I must admit, my mother’s kitchen looked almost identical to this one.
I promise you I have never, EVER read instructions for a kitchen stove. Ever. Not in the at least 40 years that I’ve been cooking. My habit was to approach a stove, turn it on and start cooking.
Let me rewind for a moment.
We recently renovated our kitchen and although the Kenmore gas range that came with our house when we bought it was ok, it just didn’t heat or cook evenly. So I looked up new stoves online and found that Consumer Reports highly recommended a Samsung model. In fact, their tests showed absolutely no drawbacks to that stove at all. None. And that was worth paying attention to, especially when backed up by glowing consumer reviews.
Yes, I know. I could have bought a $6,000 Wolf range to show off, except that I read the reviews and they horrified me. Imagine! People actually spend money on something with such consistently horrible reviews. Not me, though. I wanted that Samsung that everyone loves. And that was $4,000 cheaper.
This isn’t the first time Samsung has had a highly rated kitchen appliance. Five years ago a Samsung refrigerator had similarly great reviews but I couldn’t find one easily. The salesman we had begun to work with pissed me off when he told me they didn’t carry Samsung because their customers wanted “American-made.” I refused to do business with him, because this consumer simply wanted the best product. Regardless of its origin. I do not wave the flag when I cook. Unless maybe it’s the Italian one. Do not shove your “patriotism” down my throat. If that’s what it it is. But I digress.
This time, though, I ordered the stove. From another dealer. And as you can see, it looks like any other stove, right? Still, given the complexities of technology today, I figured I’d read the manual before operating it.
What an eye-opening experience that was!
Now, I must admit, I am not up on my stove technology. So maybe every stove features a Sabbath feature.
That’s right. An automatic on and off feature so that observant Jews don’t have to operate it on the Sabbath.
Maybe you know about this. Maybe this is standard on all stoves. But me? I was astounded.
Of course, you have to wonder if it subverts the original intent of Sabbath prohibitions. Just saying. But I won’t go there.
Then, I opened the oven and found this.
Yes, that ring is sitting on our new counter. I had no idea what the ring was, so I looked it up in the manual. It is a wok ring. Yes, that’s right. Set it atop a burner, then set your wok on it for home stir-fry.
You may have seen a wok ring before, but me? I’ve led a sheltered life.
I know it’s a bad photo but it wasn’t worth retaking. It’s just a griddle.
And what new stove worth its salt comes without a griddle? Yes, this is a free-standing griddle for the big, rectangular center burner to its left. I figured that out all by myself.
Well, I have to admit to being relieved that I now know how to operate this new stove, especially since the manual told me to heat the oven to 400 degrees F for half an hour before using it. Who knew?
Besides the stove in our soon-to-be getaway apartment on the Monterey peninsula I doubt I’ll see another stove, not until they put me in the home.
And by that time I’m certain they won’t be letting me operate kitchen appliances.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be doing it now.
Got a new appliance story? I want to hear it.