Wednesday, January 25, 2006

For the love of an appliance

Avert your eyes if you can't stand witnessing an excesses of love and joy because I'm about to get all gushy here.

I love my stove. I love love love love love my stove.

No, I don't have a $3000+ professional beast. I have a competent, yet relatively modest, Jenn-air Model JGS8850ADW. It has a gas cooktop and a gas-convection oven.

I am sure that my perception of my stove is influenced by its predecessor, an electric, evil piece of crap I used to call "The Inferno" since it had two settings: Off and Burn. When we finally decided to replace it, we didn't even consider donating such a malicious machine to a place like the Re-Use Center. Instead we got a little therapeutic relief by ripping the damn thing apart and throwing the pieces into the driveway. Seeing an appliance that has tormented you reduced to a pile of debris is really very satisfying.

My latest reason for loving my current stove beyond all reason is this:
See that button at the bottom of the (grubby) control panel in the first full column on the left? The one that says "Bread Proofing"? I used it last night to make this:
perfect, thick creme fraiche.

We keep our house pretty damn cool in the wintertime (daytime setting 61 F, nighttime setting 59 F) and without this nice warm place for the bowl of cream with a tablespoon of buttermilk to sit and fester I would have had watery glop that was decidedly not "fraiched".

Tempting as it is while solo parenting to sit down with a spoon, a bottle of potent alcohol (more Poire William anyone?) and a video of a Jane Austin movie and eat the whole bowl after the kids go to bed, I am actually going to share this glorious stuff with my bookgroup tonight. We read Three Junes by Julia Glass (which, I confess I didn't re-read though I did enjoy it the first time I read it about a year and a half ago) and in honor of the portion of the book set in Scotland, I am making an appetizer/canape sort thingy with smoked salmon, salmon caviar and some of that glorious creme fraiche. I haven't exactly decided what form the completed dish will take, but with three such ingredients, how can it be bad?

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