Free-Range Paleo

Broken Range

That, my friends, is the saddest thing in the world for a food blogger: a defunct range.

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, this happened because last night I got a wild hair in my eye and decided I should clean the oven. Conveniently, or so I thought, our range has a self-cleaning setting. So after roasting chicken and potatoes for last night’s dinner, I cranked the dial over to “clean” and let ‘er rip.

All seemed to go well, right up until the lights started flashing and the stove started beeping and would. not. stop. Nor would the oven door unlatch. We had to turn the stove off at the breaker in order to get some sleep. While our quick Internet research said that this is a pretty common problem with self-cleaning ovens — apparently they get too hot and some plastic bit or other melts — so we might need to replace a part, a few posts we found indicated that sometimes the range might just need a hard reset (e.g., turning it off at the breaker).

Unfortunately, that door proved just as stuck in the morning and the beeping has continued. We have ordered a part that we think will fix it; otherwise we may be investing in a new range sooner rather than later. (Frankly, I’m torn: my inner cheapskate would be happy to fix it; my inner cook is dreaming of switching from electric to gas. I grew up using a gas stove and much prefer it.)

In the meanwhile, how are we staying Paleo? Salads, of course, are the easiest things; this breakdown is giving me a chance to compose very pretty plates, and cold roast chicken is still darned tasty.

We still have the microwave, so can re-heat some things like the leftover roasted potatoes — and can even use it to cook sweet potatoes or a smaller squash. I’ve also got the water oven, thanks to Sous Vide Supreme, and can make hard boiled eggs, among other things, in that. The slow cooker is still available as well, so my favorite crockpot soups/meats are manageable, too.

Finally, we have some things in cans that we can eat straight out of the tin: canned olives, salmon, and the like are great additions to cold salads. Between these things, plus fruit that we can eat out of hand, and the occasional smoothie/parfait, we might not even miss the stove that much.

If you can think of anything else to help manage a range-free lifestyle, do drop a line in the comments.

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