Friday, May 15, 2009

Stalking the stove

All this nostalgia about my grandma made me curious about that stove. Not the big electric Titanic with the built-in pot in which she allegedly used to cook things to oblivion, but the second one I remember best, with that amazing broiling contraption.

I started hunting on the ole interwebs and lo, I actually found it. A Chambers range, I don't know the year or model but this is pretty close.

Turns out it, too, had a built-in pot—although I never recall it being used. The cute salt and pepper shakers were a figment of my imagination. It breaks my heart to know that this stove went with the house when it was sold in 1992, and that the new owner most likely had it hauled to the dump ASAP so that he could put in a Wolf behemoth instead.

But even more to my dismay was the discovery that this is the same stove a certain Rachael Ray uses on her show. So please let it go on the record, right here and now, that my grandma had hers first.

I don’t mean to malign Rachael Ray, although she does make an easy target for folks who believe in making real stuffing for the turkey instead of crumbling a store-bought cranberry muffin into a sauce pan with a box of Swanson’s chicken broth. (I’m sorry but I still tremble at that one.)

Since she and I share the same publisher, I am bound by the Author Code of Loyalty to defend her every move. I’m quite sure that she is an extraordinarily hard-working person who is grateful to have found success in this niche, and to have been able to parlay that success into broader things like a talk show and an appearance at Bryant Park. We should all be so lucky.

As many times as I’ve cringed at her shortcuts, I do appreciate her efforts to encourage more people to skip Applebee’s one night a week, stay at home, and cook delicious meals. And even Anthony Bourdain has started to warm to her.

So I guess it’s ok that she has my grandma’s stove. But has anybody ever seen her use it?


Minh said...

Funny you should mention Rachel Ray... If I have to hear her tip of putting all the garbage in one big bowl for easy cleaning one more time, I might have to put some spinning fiber in my ears. They used her cooking set for a Law and Order episode too but the stove wasn't used.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I'd like to see RR spin.
But don't get me started on Gordon Ramsay.