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Friday, November 20, 2009

Is It An Obsession, Or A Compulsion?


I have a confession to make.

I am a lousy housekeeper.  I deliberately did things differently with the remodel of this house in order to make it easier to clean, because I knew that I was going to be wanting to spend most of my time out in the garden, and I just frankly don't like to do housework.   We installed slate flooring throughout the house.  We installed wall-mounted faucets in the bathrooms so that I won't have to clean around deck-mounted ones.  Also installed under-counter-mounted sinks to make wiping off the counters a breeze.

The kitchen sink is also under-mounted.  And the stove.  I swore after living with a glass top cooktop in Florida that I'd never have a glass top stove again. It was such a horrible pain to keep clean!  Simply wiping it off wasn't allowed- you had to use this thin toothpaste-like concoction to clean it, which had to be polished off with a paper towel after you let it dry. It seemed to take forever to get it clean.  Such a pain!

So when Steve and I sent looking for a new stove for this house, I warily dismissed all the glass topped stoves.  I originally wanted to just put in a cooktop and have two wall ovens, but Steve convinced me that it would be just as good to have a regular stove with an oven and a separate wall oven.  His argument was that the only time we'd need the second oven would be when we were entertaining, and he argued that he'd be in the kitchen with me if we were and that he could handle getting things out of the lower oven. I have a bad back and this is an issue for me.  We wanted to get a dual fuel unit, because I love cooking on gas (I'll never go back to electric!) but we could not get the gas oven in our rental to make a decent pizza crust, even with the stone, so a gas oven was out.  So it had to be dual-fuel.

 The next thing I had to make sure of with this stove is that the oven had the old-fashioned kind of rack holders- you know- where the side walls kind of undulate in and out and you slide the rack where it sticks out from the wall.  You would not believe how many oven manufacturers there are out there that are using this new-fangled rack holder that is basically a separate rack screwed into the sides of the oven in several places.  I took one look at that and could see what an oven-cleaning nightmare they would be, so no new-fangled oven rack holders for me, thank you. 

We searched high, we searched low. Our stove search was starting to be a worry, and then we found it.  A beautiful Bosch dual-fuel stove with an oven with old fashioned, beautiful, wavy rack holders.  It was like the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and the angels on high were singing.   Gas cooking on top, electric baking and roasting on the bottom, with German engineering- I was satisfied and happy.

Until the day that it was installed and I got to cook on it for the first time. Or, maybe I should say, clean it the first time.

It has a glass top.

I totally didn't see it for the excitement of finding what appeared to be The Stove.  Consequently, I tend to let cleaning it go for, um, ah, several weeks at a time. I let it get good and grotty before I get around to cleaning it because it is such a pain to keep clean.  Besides, it seems that every time I clean the stove top, Steve has to make pretzels right after that, and it always leaves the stove a mess.  So yesterday, I took off all the pot racks and took a scraper to the cooktop. Oh yeah- you can't just wail on it with a kitchen scrubby- you might scratch it. No- all the glass-top oven makers out there include a cheap razor blade style paint scraper so you can scrape off the cooked-on stuff.  I scraped and scraped, and after I got all that off, I took the sponge side of my kitchen scrubby to it with some Bon Ami cleanser (Hasn't Scratched Yet!), which seemed to work pretty well and was a lot easier to get off the stove than the cleaner that came with it.  Next I took several paper towels and my homemade spray cleaner to it, and that worked great.  I realized then that if I stay on top of it with the spray cleaner, it won't  be such a chore to keep clean.  So I firmly resolved to clean the stove top every time I do the dishes.   This morning I dumped egg on it, so after breakfast I removed the pot racks and cleaned it with the spray cleaner. I only had to scrape a little tiny bit, but everything else came off with the cleaner and a couple of paper towels.  Not too bad!

I can see how keeping this darn stove clean could devolve into obsessive-compulsive behavior, though.  We'll just see how long the new me lasts.

1 comment:

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou for coming by my blog! I am full of admiration for your stove cleaning! It has to be my least favourite job :)