It must be over a year since the essential plate warmer on my venerable and near-vintage cooker gave up the ghost. Of course, in this throw-away economy, getting a replacement part was impossible. What manufacturer expects wildly expensive kit to last longer than they can scramble the cash into their shareholders’ pockets?
The solution was the second-hand market burgeoning on social media – we common folk know how to trounce those profiteers. With the help of a trailer and a big strong helper, we became owners of a complete replacement oven. “As new” had been the seller’s catchword although thoroughly disguised by a decade or more of cooking detritus. You can imagine: the buyer beware principles were fully in mind and I tested the key replacement part before money changed hands and the massive double oven was hauled away.
Now the fitting: Checkatrade found the perfect expert with masses of experience, knowledge and even the odd additional spare part handy in his van. It took no time for the “new” but grubby warmer to be installed, replacement knobs fitted, the closure for one oven door adjusted and the oven’s ignition mechanisms working consistently again. I’d forgotten how fabulous it is to have a much loved and cared for piece of essential kitchen equipment functioning and, with some more buffing up, convincingly like new. It was hideously expensive in the first place but, with care and attention, has cost less than £100 a year for the last 22. Now it should last more than quarter of a century and would still beat the modern version, hands down.
Completion was courtesy of another nearly disappeared street sound: the ringing hand-bell of the scrap metal man. A dash to grab him and the cannibalised donor oven was en route to the great crusher in the sky. Recycling makes a lot of people very much happier.
The next on-line cooking demo is at 1030 Monday 9 May.
I’ll be making classic lemon curd plus the simplest no-churn ice-cream which hardly merits this brief recipe:
200ml double cream.
200ml condensed milk.
flavouring of your choice.
Whip the ingredients together, flavouring to taste and freeze.
As to flavourings, I’m trialling two handfuls of raisins soaked in dark rum for a week. I’ll drain off any excess rum as alcohol changes the freezing temperature and so the set of the ice-cream. Then just stir the raisins into the cream/milk mix, freeze and enjoy.
Interview with British Forces Broadcasting Service: