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October 26, 2006

When a Not So Cool Stove Gets Hot


I've always been a fan of the sleekness of the ceramic cooktop. In my modern kitchen no grates or grills would interrupt the clean lines. I know that cooks swear by the functionality of the gas stove -- but I would chance a scorched roux before compromising on style. The new electromagnetic stove tops seemed to be the ticket to the control quandry, and so I was convinced I would swap out my gas Jenn Air cook top for an electromagnetic range.

That was until we had a freak storm that dropped 20 inches of snow -- and felled zillions of trees and power lines. Talk about island living. For the next four days it was that ugly, oversized gas grill situated in the middle of my island that helped feed four families. It truly was the fire in our kitchen.

We cleaned our collective fridges and dumped everything into skillets and wokked up some great treats. A neighbor's propane grill (ours was out of propane) prepared salmon, sirloin, chicken and ribs. Clean up, as much as there could be clean-up with 7 people living on the island, was a breeze as hot water, electric water heater now depleted, was generated in pots sitting on a seemingly perpetual flame.


We lucked out with another modern convenience. Our gas fireplace is electric start and sealed, but fortunately I had turned it on an hour prior to the 95 hour outage. That fire in our family room provided the sole heat for our house and was the camp fire around which we and another family slept. For four days wet clothes were hung by the mantel with care (kids love 20" of snow).

What of my wish for an electromagnetic stove? I haven't given up, but I just might need to set up the Jenn Air in the basement as a back up. Oh by the way, our newest appliance is a 6000 watt generator; neither sexy, nor stylish, but very, very functional. As for the snow, it only lasted 2 days. I am still trying to reclaim my island.

Top Photo: Midnight shot of snow-covered, leaf-laden tree in East Amherst, NY. Weight peels limb from tree. Middle pic: Island Living -- the next episode of survivor?

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Comment on This Article Here! When a Not So Cool Stove Gets Hot:

wOW! That's incredible! I'm so glad to hear you had your fireplace + gas range during that huge storm! It's unseasonably hot here in the SF bay area. It was about 90 degrees today + i took my daughter to a Halloween parade dressed as astrochimp, so she had a monkey costume inside of an astronaut costume. It was scorching + it's usually cool by now.
Take care :)

Posted by: mod*mom | Oct 29, 2006 1:22:01 AM

90 degrees in San Fran in October? That's insane! Mother Nature is definitely PMS-ing.

Posted by: diane P. Burley | Oct 30, 2006 7:29:57 AM

I've lived in many places, with many kinds of appliances. But the recent experience in Western New York, with the power shortage lasting a week for us, and longer for others, convinced me to love my gas stovetop. While the microwaves, electric ovens, breadbakers, toasters all were rendered useless, and the house temperature dipped to 53 degrees F., it was always helpful to be able to boil water for tea (and to make the rest potable), or heat up soup. Making a warm soup or stew by candlelight was helpful to get through the cold and dark days.
Speaking of Hallowe'en, as from the writer from California, a child in this region said he wanted his costume to be "An Electric Power Grid Line-man." These guys came from outside the region, to restore power, maybe l000. Block by block, where tree limbs had felled wires or even snapped the poles in half from the weight of limbs, they put it all back together. We're still removing
"enough tree debris to go from here to Omaha, Nebraska" accordign to disaster relief experts.
The mom asked him why he wanted to costume as a Grid Line-man. He replied, "When they show up. everybody hugs them and says 'Yay, you're here!!"
At least East Amherst was just rated the second safest community in America...
Marta Braiterman Tanenbaum, East Amherst NY

Posted by: marta braiterman | Oct 30, 2006 6:10:50 PM

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