Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beauty, love, and dual fuel

I have a weakness for beauty.

A well-made piece of clothing, a stylish shoe, a stunning skein of handpainted yarn. My wardrobe - and my stash - did not end up the size they are on accident. This goes doubly for food.

I'm sure you're not surprised- do a search on Flickr for food, and you'll find enough glamour shots of food to make the most moderate eaters feel like gluttons. Check a foodie blog and you'll be drooling and gaining weight just *looking* at all the goodies.

This last week, everything I bought at the farmer's market was beautiful. Slender asparagus, perfectly round and cheerfully colored turnips, and multicolored potatoes.

I know. The potato is a humble vegetable, and the object of much anathema, given the carb-negative feelings people have these days. I love me some carbs, so how could I resist a bag of these beauties:

Purple, red, gold

I didn't have an idea of what I would use them for, but I HAD to have them. The gal in the booth thought I had LOST MY MIND. They were perfect and tiny - fitting comfortably in the palm of my hand, and SO beautiful. This picture doesn't do them justice, but my enthusiasm wouldn't allow me to photograph them one second earlier.

Speaking of beauty, I should introduce you to the newest man appliance in my life, Richard Blaze. But first you need to know what happened with Luke.

For those of you who were Luke fans, here's what happened. Luke was ailing. His temperature sensor had gone, and his timer was going. It was time. We called our home warranty folks to see if he could be fixed, but he was so old.

They suggested we send Luke to go live on a farm. A farm where old ovens can live out their days burning food without fear of reprisal. It was really what was best, hard as it may have been.

So, at the suggestion of the contractor, we made a pilgrimage to Airport Appliance, and lo and behold, there was the range and oven I have been waiting for my whole life.

Readers, meet Richard Blaze.

It was love at first sight. We saw each other across a crowded room, and that was that. It was meant to be.

He is named for my favorite Top Chef, Richard Blais [WARNING, noisy site]. In fact, the finale is tonight, and I'm rooting for Richard.

Permit me to wax poetic for a moment. I LOVE when people are good sports on shows that are effectively creative competition. Richard (the namesake) is affectionately referred to as "The Professor" or "Professor Blais" in the Top Chef kitchen, mostly because he's willing to help out his competitors when they need it. This means that everyone is competing at the top of their game, and that's more interesting for everyone.

He's totally brilliant, his dishes are inspired, and he is completely adorable. AND! He's going to have his own show on the Science Channel, Blais Off, which is the answer to the trainwreck that is Marcel's Quantum Kitchen. (Time for the tinfoil hat- I was complaining that Blais should be doing a show on molecular gastronomy, not Marcel.)

But back to *my* Blaze. He's a dual-fuel range and oven, and I love him. We have spent a lot of time getting to know one another. I read his manual and he delivers on all his promises, Itellyouwhut.

And see that drawer on the bottom? It's a BAKING DRAWER. I can bake one tray of cookies or biscuits without heating the whole big oven!!! And convection baking! I can't tell you how cool it is to bake three sheets of cookies or cupcakes at once. (The neighbors can vouch for it's coolness, since I've been sharing the cookie and cupcake love.)

Now, for the next frontier in earning my kitchen savvy merit badge: molecular gastronomy!


  1. I wouldn't call it a weakness, I'd call it a deep appreciation. And lemme tell you, I *deeply appreciate* anything as good as that range. Mmmm, cupcakes.

  2. I wouldn't say that what I feel for the humble spud is anathema...more a sense of deep longing that we could be together, but slight bitterness that our pairing results in my arse growing larger (tear!)

    But, beautiful potatoes, and a lovely stove. May Richard fulfill every need that Luke left wanting ;)

  3. Inspired name for the new man, uh, appliance in your life. Your blog is making me ponder a minor baking fit. Hmmm - I recently won a passel of cookie mixes in a guild raffle basket. But for some reason, I'm thinking about spuds just now...

  4. I am ridiculously jealous of your new man!!!! OMG. I really want to switch to gas in our house (and we can...) but when we moved in just two short years ago, ALL the appliances were new. For now, I must wait... *sigh*

  5. GAAAAR!!!!! Marcel was an abhorrant misuse of 40 minutes of my time. I wanted to reach into the TV and slap him repeatedly. Repeatedly. Git.

  6. I would go crazy for those potatoes, too. Cute and colorful? How can you resist?

    I don't think I've actually ever eaten a purple potato, though. I assume they taste the same as any other potato. I am now getting all sorts of ideas for how to deal with my picky eater (I wonder if unusually colored foot is more appealing?).

  7. I would love that range too. I am total electric though so when mine died I got a nice ceramic top with a convection oven. I feel your love.
    As for the potatoes, I am a fan. I am very carb friendly and it takes a lot to keep me away from them.

  8. Wow, that's one amazing stove! And I love that you named it :)


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