Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cooking with Gas!

The incredible lag in posting time on this blog is the result of...wait for it....COOKING INSIDE for the first time in 11 months! 

Handyman made it just under the wire for the one-year anniversary of the complete transplant of the heart of our home.  The awesome little cooktop had been waiting patiently, upstairs in its original packaging, for a DECADE.  Through some amazing twist of fate, we had not chosen harvest gold, or avocado green.  It is boring old stainless steel, which I am sure was cutting-edge style at the time. 

Apparently the mice were put off by the styrofoam packing, because all the wiring was intact and operational.  But, as is our habit, it was not simply a matter of "screw in the gas line and lite 'er up!"

Our propane tank is left over from our early days of propane heating.  We flew that coop just in time to avoid the skyrocketing costs of fossil fuel heat.  When we brought in our geothermal heat-pump, the only thing left running on propane was the cooktop.  The propane delivery guy looked at the fill gauge and said, "I'll see you in about 5 years."

Then a mouse took up residence around the gauge, under its protective metal helmet and we never saw the delivery guy again.  Fast-forward five years (well, we didn't use any propane this past year, unless it came in a portable bottle).  We now have a gigantic propane tank, with an old line and an even older regulator going into the house, so of course Handyman had to make 3,418 trips to Menards.  But, he did it.  And he didn't even have to hack the drawer apart to get the connections through the cabinet.  This guy has talent. 

All these years we have also kept the exterior venting option intact, so we could have a hood fan that actually takes the stinky, greasy air out of the house, as well!  We had very different tastes regarding hoods, but my MO is to let Handyman make a choice and only disagree if I know I will not be able to stand it. 

His hood choice was chosen based on cost.  He didn't want to spend a lot of money.  While I am certainly in that mindset, I could not stand the selection.  It brought new meaning to the word boring, so I did whine a little and ask if there might be something else?  Fortunately for me, he likes to shop and he's good at it.  He learned it from his mother.

I am like his brother; "I see it, like it, buy it, go home."  He is a peruser.  The internet saves us so much driving.   So he did find another hood and we liked it a lot better.  The second choice has better 2 lighting levels, better looks and 3 speeds on the fan--a winner all around.  Love that internet shopping, no sales tax and it arrives on my doorstep in mere hours!

The cooktop came out of retirement like gangbusters.  It is wonderful.  Has four different size burners, but a continuous heavy gridwork going around, including a resting spot between the two burner rows.  I really like that.  I can slide the hot pot to the resting place without picking it up or worrying about it dropping off the burner.  The largest burner heats up "right now", almost like an Aga, heating water very quickly.

So we hooked it all up, (and I use the term "we" VERY loosely), and by golly, #2 made macaroni and cheese to celebrate! 
I'm very excited that the performance and the looks of our appliance choices have held up after being in the time warp of 10 years before they were put to work. 

Handyman also was sent out on his own for a dishwasher.  We spent many days looking through consumer reports, comparing and finding and reading reviews at multiple sites.  I begged off and sent him out to choose for us.

He loves taking pictures with his Iphone and sending them home--price tags, styles, colors, dimensions, whatever.  So he did confer with me, but I had said all along that once we got to the sink/dishwasher removal, there had better be a replacement sitting there, ready to go right back into the spot.  I was not going without either one of them for more than a week.  That was a plunge into purgatory for all of us.  Dishes on the driveway, dishes in the bathtub, dishes put away, welcome fastfood.

He chose a Kenmore, and man! do we love it.  It is uber-quiet.  In fact, we will be getting a second one sometime in the near future.  That was my splurge request on the kitchen re-do, a second dishwasher.  We like to have people over to eat; well, we did, back when we could still invite people over to eat; and we never can fit everything in the dishwasher.  So I end up with a sink full of dishes that sits overnight, ready to taunt me first thing in the morning.  Hate it.

So, I made sure I could locate a photo from a magazine of two dishwashers, and I asked.  He agreed.  I do think both our moms sided with me on this, which was helpful.  And now that we really love the first dishwasher, it won't be a big hassle to get another one.

We lived for several months with OSB flooring and finally settled on vinyl strips that look like dark wood.  Of course we didn't pay someone else to put down said flooring, because we don't do that.  So after we hassled the store to get it delivered quickly, we went another entire month before he had 3 days off in a row to put it in!  And of course, there were strong warnings about having the entire area VERY, VERY clean (read: no pet hair).  Like that is possible.

But, he did it.  And it is great!  Next up is putting in the bathroom fixtures, even without a door; and ordering our island parts!

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