Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Saga of the Oven

I went cooking crazy last week. So unlike me. Macadamia biscuits, pumpkin soup, a new batch of sourdough starter (because the 1st lot went off, it smelled like a rat had died in our pantry), sourdough bread, honey-soy pork & noodles, bulk batch of bolognaise, chicken stock, a lemon tart, baked risotto, 2 lamb roasts, pancakes. I just couldn't stop. Fixit was getting mighty sick of all the washing up, I can tell you.

I've been forced to stop now. Yesterday I went to bake another batch of the macadamia biscuits (to be followed by a loaf of wholemeal sourdough) and found that, despite a good long period of pre-heating, the oven was stone-cold.

I rang the real estate agents and left a message. I said my oven is broken. We went to Jenny's house with the biscuit dough and baked them in her oven. The agents rang me while I was there. She said What's wrong with the oven? Is the fan not working? I laughed bitterly. No rental house I've ever been able to afford came equipped with a fan in the oven. Let alone a working light.

The agent rang the landlords. They of course needed to come and have a look. So I of course decided that I needed to do an emergency oven-clean before they came and looked. Seeing as how I cleaned the oven exactly ONCE since we moved in 4 years ago. Halfway through that fun job there's a knock on the door and there is Mrs. Landlord (they live 2 doors up from us) come to have a look. She knows nothing about electrical appliances, I think she just wanted to check that I wasn't making it up. She said maybe they couldn't fix it till next week. I said no I must have it by the weekend. She said her husband would come and look after work. She tells me they don't want to get an electrician because they charge you just to have a look. Very expensive. We have lots of bills, she tells me, rates, water....

I have to tell you how much I hate it when our landlords cry poor to us. They have a lovely house to live in filled with all the mod-cons. They also own 2 investment properties, one for each child. I don't begrudge them that, they've worked hard for it. But I think I am the wrong person to whinge to about how hard it is for them.

She tells me Mr Landlord will come to look when he gets home from work. She goes and I get the oven finished and mop the floor so the house looks lovely for his visit. He doesn't show up. He got home late and didn't want to wake our kids. Mrs Landlord shows up this morning. Her husband thinks maybe I knocked the element when I was cleaning the oven? Um no. Because the cleaning happened AFTER the oven was broken. She tells me to call the agent to say get an electrician. Tell them not to send an expensive one. I do that after she goes. I don't mention the expensive bit. The agents need the landlords' say-so to call the sparky, not mine. Mrs Landlord is not answering her phone because she's gone off to work.

I drop my risen sourdough loaf over at Jenny's and she cooks it for me.

I have school holiday mayhem this week, visits here-there-and-everywhere. And I need my oven fixed!! Because in 5 more sleeps it is Cherub's birthday party and I have me some baking to do.


  1. Arggghhhh at having your lovely cooking binge halted! Those recipes sound marvelous; you're quite the chef.

    "Can't fix it till next week" my foot!

  2. You cannot live without an oven and it is wrong to ask you to do so!

    Add a cape and I would truly believe that masked boy was a superhero. He could fly with all of his curls billowing behind him.

    What date is Cherub's birthday next week? It is my Ashleigh's birthday next week too.

  3. pretty sure they are obliged to fixit however many bills they have!

  4. Oven? Ohhh you mean the cupboard thingy under the stovetop....

  5. Oh how horrendous.
    Now Im no gourmet chef, but life without an oven and an impending childs birthday party spells disaster. Perhaps asking your landlord if you can use her oven to bake your sons birthday party treats might do the trick!
    Good Luck with it all.

  6. Cool - a new oven, i'm thinking !
    As for 'tell them not to get an expensive one' ?!?!?!?

    I once lived for 6yrs yrs without an oven, as I was working long hours, and didn't want the landlords or tradies over when I wasn't home, so I just cooked stovetop-style. Didn't bother me.

    But then I once lived a year without a fridge, so I think i'm possibly a bit weird.

    That is the CUTEST b'day invite i've EVER seen !!

  7. bloomin landlords! Well done you on the baking craziness - all sounds delicious!

  8. Oooh, landlords, that attitude is not good enough.
    I feel your pain. The WEEK we moved into our own house the oven died, and the Girl's first birthday party was the next day. Lots of cold food, Mum had to bake the cake, etc. It worked out OK, but it was the first time we realised we were home OWNERS instead of renters, and it was our problem!
    I am in total awe of your domesticity. That amount of food hasn't been cooked by me in 6 months, let alone a week.

