Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving night - cooking edition

(Thanksgiving's pretty much all about cooking, n'est-ce pas?)

Did my cooking. Fresh turkey breast and chicken-liver spaghetti sauce turned out excellent. Ended up throwing away the roast beef--apparently I'd left it too long to thaw in the fridge and it was turning brown. It still smelled fine but I tossed it anyway. For $8, I didn't feel like dealing with it. I'd bought it a few weeks ago, thinking the kitchen would be ready any day. Then I ended up freezing it.

Watching a chef challenge on the Food Network (Thanksgiving dinner--what else). I noticed they were cooking on glass-top electric stoves. I also cook on a glass-stop electric stove, but I've also cooked on conventional electric stoves and gas stoves as well. I can't say I have a preference when it comes to electric or gas. I've never had trouble cooking on any type of stove (i.e., once I learned how to cook).

I know that gas stoves are all the rage now for home kitchens. But I have to say that I really like my glass-top stove. You never have to worry about a pot boiling over and gunking up the burner contraption, which can be very elaborate especially on a gas stove, and which then has to be removed and scrubbed clean and/or put in the dishwasher (not to mention that the holes where the gas flames come out can get clogged and have to be reamed out). And then the surface where the boil-over ultimately pooled up also has to be cleaned. And it's difficult and time-consuming to clean these parts, especially after the heat bakes the gunk onto them. I'm not much of a cleaner and would rather not have to deal with gunk in my stove parts.

I have to say, the smooth top is a lot easier to keep clean (even if you have to use a razor blade). But once it's cleaned, you know it's clean and there's no stuff building up somewhere perhaps unseen.

Anyway, if gas ranges are what chefs prefer, why did they have these chefs cooking on glass-top electric stoves? (I guess if you're a professional chef, you can cook on anything and don't complain.)

I've seen ads about the new glass-top stoves that boil water in seconds. I think this technology is the wave of the future, at least in the home. I can imagine that in restaurants, however, glass tops might be too delicate for the abuse the stoves get, with slamming pots and pans down on them in a frenzy. The stoves need all that (difficult to clean) iron architecture around the burners to withstand the abuse.

I have to be careful with Lucky when I'm using the stove now, since he's used to walking across it when he makes his rounds of the new counters. (I don't mind that he gets up on the counters, and there's really nothing I can do about it anyway, since I'm not here all the time.) I think he thinks I'm unhappy with him since I've been shooing him away from the stove now that I've been back to cooking again. (He's really never seen me cooking before.) When I was occasionally cooking chili before the electrician disconnected the stove, there were no countertops next to it. (There were no countertops at all.) By the time Lucky came here, the old countertops had already been torn out. The stove was standing alone in the kitchen.

This just happened: I had washed two plastic sponge-holders in the dishwasher tonight, the kind that attach to a surface with suction cups. I'd bought these a long time ago and was re-attaching them to the inside of the new under-mounted sink, where I'd attached them after it was installed and I had running water again. (For months they'd been attached to the bathroom mirror.) Tonight, however, the sink moved when I was pressing the suction cups against the side of the sink. That shouldn't happen, right? The seal of caulk broke where the sink met the countertop. Not good.

The sink is supposed to be permanently and I would assume immovably affixed to the underside of the countertop. It shouldn't move around. I'll have to tell Home Depot about this. Damn!

Made an excellent turkey gravy tonight as well. Just the breast alone gives off enough juices to make a gravy (although I supplemented it with a package of Publix turkey gravy mix, but you'd never know). Tomorrow I'll go back to the store for some bread to make hot open-faced turkey sandwiches. I also plan on making turkey salad and will make sandwiches of that as well (on light toast). Gotta get some celery too.

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