretty good stove.  The oven works well, too, if you give it 15 more minutes to preheat after it thinks it's hit the temperature you want.  My grievance is with the self-cleaning function.

This is one of those ovens that's supposed to incinerate all extraneous material during the cleaning cycle until nothing remains but a fine gray ash.  Alas, it has a tendency instead to turn at least some of the residue into something more nearly resembling lava, which hardens after the cycle is over into little igneous rock formations.  The most annoying of these end up between the layers of the glass oven window.

I am a little OCD, and every time I've looked at the stove for the last 2 1/2 years the gunk inside the oven window has irritated the heck out of me.  I've gone so far as to consider buying a new stove, just to get rid of that dirty window.  Today, however, a minor miracle occurred.

I decided a while ago that I needed cleaning help worse than I needed cable TV, so I turned in my DVR and hired a cleaning service to come once a month.  They were here today, and one of the women offered to dismantle the oven door and clean the window.  She was ultimately unable to take it completely apart, but at least she showed me the possibility.

I guess I'd been assuming the oven door was sealed, although reason should have told me that had that been the case, the gunk from inside the oven wouldn't have ended up inside the window.  After the cleaners left, I carefully dismantled the oven door myself and cleaned both sides of all four layers of glass it contains.  This entailed using almost every cleaning compound I own, but the window is now probably cleaner than it has been since the day it was installed.

Of course, putting the thing back together again was considerably trickier than dismantling it, but I managed.  Now I'm trying to decide whether I should give up on the self-cleaning function, or just plan to take the window apart for cleaning once every year or so.

"We dream of having a clean house - but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?" ~Marcus Buckingham

Monday, March 3, 2014

My 15 Minutes of Fame

I have a long history of discovering fabulous little restaurants about a month before they die.  For a while I was beginning to think that my patronage was the kiss of death for any eating establishment.  That's why when I looked around my favorite Thai place last year and realized that I was almost the only one there, I panicked; what if they were on the verge of going down the tubes?  So, I decided to nominate it for Check, Please! Arizona.

For those of you who don't live in Arizona, Check, Please! is a show on our local PBS station, hosted by a professional chef.  Every week they review three different local restaurants, and they have a bias toward small ethnic places.  Viewers recommend their favorite spots; if your restaurant is chosen, you get to eat at your place and the restaurants recommended by two other people and then talk about them on the show.  I went to their website and filled out the form to suggest Line Thai in Sun City.

Well, fast forward a year and my restaurant (and I!) made it on the show.  With quite a bit of judicious editing, I even looked fairly articulate. I've lost track of how many people have told me they plan to visit Line Thai as a result, so mission accomplished.  I hope the restaurant lives long and prospers.

(If you would like to see the show, visit the Channel Eight website at

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." ~George Bernard Shaw