random musings

Mabel the Ornery Oven

Mabel is 20-ish in human years, and an undisclosed older age with early onset dementia in oven years. She’s an electric GE 40″ wide with two ovens – one full sized one small – and a full 40″ storage drawer below. She’s white, and CONSTANTLY getting splattered with some kind of sauce or similar splashy item. Maybe that’s why she’s so mad at me all the time.

As I mentioned, Mabel is forgetful. Sometimes she forgets that she is already on and at temperature, and gives a “hey press start so I can preheat!” beep. Then Mabel immediately chirps her “I’m ready!” beep because she’s already warm (and usually has something cooking inside…) then does that over and over and over. Sometimes she will throw out an F1 error that turns off on its own, or a random beep if you put something heavy on a burner (even if the oven function isn’t currently in use). Or if Eva jumps hard enough in the kitchen or down the hallway like a bunny to her room.

The other day I thought I had finally done Mabel in for good. She asked me to press “start” enough times and in fast enough succession that I activated a child lock that I did not know existed. Extra fun: the override is not published anywhere. I sat on my kitchen floor and googled, and googled, and googled, and googled, and squinted at really old similar model PDF manuals. Eventually, at the advice of GE and the general internet public I did the following: unplugged to try and trick her into unlocking, re-set breakers, I did a start/stop clean cycle, I swore a lot, I eventually walked away and left her sit for 5 hours giving the handle a tug any time I passed by on the off chance that she had cooled enough from her temperature tantrum to cooperate and unlock. Did I forget to mention that there was bacon stuck in there all this time? Late in the afternoon I did a last ditch start/stop on a clean cycle and after 60 tense seconds and a bunch of clunking noises, MABEL UNLOCKED!!!! And the bacon was fine-ish. Fine enough to stress eat. Five hours later.  Phew.

I currently have a chicken roasting in the oven at 425 and while writing this I’ve had to get up over six times to press ‘Start’ and appease the delightful Miz Mabel. I even threw in a turn it off then back on for good measure. That seems to be working for the time being.

Why not just get a new oven? Because I am annoying. I love having a 40″ range, and I don’t want to spend a couple grand (or more) on an oven that’s the same size (which theoretically exist but no dealers in my area have them…) and I really don’t want to get a smaller size. Can’t go back, won’t go back. Also I would have an annoying gap between the stove and the counter. That would seriously, majorly bother me. Having an oven with character also gives me something to focus on other than “all this craziness happening in the world” as Eva says. We’re still doing a lot of cooking. A lot of baking (quadruple batch of banana bread the other day, actually). But I’ve just been too tired to write it all up. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

GOD DAMMIT MABEL, I’M COMING. The oven calls, bye folks.

1 comment

  1. Mabel the magnificent beast gives me fits. We know she is not original to the kitchen but based on the ceramic tile behind her the original stove was also that size. Good grief. Come on GE. Someone somewhere has a dusty box on a shelf with a replacement control board that will solve all these troubles. Until then resourceful one, keep smiling!

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