I really should fix it

Interior of a modern oven

Interior of a modern oven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often during the week I get time to myself though the week before last I had the whole week! At times like these, that is the free time, I have taken a fancy to do some baking unless I am involved with domestic projects but even then I can still do some on a Sunday afternoon. I worked every day last week, the complete opposite to the previous week but I earned enough for the two. Even so I got some afternoons to myself, Thursday being one of them. I had been to a job in another town to install an extra power outlet and had been informed by the lady of the house that the hallway, where the outlet was to be placed had been stripped bare with no floor coverings. When I arrived early in the morning at her request she wasn’t there but her husband fortunately was. He had a couple of days break from work and was busy decorating the area at the top of the stairs. The outlet was to be fitted at the bottom of the stairs but first I had to remove the floor covering that wasn’t there! The carpet was easy as was the underlay but beneath them the floorboards had been covered with hardboard on which plastic tiles had been glued. That was a little difficult to remove but I managed to remove enough to be able to lift a floorboard. None of the floorboards had been removed before and they were tightly packed together. Finally I was able to cut one and lift it to gain access beneath the floor. That part of the job took longer than the rest of it. Finally I had the cable and the power outlet installed much to the surprise of the husband for I had it all done within an hour and a half. I took a detour on the way home to purchase a couple of items from the electrical supplier but was still home before eleven o’clock. I prepared a lentil-based soup in which I had lentils, barley, potato, peas, bacon pieces, stock and seasoning. It was ready to eat within thirty minutes. E doesn’t like lentils or barley so she eats something different if I make things like this. After lunch E went out to do the weekly shopping and I had nothing to do so I decided to make a large fruit cake. Preparing the mixture takes very little time but as usual I switch on the oven before I do anything else so that it is up to temperature when the cake is ready to bake. We have two ovens in the same unit together with a separate grill and a separate warming drawer. Everything electrical is below and everything gas is on top, that is the hob. There are eight gas rings available for use, a rather large cooker that once was used almost to capacity but with just two of us in the house now that is a rare event. One of the ovens is fan assisted whilst the other isn’t. However the fan needs to be replaced in the oven in which it is fitted but I haven’t gotten round to doing it yet. I suspect the whole unit needs to be pulled out to gain access to the fan at the rear for there doesn’t appear to be access to it from inside the oven at the front. That would be normal from my recollections of the industrial ovens I once repaired. I haven’t repaired a similar domestic oven surprisingly. In the meantime we have been using the non fan assisted oven which is fine if roasting foods or baking things like scones which are only in the oven for a very short time. Baking a sizeable cake is another matter as cakes of large size can be in the oven for one to two hours depending on the cake. I have baked a few cakes in this oven but have yet to master the process for no matter how many adjustments or how much care I take part of the cake ends up overdone, usually at the rear. By the time I can get it right every time I might get the fan assisted oven repaired else buy a new oven unit! Baking in a non fan assisted oven is a challenge and each oven is different. It takes time to get used to its idiosyncrasies. The oven we have now is approaching twenty years old so I suppose I might end up cutting my losses by buying a new one. It will save me the bother of repairing it! The cake? It turned out fine. I must be finally getting the hang of the oven for baking cakes.

Shirley Anne


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