December 10th, 2014

krazy koati

A cozy little castle with a hundred rooms or more

I should say that while bunny_hugger and her mother did all the non-trivial cooking and preparation for Thanksgiving I did my part in saving the holiday at all. The issue arose about two months ago when we were last roasting peanuts for the squirrels (to be squirrel-safe peanuts should be roasted at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half-hour) and bunny_hugger noticed a bright arc-flame in the burner on the bottom. And after that the stove wouldn't heat up, or wouldn't heat to the proper temperature, and we sulked about what to do with it.

The thing to do was buy a new heating element, but that required knowing something about what kind of oven we have, which is a mystery since there's no identifiable label and the only documentation we have of it --- which does list part numbers --- doesn't actually identify the oven type. bunny_hugger took her best guess based on the part numbers we had and the shape of the element and ordered it, and we shied away from actually ripping the oven open to replace it.

Finally one afternoon while she was away I took the oven door off, got up close, and worked out how to take the old element out. The important thing was keeping the positive and negative wires from falling through the holes in the oven casing; since the positive terminal wire was divided in two I jabbed a pencil between them, keeping both from moving. I also deeply feared how to attach the new element but it turned out to be just a matter of pushing the contacts into the slots, with no tricky work required.

When that was in place we celebrated with oven-baked French fries and vegetarian burger patties for dinner, and felt a lot more secure about Thanksgiving being really plausible. The old element, we found, had broken clear through in the spot where bunny_hugger saw the white spot so I guess it really was an arc light, effectively. There were other spots along the element where the wire was cut pretty badly, which just shows something of the age of the oven, however old it is. We still don't really know.

Trivia: Because disproportionately many Politburo members died of heart attacks in the 1940s, the hearts and other organs of the deceased would be preserved in jars in a secret Kremlin gallery. Source: 1945: The War That Never Ended, Gregor Dallas.

Currently Reading: Hunger: An Unnatural History, Sharman Apt Russell.

PS: What Do I Need To Pass This Class? (December 2014 Edition), a bit of guidance for the confused. Second of these since the last roundup.