18 December 2006

Just desserts

I like to bake especially desserts and I like to cook in general with Xmas on it's way there are lots of things I want to make or attempt to make. One of the best things about this house had/has going for it when we were looking to buy was the fact that is has a big kitchen. The apartment we own in Sydney and that we lived in for six years before we moved here had what is called a galley kitchen. Let me tell you it was just that; a galley. It was like trying to cook on a small sail boat, which is why we almost always had some type of takeaway (Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, you get the idea...).

I could never make a big meal in the apartment kitchen because it was so small. The stove/oven combo which was also tiny to be accommodated in the kitchen was also very old. So old that it did not regulate temperatures right if at all and only three of the burners worked. Needless to say about the only time I turned that thing on was in the winter so I could pretend to cook something but I was really only hoping to warm up the apartment. Mind you we really only got really cold days about two times during the winter. We were living in Sydney after all.... Funnily enough we replaced that stove with a brand new one just before we left to move to Tasmania, because we were going to rent that apartment out for some extra income and we had to provide them with a working stove. I don't know if the tenants use it or not as they would still have to deal with the size restraints of the kitchen in general but that's not my problem.

Anyhoo, when we found our new home we/I loved the new kitchen. It was huge (it runs the width of our house in the back) and best of all it has a separate gas cook top and a separate oven which is an electric fan forced type. I had not used a fan forced oven before but it had to be a hell of a lot better that what we had. We also gained a dining room for which we ended up buying a real life dining table. The need for one in the previous apartment was non-point as there was no dining room. We used to eat or takeaway on our laps. If we had guest or a party I made sure the food was either something cold and finger food size or once again shipped in. I was looking forward to all sorts of dinner parties.

I have been cooking dinner now on a regular basis since we moved in two years ago, no more takeaways. (OK, we have takeaway once a week. I need a break too). I mean I've been making real meals with things like, roasts, spaghetti bolognase, stroganoff, fresh steamed fish and real vegetables sliced, diced, boiled and mashed. You name it I'm making it. Best of all I love to bake and was thrilled at the thought of being able to make things like chocolate decadence cake or my grandmother's buttermilk pie. I have this big beautiful oven that actually works. WRONG!

As I mentioned earlier the new oven is and electric fan forced type, top of the line even. The previous owners had expensive taste. A fan forced oven is very different from a regular electric oven and you have to bake things at temperatures at least ten degrees less then normal. Well let me tell you this thing burns things like there's no tomorrow. I mean I have to actually turn down the heat by twenty degrees and also back down the cooking time by 10-15 minutes. I do keep trying but it's really bad.

I tried once again to bake something yesterday, a key lime pie and as usual it burnt that baby as if had been bad all it's life and it had been sent to hell. Xmas is a week away and we have friends coming over next weekend for a small get together and I am really concerned about what to make for food. I have purposely picked a menu that does not use the oven except for one item and I will just have to keep my fingers crossed. So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, I think it just seems like just desserts that I was so happy to get away from that kitchen in Sydney and to move to this big wonderful kitchen only to be reminded that the grass is not always greener on the other side (or at least when it comes to kitchens). Who knows maybe Santa will bring me a new oven???

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