When I wrote about cleaning my refrigerator, I had a thought that turned out to be quite prophetic and so now I am writing to warn my readers to be careful about their thoughts, for they can be powerful indeed! I wrote "that if I procrastinated long enough, perhaps my gourmet-blackened-oven would just be carried out of the house" instead of cleaning it…Well, it almost happened, but just in the reverse, and today I am going to blog about it, so my readers may profit from my experience. Unlike my children, I know that you, my friends, will want to learn from me and NOT go through this yourselves!
Apparently I have decided that being the owner of Little House Home Arts should entail a certain domestic image, and so I have embarked on a house-cleaning frenzy. Documenting my refrigerator's disgusting condition and writing of my oven’s gourmet-blackened-bottom, was like a cleansing confession. With great resolve, I decided to tackle the job of cleaning my oven next and even had my husband purchase a can of Easy Off, knowing it would be anything but easy!
Too many quilts to sew as well as too many diets have caused me to avoid cooking which has led to my kids cooking instead. Rule of thumb at my house, “if you make a mess, clean it yourself or better yet, call in mom or dad to clean it”—anything and everything, except the oven (and refrigerator). Perhaps we have just acquired a taste for smoked foods, just like my husband has acquired a taste for burnt foods prior to my kids taking over the cooking! (I did not take pictures, and so this is when I ask you to picture the bottom of my oven-- all black.)
Mind you, I never raised my children to NOT clean up after themselves. That is simply the curse that follows the declarations of someone so brassy as to tell everyone that “my kids would never__________”. You fill in the blank. My mouth was so hinged that I said it all, BEFORE having kids of my own, and I am now paying for it, though my kids aren’t kids anymore, but “alien adult children”, developmentally arrested when it comes to cleaning at home, though one is temporarily a professional house-cleaner. I do have pictures of my adult alien children, but just in case someone in our small town reads my blog, I had best NOT post their pictures, so again picture them big and above-average-intelligence (you can tell by the look in their eyes) and one dressed to kill, with a mop in her hand! Yes, my youngest dresses up when she cleans others houses!)
But I digress—back to the oven. After so many years of not cleaning it, I quite forgot that it is a self-cleaning oven and The Brycer reminded me when I proudly showed him my clean refrigerator and commented that the oven was next, and boasted of having my can of Easy Off ready to go. “You can use that if you want, but I would simply push the self-clean button and open all the windows to keep the house well-ventilated.”
His helper added when viewing the bottom of my oven that looked like the bottom of a BBQ pit, “It might smell like the house is burning down, but just let it run its cycle and you will have a clean oven”! Then The Brycer smiled and said that if I did it while everyone was gone, I could brag about how hard I worked to clean it when they came home. (Picture The Brycer holding my can of Easy Off and pointing to my oven's self-clean button. Here again, I am protecting the real identity of The Brycer.)
It sounded perfect to me, a clean oven, a nap and bragging rights later! This would indeed be my style of cleaning! I wondered if there was a button that would work to clean my house? Maybe if I got a big red Staple’s Easy Button, and push it when The Brycer comes, I could feel that sense of magical control over my house. There are some things that The Brycer doesn't clean and I was sad to think that there were no self-cleaning closets, basements, or garages. I especially needed that feature now in my craft storage room to make room for my new wools! I couldn’t help but think of the possibilities, especially since I did, once upon a time, see a special built house that had whole walls of storage shelves and closets behind the antique looking paneled walls. Special bins were also included for collectors like me! Dream on Jane girl! (Picture a big red Staple's Easy Button. I will request one for Christmas--do they still make them or am I, per usual, seeking the obscure and obsolete again?)
Still, there was something to be mistrusted. A self-cleaning oven is simply too good to be true and how many times did I learn about things or people too good to be true? Well, add my self-cleaning oven to the list. Oh, it all worked well enough and my oven is now clean all right, but my push-a-button-clean-job became no secret or cause for bragging! The oven door wouldn't open long after it cooled down, and my husband had to trip the circuit breaker which only made my oven flash “lock” on its screen. I also cannot set it to bake or broil and it doesn't heat, but it is nice and clean!! ( Picture this: my husband with smoke coming out of his ears as it wasn't safe to take his picture at this moment besides which it might have been all the proof that was needed to have him committed, but then how would he go to work?)
What is to become of my beautiful clean stove? As yet there is no resolution to my story except to say that I have the perfect excuse for not cooking dinner now and unless my kids feel like cooking with sticks over a campfire in the back yard, no more pizzas baked on the racks that drip and re-blacken my oven! I’ll be making “quilt sandwiches” to be served with mini tomatoes or other fruit, with cakes and ice cream sundaes for dessert and all made with felted wool, stuffed with crushed walnut shell and a sampler on my kitchen wall that reads “Careful what you think, like silent wishes, they might come true”. I could, however be onto the best weight loss diet ever--felted wool whatever with crushed walnut shell stuffing--easy, no bake, calorie free, stitch-only, recipes!
But the rest of the story has already been lived out. Picture this: a Sears repair man, complete with white paper booties over his shoes so he didn't track in my house and leaving me with his repair bill for $75 for diagnosing the problem and another estimated bill for $404. Yep, the automatic door motor that keeps the door shut during self-cleaning burned up, and the repair man jury rigged it so I can cook with it, but it will never be a self-cleaning oven again....and there you have it, self-cleaning ovens ARE too good to be true, at least for me!!
Apparently the self-clean was a one-time feature and for only $404, it can be fixed to clean again, at least once? Now it does seem that the next time it gets it gourmet-blackened-bottom, that can of Easy Off might be just the thing? And does anyone know where I can get paper booties to go over shoes in all sizes. They would be perfect to keep my house clean for longer than a day AFTER I push the red button and The Brycer cleans my floors! (Picture my family: The Brycer (yes, he is adopted and now part of my family), my husband, me, my alien adult girls, the dog and the cat all in white paper booties. Perhaps they could have a polish in them to make my floors shine?