now we're cooking with gas!

A couple weeks ago we decided our oven was broken. We were forced to this conclusion by the fact that it couldn't get hot enough to cook anything. Warming, sure: with a good half-hour of preheating it could manage to reach as high as 200 or even 250°F. But bread was assuredly not being baked, nor vegetables roasted. The conclusion wasn't precipitous on our part; for the last few months we've felt like we're living in the pioneer days as we stick our hands in to see if we've made it up to a moderately slow oven. What on earth could we do, when faced with this calamitous situation?! We agonized for quite a while, and then on Wednesday Leah called an oven repairman—and everything was fixed up as good as new within an hour.

That's a pretty amazing turnaround, especially considering how long we waited to do anything about the problem. Now that the thing is once again working as it should we can see how far our standards slipped as it took its slow decline. It heats up to 350° in less than 10 minutes! I've got to break my habit of turning it on to preheat as I start making cookies—or as soon as I think about maybe wanting to make them. On Easter, the last day that it kind of worked before the repairs, I turned it on first thing in the morning: that was the only way to get any kind of useable heat.

But that's all done with now! And the very kind repair guy tells us that, with our new igniter, we should be good for another five to ten years. To celebrate, I baked bread (Harvey was pulling for chocolate-chip cookies—sorry boy, practicality wins out).

a loaf of bread on the kitchen table