My standard of living just quadrupled.
No, we didn't get a major raise, buy a private jet or get a Target in Mielec. What we did was got a new stove and oven.
Our old glass-ceramic range was mostly likely a prototype from the early nineties. Or eighties. If I wanted to boil water for pasta I would turn the burner on, go for a jog, come home, shower, apply my makeup and fix my hair and possibly trim my nails, at which point it had warmed up enough that it was time to pull out a pan and fill it with water. It sort of freaked us out yesterday when we turned on a burner on the new range and felt like we were standing next to a bonfire within 2 seconds. There will be a significant decrease in the need to plan the timing for the cooking of food around here.
Our old oven was from about the same era as the cooktop. It was incapable of baking things evenly and refused to cook much from the bottom. It did sort-of-okay with things like cookies and scones but ruined cakes and pizza and everything else.
This meant that for most baking I had to descend to the downstairs kitchen and use the (also ancient) stove down there. It was only moderately better than the one upstairs and required climbing over the recycling to get to. And once the upstairs oven broke, even cookies had to be baked down there. Inconvenient. Very. Especially for someone like me who bakes a lot and rarely uses a timer (baking seems so much less creative when you just pull the pan out at the ringing of a buzzer.) At least I worked off all the cookies before I even ate them going up and down to check their progress.
But now? Now, I can watch cookies bake from the comfort of my kitchen table if I so desire. I have 10 heating options to choose from. Our quite ugly kitchen looks about 6 times nicer. And the very BEST part is that the house will finally start smelling like whatever's for dinner. Or dessert. It was such a waste to have all the delicious food smells (and extra heat!) stuck down in the basement. Winter will now be significantly cozier.
So, while I'm glad to have a back-up oven in case of an emergency, I'm even gladder for the downstairs oven to keep company below with other appliances we've never used. You know, like the dishwasher. And the built-in, commercial-grade deli meat/cheese slicer.
It kind of makes me wonder if appliances are like toys (according to Toy Story). Will the downstairs oven pine for the days when it was of some use? Will it taunt the other appliances with "at least she used to use me!" Or will it comfort the poor dishwasher who cries over his rusted pipes, having never been appreciated. Will it hate me for the things I've said about its friend the deli slicer? The one that pops up out of a cupboard and scared our pants off the first time we saw it. And which we have tried to forget about ever since? But didn't because we had to make jokes about the fact that we have such a thing lurking in a cupboard of our home? These are the question one (me) begins to ask when one (I) get a new oven.
We christened the oven with Annie's Chicken Pot Pie last night and chocolate chip muffins this morning. I'm delighted. When you spend a quarter of your life (or so) making food, a new stove and oven can definitely quadruple your standard of living.