2018-11-09 / Commentary

Technical Difficulties

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

Technology has passed me by.

I think today’s kids are born with the inbred knowledge of all the gizmos and gadgets that are such a huge part of the world these days, but me? I missed that memo.

If you follow this column, you know we spent our summer renovating our kitchen. We basically knocked down the old kitchen and dining room and turned it into one big room. During that process, there were a myriad of decisions to be made from picking out paint to choosing appliances. And with my husband Marty’s work schedule, most of those choices were mine.

Of course I always included him in the final selections by texting him the pictures and prices and such. When it was time to choose appliances, that seemed pretty simple to me. I’m no cook by any means, but after all…a stove is a stove is a stove, right?


The appliances were among the last things to be installed and I had picked out a reputable brand for the stovetop and the oven. The stainless steel finish was complimentary to the rest of the kitchen colors and that was my main concern. If it was “pretty” it was fine with me and Marty concurred.

On the day the stovetop was to be installed, there was a lot going on in our house. The last of the finishing touches were being added and we had electricians, painters, and tile people all working at once. My main worry that day was they got our kitchen television working with all the cable channels on it.

As I was working with the electrician on that, I noticed there seemed to be some drama going on around our new stovetop. I didn’t really pay it all that much attention because if the cable wasn’t going to work, I doubted we’d be eating in the kitchen that much anyway. After all…our dinner hour vacillated between the evening news and “Wheel of Fortune.” We are very much TV people and getting the cable right far outweighed the stove on my list of important stuff.

But I couldn’t help but notice our contractor’s look of concern as he was fiddling with the dials on the stove. He and his wife are family to us and she was there as well and she too looked a little baffled. And she IS a cook. Then Marty walked in and he too got a perplexed look on his face. So did the guy who installed the stove. And then the electrician looked puzzled.

When you have five people standing around your brand new stove looking confused and murmuring statements like “I just don’t understand…” or “Wow…that’s weird,” it gets even MY attention. The contractor asked me for a magnet. I handed him a decorative one off of our refrigerator. He kept trying to make it stick to our pots.

It didn’t.

Turns out the stove is an “induction” stove. Apparently you need some special pans to use on that type of stove. Marty wasn’t happy and our contractor was pretty miffed as well. I was just completely befuddled because I had never heard of an “induction” stove and had no idea that’s what I picked out. I mean…who ever heard of a stove that had to have its OWN pots and pans??? That’s like getting a new car and they tell you you can never drive it on the freeways!

It sounded crazy to me but I was glad it was something that could be solved with a new set of pots and pans. Once the new ones arrived, we were good to go!

We aren’t really “cooking dinner” people, so, although we have indeed used our new pots and pans for a few lunches and brunches and such, we have yet to use our nifty new double oven.

Until last night.

Last night we decided to grill steaks with corn and a baked potato for Marty. We got the corn going on the stove and Marty marinated the steaks and put his potato in the oven. He asked me to check his potato as he was putting the meat on the grill. I did.

It was cold.

There was NO heat and the potato was still raw.

I played with the dials on the oven. He played with them too. The oven would come on but then go right off.

There was no “enter” button. There were about a dozen other buttons and dials that said things like “bake” or “broil,” but nothing that said “start” or “begin” or “enter.” And every button or dial we pushed or turned would turn right back off in less than a minute.

After about 20 exasperating minutes we gave up.

Steak and corn was good enough.

I hope we can figure this out before the holidays or there’s going to be some verrrrry interesting parties at our house.

And the Christmas turkey will have died in vain.

I’m just saying…

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