Saturday, 30 June 2012

new stove

Well, folks, the old much bemoaned stove/range/cooker is dying, and Bob says it's time for a new one.

Do you know how many cooking appliance options there are out there???? Like a zillion! The old unit is 36" wide, where the standard size is 30". I want a "double oven" which either limits or adds to my options, depending on how you look at it.

As far as I can see, after much research, my real choices are: a 36" cook top and a double wall oven; a 36" range and a single wall oven; a 30" double oven. For, as crazy as it sounds, the wider ranges have fewer options. We shopped yesterday, and found a 30" double oven that will accommodate my large skillet, my large pot, and my large saucepan all at once (as if I were making spaghetti with a side dish). It is the GE 30-in Double Oven Convection Gas Range (White) Model #: JGB870DETWW We've ruled out the cooktop/double wall oven option as it would require extensive carpentry and electrician skills before I'd have anything usable. Then there's the large range/single wall oven option. We are considering the Premier 36-in 6-Burner Freestanding Gas Range (Stainless Steel) Model #: P36S148BP and something like Frigidaire 30-in Convection Single Electric Wall Oven (Stainless-Look) Model #: FGEW3065KF

I hope the links work; sometimes Lowe's is a little finicky, but you could google the model number as well. At any rate, we've found another appliance store that has slightly better prices than Lowe's, plus an online option that is quite a bit cheaper, but more about that later - I've just jut up Lowe's links for ease of comparison.

So, what I need to know now is, which option will work best for me? I know you can't answer that, but perhaps by talking about it I can get a better idea myself. And maybe one of you can give some insight. As I see it, there are pros and cons both ways. If I get the GE single unit, it will be about $500 cheaper. I will have a gap in my cabinets for a few years until we have new ones made. It will be "plug and play" as the gas and electric requirements are the same as what we already have. There is only one item to keep paperwork for, buy a warranty for, etc. Both ovens are self-cleaning, and the lower has a convection option. The racks are nice and heavy; it has some cool options like a built in meat probe/thermometer, timed and delay baking, etc. It's white, which matches my fridge and dishwasher, and is easier to keep clean. This particular unit has non-electric controls for the top oven, so it could still be used in a power outage.

If I go with the other option, it'll cost more. I'll have two sets of paperwork, two warranties to buy, two companies to work with (if needed). But I'll also have two "work stations" for multiple cooks. I'll have more space on the cooktop, and all the burners are the same size so I don't have to guess at my pan configuration. I'll also have considerably more total oven space. I could buy one unit at a time, thus spreading out the cost and the hassles. The range would fit neatly into my existing space and existing gas/power outlets. However, we would need cabinet work and a new electric breaker for 240v power to the wall oven. The wall oven is self-cleaning convection, has some nice features like timed bake, add-a-minute button, keep warm button, heavy-duty racks (one of which can be divided for tall items), etc. But the range is pretty basic (manual clean, conventional, no timers). That could be a good thing, as the burners have a lifetime warranty and the whole thing can be used without electricity if needed. The other (probably biggest) drawback is that no one has a display of this range, so we would be buying it sight-unseen. We can find a few pictures online, and read reviews, but that's it. One thing NOBODY talks about, but is a daily issue for me, is the grates sliding around while cooking. I can't go to a store and push on the grates of this range to see if they'll slip out of place or not. I don't like stainless steel as a finish, but couldn't find a 36" range I liked in a white option. I could get a white wall oven, but it seems like the two ovens should match each other. With two units, if one turned out to be a lemon, I'd still be able to use the other while waiting for repairs.

hmmm, what to do? Any experience with any of the brands mentioned, or insight on my options as given is appreciated. Please don't give me more options, as I'm already overwhelmed.

And then, once I decide WHAT to buy, I have to decide WHERE to buy. From the local small-chain store where the lady was very kind and helpful, or from an online store where I'll save two hundred dollars or more (plus tax)? Do I value service and the American Way, or the lowest price (which is the new American Way)? ugh. Well, thanks for listening. I hope to get this sorted soon.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The days of Elijah

Yes, that's a title of a song. But Elijah is being so cute that I just had to make time to write about him.

Yesterday was Father's Day, and the children all got up early to make breakfast and decorate the living room. When they were ready for Bob to get up, they gathered at our bedroom door and sang "The Little Birdie" song, (which goes to the tune of Hush Little Baby)

A little birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped up on my windowsill
He cocked his eye and said
"You are a little sleepy head"
He flapped his wings
And away he flew, saying
"You'll be late for Sunday School"

This morning Elijah came to our door and called, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" I saw that Bob wasn't ready to speak, so I asked what he wanted. "Daddy!" Bob then answered, and Elijah perkily replied, "I'm a bird!" I laughed all the way to breakfast.

Also, as shared on Facebook, the other day we were talking about wasps, trying to reach an agreement on what was the proper name of the particular bug flying around. Elijah firmly decided what it was - a "dirt nauberd". :-D

He is still mostly sunny in disposition, but occasionally gets upset. This usually results in loud whining more than actual tears. When I try to hush him, he will look up at me and say, "I'm crying!" and go right back to his boo-hoo sound.

Did you notice that everything he says ends with an exclamation point? It's true. He's very confident in himself.

Hope you enjoyed.