Our oven is broken. It stopped working on the 19th January, at the end of a bad week. We had hoped that it would be mended, but it transpires that it’s not really possible to do so. Like
all many of the problems that arise with this house, there isn’t a simple solution to the problem. The solution here is “get a new oven”, but things get in the way: the kitchen is quite literally falling to pieces and needs replacing but the roof isn’t watertight and also needs replacing. No point replacing a kitchen when the room isn’t watertight. No money to fix the roof. We don’t want/can’t afford to buy another oven (it’s a freestanding gas cooker) the same because we don’t intend to keep that style when we replace the kitchen and there are issues with the gas supply pipe and access to that. And again, money.
When the oven first broke my motivation for cooking and feeding us well went kaput. My inspiration for food just disappeared and I couldn’t think of a single meal to cook despite the fact that I cooked more meals on the hob than I did in the oven anyway. All I wanted was pizza and jacket potatoes! That is slowly coming back to me now and I’m no longer relying on baked beans to feed us ;-) (Just as an aside: TTB’s diet hasn’t suffered and he has not been relying on beans.)
One of the things I had been trying to do, prior to the oven breaking, was to learn more cooking skills and to feed my family better: making more things from scratch for the benefit of eating better and also becoming better at baking. That’s why I wanted to make pastry and bake a quiche. It was really nice, by the way, but very ugly and I never posted a photo because it was ugly! I had actually been planning a post about my new baking skills and what I’d made – quiche, pasties, banana bread … and then suddenly I wasn’t able to bake anything at all. It’s rather overdramatic when you think about it but I was so frustrated and cross that I couldn’t do any baking, couldn’t even do an easy meal of jacket potatoes! I felt like I couldn’t make the house feel homely.
It also put paid to the things I had been planning to do with TTB – making simple biscuits and fairy cakes with him. Very frustrating.
Today I really did feel like baking. And I didn’t feel so miserable that I couldn’t bake something “proper”. Just a batch of blueberry pancakes: simple, but still something that I’ve only really started doing in the last six months or so. Making something myself from scratch rather than buying a packet in the shop feels right and wholesome and just a little bit smug. I’d been really enjoying that little bit of smug feeling when doing my pastry and things!
I don’t think we will have an oven for a while now, but that’s ok. We’ll manage. I’m glad I made something, it might sound daft but it felt quite freeing to lift the mindset of “I can’t do this” and just do something close enough. I might try making crumpets next, they don’t need an oven :-)
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