  9. geeze if I were in the middle of a cooking spree like you, I would be cross too!

    Mind you, the oven probably had a seizure from the shock it got that you were doing all that baking in the first place! :)

  10. What a bummer! How I remember those rental days well when I was at the mercer of the landlords. Hope it gets fixed soon.

  11. thirdcat is right.

    September - what a good month for birthdays. Dear little libran boy.

    Hope that oven is fixed forthwith!

  12. Stomper, I am going to have to break my policy of not swearing in other people's comboxes.

    Your landlords are assholes.

    If you were going to get ugly on them, you could actually apply to not pay rent until they do, as an oven is regarded as an essential item in a viable rental property.
    Especially with a kids birthday coming up.

  13. I HATE whingers (read: landlords) who whinge about stuff that doesn't concern me! I'm sorry about your stove. Very frustrating for you. I love the masked boy and his birthday invo. Hope the birthday is a triumph!

  14. Agreeing with Shula! Isn't an oven one of those things that, if nothing is done within a certain amount of time, you can call any electrician you like to fix it and the landlords have to foot the bill? I think heating and hot water have the same clauses.

    And I love the invite!

  15. Jeepers, landlords. It's an oven for heaven's sake not a foot massager. A good agent would just override the landlord on that one.

    In my renting days (and there have been MANY of those) I'd just call the sparky and send the landlord the bill. It's okay to do that in an emergency (and this IS an emergency).

  16. Hmmm landlords two doors down, a house filled with all the mod cons you could want... you with a non-working oven they don't want to spend the money on, you with a heap of baking to do... sounds like a match made in heaven to me ;)

    Love the invitation!

  17. That little cherub lives up to his name! Abby's birthday is this Friday... the big 3! Very exciting.

    I would ring them constantly until it was fixed. Or ask to borrow their oven until yours is fixed. And wait at their house with your kids while your stuff is baking. A few hours of that ought to get things moving. Or are your kids much better behaved than mine? If they are, it might not work.

  18. Wow those recipes sound wonderful! You could come to my house to cook but you'd have to share.

  19. Wow - that's a lot of cooking going on. We've been fortunate in most things emergency with our landlord that he has fixed them quickly - like the heating. I've known people here who have lived without a boiler - meaning no heat and NOT hot water for weeks waiting for their landlord to fix it. That being said we had black trash bags lining our shower for about 6 weeks so as not to flood our living room below and finally gave up on the landlord and retiled it ourselves. Good luck with the oven!!

  20. New Diva on the BlogWed Sep 26, 05:36:00 am GMT+10

    Holy mad cooking binge Batman! I feel very lazy after listening to that undertaking.

    Fingers crossed that Mr. Landlord comes through for you!

  21. I hate landlords. Ugh!

    But I love the birthday invite, masked boy indeed!

  22. Martha would be proud of you....Hope it gets fixed pronto!

  23. Oh! I hope your oven dilemma is fixed. I hate it when landlords are too bloody stingy to fix those appliances for you. Last place we rented, the damn oven got patched & repatched, horrid thing it was. I found out, after we moved the girl who rented got a brand new stove, with fan forced oven! GRRRR.
    I love those photos !!

  24. Love the invitation! I have a birthday party to go to on Sunday too, but it's a "pink" party. Hmmm, I wonder if I can find anything to wear?

  25. Is that you in the superhero outfit? Becuase I have to tell you - all that cooking? You're amazing!

    Recipe for macadamia biscuits please!

    Boo to the landlords. It's their responsibility and you shouldn't have to listen to their tales of woe about their bills. Imagine thinking a family of four can get along without an oven!

  26. Goodness, we've created a monster.


    P.S. Tell Fixit: "Brick oven in the back yard." You could even open a pizza delivery service for the boys to earn "walking around money."

  27. I would like to formally invite you and your Cooking Skillz to come live at my house. I have one of those oven-thingys but it hasn't got anyone to use it.
    oh and don't forget the sourdough starter because that's our favourite bread. Kthxbai.

  28. Some people try and get away with anything don't they (landlord that is). You must be good tenants being there that long they should be looking after you!!!!

    Update please how is the saga going?

  29. OMG, reading all these comments, I feel so small going without my oven for 6yrs....



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