Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Locking the Oven Door: No Can Do

I mentioned in my previous entry that we’d have to start locking the oven while using it, so Baby Bear wouldn’t open it and bring on certain disaster.

I turned on the oven to Bake, then locked the door. The range began beeping, and the digital display screen commanded me to “Unlock Door.” I stood my ground, but so did the range. The oven automatically switched off.

I studied the owner’s manual, and found only two references to the door latch, one under the instructions for self-cleaning, the other under troubleshooting tips. The latter is where I discovered, to my dismay, that if the oven didn’t work, then a possible cause might be a locked oven door. The solution? “If necessary, allow oven to cool; then unlock door.”

In other words, I cannot lock the oven while baking. Why in blazes not? The owner’s manual devotes a whole page to the wonderful “anti-tip device” for the convenience of people who like to use open oven doors as stepping stools. Another page warns against using the oven for things I can’t believe anyone with half a brain would even consider doing. Do not use the oven to dry wet newspapers or you could start a fire? For that matter, who sits on an open oven door—and why? I mean, besides a child like Baby Bear? If the problem is so common that it must be preached against in the owner’s manual, then wouldn’t it make sense if you could lock the oven door anytime—even when it’s not in use?

Alas, it can only be locked during self-clean mode. Or, when it gets super-hot; but as Julie pointed out in her comment to my last blog entry, the latter can lead to a lot of trouble—and on a holiday, a lot of hungry people, which leads to even more trouble chez Lingefelt.

Ours is a glass-top radiant range, which has spoiled me for any other type of range. It’s a breeze to clean—no scrubbing, soaking, chiseling, or whining to the husband, “It’s too much work to clean this thing—can’t we just buy a new one?” Just squirt the ceramic cooktop cleaner over it, rub it in with the cleaning pad, then polish with a rag. In moments, it gleams and sparkles with such brilliance, I feel as if I should be wearing my best pearls, high heels, and ruffled apron. Thanks to this marvel of modern convenience, I now have plenty of extra time to club myself over the head for not nagging Mr. Lucky to buy me this model sooner.

At the in-laws’ house one day, I sang its praises to my father-in-law as he disassembled their old gas range to clean it. My mother-in-law wanted a glass-top range, and I’m so crazy about mine that I put in a good word for her.

My father-in-law wasn’t buying it, literally or figuratively. “Let her next husband buy her one,” he grumbled.

The solution to our problem is obvious: Just watch the kid. We do it anyway.

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