Or should it be the Black Beast? My new cooker was delivered late morning yesterday, and is now in its recess between the worktops, all levelled up, and ready to be connected to the gas supply. The man coming to do this is booked for tomorrow afternoon, so that by tomorrow evening I will be able to cook properly in my kitchen again. More on that below. First a farewell to my old cooker, which I inherited from Mum and Dad. Here are shots of the thing, and myself using it, taken last year:
As you can see, it didn't quite fill up the available cooker space, and if you examine the shot closely you can see that it was showing definite signs of wear and tear. It was then twelve years old. One of the hob burners had in fact stopped working, but otherwise it was still functioning, and I could boil, simmer, fry, grill and bake to my heart's content. And it was also predominantly white, like the other big appliances in the kitchen.
Now a similar shot with the new cooker in position:
Well, the new one's larger, and fills the cooker space exactly. It's black and silver, smart and modern, very 21st Century, and I did buy it with a quite different kitchen decor in mind. But although it looked just right in the shop, somehow it looks too dark for the kitchen as it is at the moment (and will be for some time to come). Here are some other shots:
Hmmm. It's a black presence in a sea of white. Well, the kettle isn't white, and the front of the microwave is a black rectangle of course; but my new cooker does now seem to create a dark focal point where there wasn't one before. I could have had a 'silver' version, but that would still have been darkish. Maybe it's all about my eyes adjusting to the sudden stark visual contrast with the old cooker, a mental adjustment that will take a little while. On waking this morning, I was better accustomed to it. And if it works well once connected, then I know that I will quickly come to love it.
I can hardly wait. A kitchen without a functioning cooker is a kitchen without a beating heart. I cooked my last evening meal with the old cooker on Friday (it's now Sunday morning), and already I so much miss not having a cooker in the house!
I hadn't realised how many times a day I like to turn to my cooker and make something, even if it's only toast.
Last night I cooked a proper tasty meal in the caravan. But it was a palaver. The caravan first had to be heated up (it was a cold, rainy evening) and then various things had to be carried over to it from the house. It's all much easier when I'm away, and everything I need for cooking is already there in the caravan: this one-off stuff is quite another thing. It was a good meal, just like one I'd have cooked indoors, and I was completely warm and comfortable, but really this adventure convinced me that there was no way I would enjoy doing without a proper cooker in my house, even for a week, not if every time I wanted to cook it meant running the gauntlet of rain or worse between house and caravan.
The kitchen microwave oven has its uses, but it's really only a poor standby device so far as I'm concerned. I tried concocting something hot with it this morning, but it came out an unappetising mess. It's fine for specially-made packaged 'microwave food', but then I nearly always want to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients, and my own seasoning, with two or three things on the go at once, all with different timings. Microwave cooking is uninvolving, as you can't stir and taste and smell and so on while the food is being irradiated behind that protective door.
I'll be back out in the caravan again tonight, but cooking something simpler. Roll on tomorrow afternoon!