Wednesday, November 24

the oven saga

if you haven't been following along, you may not realize that i have not had a working oven for the past six months... why, you ask? well...

we moved into the casa in july 2009, & it is an old house that is in great shape but still needs several things fixed up, updated, & renovated. much to my delight, the kitchen appliances were not on that list! the previous previous owners had replaced them about 3 years ago with all stainless steel beauties. while my oven is teeny & my fridge doesn't maximize space, i still love them. it took me a while to get used to my teeny-tiny oven [only 24" wide on the outside!], especially when i realized that the bottom "oven" is actually a broiler. but i adapted. [we hope to one day build an island in the middle of the kitchen with a full-size 30" oven...]

then one day, we started noticing the oven door was getting really stiff & difficult to open, especially when the oven was on & hot. it took a while for us to figure out the cause of the friction: the bracket that encompasses the right-side hinge was warping, causing the hinge to grate against it & warp, too. it got so bad, it caused the oven door to hang slightly crooked & not seal well when closed & baking... we called a repair company, hoping it would be covered under our home warranty. it wasn't. [and ps: the home warranty was completely worthless to us then entire year, & we didn't renew it, so i'm not sure i recommend it to anyone else.] it also wasn't repairable. so they gave us the info for the manufacturer to call & get a replacement / reimbursement / rebate - something!

not long after the repair visit, we tried using the oven one last time, & the door fell off stripping the hinge & screw entirely from the oven casement!

[the gaping hole from the hinge bracket]

[what my oven looked like for 5 months]

i am not a big oven-user. i do most of my meals on the stovetop. while i enjoy baking, it's not a regular hobby of mine, except bread. and summer is such a busy time for us, i rarely get to indulge cooking, let alone baking. 

i didn't really miss it. and i didn't want to deal with the manufacturer. [shaun would say, "and the truth comes out in the second breath!"]

but autumn arrived, & i started getting a hankering for baking breads & cookies & pies... and then my family decided to convene for thanksgiving here at the casa! all of a sudden i had motivation & a deadline - exactly what i needed! 

i called the manufacturer. it was not pleasant. the warranty on said appliance expires after a year. and even if it hadn't, it's void if you're not the original owner. there had been no recall on this model. they weren't going to give us diddly-squat for it. not cool.

i handled it kindly but firmly & asked to speak to the higher-ups. i think once it became clear that i wasn't going to drop this, they decided it would be better to work with me! i was transferred to a wonderful woman who has made the rest of the process as easy as i could have ever imagined. they offered a 70% rebate on another oven of the same brand. not bad! 

so, i started searching for ovens. did you know that finding a wall oven, that's 24" wide, that's also gas is not easy! turns out, i had to buy the exact same model to get the rebate. i wasn't super thrilled about this, but we decided to get the extended warranty to put our minds at ease, & of course, now we know what to look out for. 

then came the time crunch issue. it could not be guaranteed to arrive for THREE WEEKS! thanksgiving was in 18 days! i tried in vain to get expedited shipping. i shopped around for the quickest option - any store that would directly ship. the oven wasn't even supposed to be "available to ship" until the 20th, with it taking at least a week for shipping! if it weren't tight enough, the delivery fellas wouldn't be able to do the installation because it's a wall oven & gas. i prayed alot! [totally realizing & admitting the trivialness of my request, but hoping God would indulge me anyway!] 

it shipped 8 days earlier than expected. it arrived at the distribution center last week, 10 days before thanksgiving. they called & said they deliver to lafayette on tuesdays - would that work for me? YES! it arrived all beautiful & covered in wrap to keep it safe from scratches yesterday!

[mexican standoff!]

the fellas from my appliance repair place came first thing this morning to install my brand-new shiny oven! i was nearly biting my nails in anticipation!

[gaping hole in the wall]

after an hour of the repair fellas gasping various astonishments about how the circuit breaker for the oven also includes the kitchen outlets, kitchen lights, & office lights & then about the crazy, jerry-rigged wiring... but then, 

TA-DA!!!
[my brand-new, shiny oven!]

i literally skipped into the kitchen when they finished! i spent the rest of the day baking my favorite fall cookie - spicy ginger cookies - while it's still fall, then olive oil bread to go with the apple butter simmering the slow cooker all day, then my sister made our family's favorite chocolate pie! 

tomorrow is my first thanksgiving to host on my own, & i'm so excited to break my oven in with all of our family favorites, including 3 more kinds of pies! YAY!

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