Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Home Cookin'

I'm going to tell you the story of the first home-cooked meal M and I worked on together in our new apartment. It was a bit of a triumph.

This is our oven:

It is the type of old-school, gas-powered oven that my grandfather referred to as an "old-timer". Why was my grandfather involved, you might ask? Neither M nor I had ever used a gas oven before and didn't know the least thing about what to do when we turned the dial and found no obvious evidence of heat being generated.

This all occurred while we were without internet for a few days, so we had no obvious way of looking up what to do about our predicament. M called his father for some internet support, and I called my grandfather, who used to have this type of oven in his kitchen, for advice.

What we discovered from all of our gathered advice was that the pilot light- a little blue flame which always stays lit in a gas oven- must have gone out when the energy company was transferring service to us. Now it was our job to light it. However, my grandfather warned us that an oven of this type should come equipped with a safety mechanism to stop the steady stream of gas that ordinarily fed the pilot light. As that safety mechanism seemed to be missing, it was possible that we could blow ourselves up with all the accumulated gas in the air and in the oven's broiler if we attempted to light the pilot light ourselves.

Can you guess what we did? We lit the pilot light ourselves! It was a process of course; first we lit a match in the kitchen: no problems. Then we lit a match on the edge of the broiler compartment: no problems! For the final stage, we taped a match to the end of a ruler and reached it all the way to the back of the broiler compartment to successfully light our pilot light. Here is the inside of the oven with the pilot light and broiler successfully lit:

With this setback our dinner came out about an hour later than we had intended it to, but it was well worth it. Yum yum!

Salmon cakes, summer squash, and oven-baked new potatoes with sea salt and rosemary. It's a good start, don't you think?


  1. Wow, it looks like an excellent dinner! Mmm, salmon, and also, I could swear that we make exactly the same potatoes here (although we don't call them new potatoes... what makes them new?).

  2. That's what my family has always called the type of potatoes. They are red potatoes but maybe it has something to do with being small?

  3. I think the servery called them new potatoes also. Hmm... we've done our red potatoes quartered (ish) with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh-cut parsley and a bit of grated Parmesan.

    Google says they're "new potatoes" because they're mini potatoes, ie, babies, ie, new to this earth. Interesting.

  4. This looks delicious; I'm glad it didn't cost anybody a set of eyebrows!