Wednesday, January 13, 2010

hamburger, no ice.

have i mentioned that i have 2 ovens in my kitchen?  not because i have a fancy pants, newly remodeled kitchen, but because of a very kooky mixup.  a few months ago, a friend stopped in for coffee.....actually, the friend was our neighbor until a couple of years ago.  we're still in the same town and get together often with dogs or humans.  we still have coffee or tea together quite a bit........certainly, not as frequently as our days spent after the school bus left in the morning or after the schoolbus delivered our kids home at the end of the day.  my point is that we are very familiar with each other's kitchens.....nevermind, the familiarity with each other's coffee with milk and a little bit of with only sugar......if one of us brings the other a latte' from "the outside", we both concur that we don't want it too sweet.....if it's hot tea, we know we have all sorts of choices, we both prefer milk....once spring has arrived, we celebrate our first iced coffee of the light and one with milk and extra sugar.....and finally, iced tea....sweetened....with ice, lots of ice.

the ice may have been the reason that our friends moved.  i have a secret.  i have very bad ice making skills.  we moved into a house that has a refrigerator that does not make ice....a cryin' shame.  thankfully, our friendship with our neighbors grew, just as my need for pre-fab ice grew into a full addiction.  let's face it, iced tea would not be hyped as iced tea, without the ice!  they were happy to share their fine, chunky ice cubes.....even as my needs became greater and greater.                                                                          

sure, i had the occasional egg or onion and i had coffee and a new coffee maker.  we shared birthdays and cake and cupcakes and cookies with our kids.  we shared hot chocolate in the snow.....we shared  lemonade stands ......and vacuums.  random, that's neighborly!

we shared cleaning supplies and cleaning tips, we shared tag sale finds and held our own tag sales on cold fall days, we watched each others dogs and cats....and kids.  we were pretty familiar with each other's organization, cleaning and kid clutter issues.  we shared houses built in the same year by the same builder. we shared paint and paint colors.  we shared gardening tips and plantings.  we have respect for each other's style, each other's husbands, kids, parenting and decorating.....and we like everyone too.

one fall day, we were having coffee in my kitchen.  while waiting for the coffee to brew, we talked about our kids, our families and our latest purchases and projects. while standing near my stove, jeannie talked about the new kitchen appliances for her house, now a few miles away,

that's when jeannie offered me their oven....only a couple of years old/new, it needed a replacement was otherwise, in great condition......and much newer than mine.  mine may have come with the house, although the oven was never much of a priority for me....sadly, for my family.  we laughed while we discussed the oven.  she and her husband wanted a gas stove so, this was the opportunity to make the change.  we laughed some more. what a crazy friendship....who would think of offering a hand me down oven, other than a friend as familiar with the pecadillos of our kitchen.  we both get pleasure from making a dollar dance.

after thinking about the prospect of an updated oven, if only for appearance, biff and i thought it was a great offer.  a newer oven, in fine working condition, needing only a new part would replace our old oven.....ours probably didn't have much life left was obvious....we were excited for our new "addition".  as soon as their new oven arrived, we would go pick up their old/our new one.  no shame.

and we did just that!  in october. so, here i sit, in our kitchen, with no working oven.  our own stove, that short circuited some time before thanksgiving dinner....the part for the new/old oven/ kitchen island arrived in time for christmas cookie was the wrong color.  it was black instead of white.  i'm no oven racist, it's just that it was kind of quirky to have a mismatched oven front panel.  then again, quirky is our style.

rick, our appliance repairman, has been to our house so many times, i've started to call biff rick.  people are talking.  our relationship is on the brink....that is, with rick.  biff and i are still deeply in love,  just not well nourished with healthy dinners.  we have had to start ordering pizzas from different pizzerias....they all recognize our orders....they know our name before we offer to share.  rick isn't calling back....for the first time in our relationship.

i had to buy a crock pot, since i just threw out the 1970's  orange floral, hand-me-down, bachelor guessed it, in early october.  now everyone seems to be using crockpots....even when they have working ovens!  so here i sit, hoping my mom's recipe that i'm using, from memory, will be delicious......or at least, more homey than more pizza.

oh, and our friends, who used to live next door, are happy in their new home.  they've been settled in for a long time now.  they say that they moved for a little more space........more bedrooms and bigger kitchen.  maybe that's true.  they say it wasn't because they couldn't keep up with my constant need for ice, from their refrigerator, with built in ice maker.....for my summer iced tea.

although, it might be because of the early evening that i stopped by to "borrow" a pound of hamburger, no ice.

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