Sunday, 10 February 2013

Black Beauty arrives

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!


  1. A very nice cooker to be sure Lucy but as you say it's a little out of place when it comes to the colour scheme. I hope you will put it to good use. I was wondering why you need a fitter to connect it up. Most units today have a special connection which cuts off the gas supply as it is disconnected and can be operated by anyone. They are similar to operate as a garden hose connection. Microwave ovens are good but they take some experience to get the most out of them. The one we have is a monster in size and can do all sorts of things like defrost (4 programs all adjustable), grill, bake, boil, combination cooking and more but I find it gets used far short of its capabilities. I think many people do the same thing, they buy the best they can afford, even the best available but never use the item to its fullest capability. My computer is one example, it can do far more than I ask of it. By the way Lucy I noticed the bottles to the left of the cooker pictures and especially the two on the right which changed position and contents. I assume they were white wine as they look as if they are and I got to think mmmmm....why aren't they in the fridge and then I saw the glass in your hand! I suppose they don't stand much of a chance getting to the fridge with Lucy in the same room.....LOL.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. A microwave is certainly not an oven but is a handy tool. Ours is ancient, was ancient when it was condemned over fifteen years ago where Julie was working and we carried it off. Nothing like Shirley Anne's starship enterprise version, just a mechanical timer and a few power settings but full and defrost are all we need. It does great fish and some veg and reheats leftovers like a dream.

    You are lucky that you can be bothered to cook for one all the time, when living alone I cooked occasionally, preferably something which would last a few days, otherwise I just grazed on the baskets of fruit hanging in the kitchen. I was a lot slimmer then...

    1. LOL........Starship Enterprize it certainly is and it even has five pre-set power levels 90, 180, 360, 650 and 900 watts and programmable timers....all a bit OTT as I said but great if you have a degree in culinary skills or are adventurous! It looks nice though!
      I can't stop laughing at the remark about grazing on the baskets of fruit....a real gem that one Caroline

      Shirley Anne x

  3. Ah, the two top shots weren't taken at the same time: one in April, one in July, both when I had company round, or was expecting some.

    Black Beauty will, I'm sure, prove her worth very shortly, and then I won't have the slightest misgiving about her. I'm cooking a pizza in the caravan tonight, so simple, with the rain pitter-pattering on the roof. All very cosy, but way too inconvenient unless actually on holiday!



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