Conquering the Oven!
13 September 2011 | Bradenton, Florida
Yesterday I underwent the task of attempting to figure out my oven. This may seem like a pretty easy task, but... my oven is the original. It is burnt orange and VERY used. Pieces of it are broken off and what isn't... is well on it's way. It is propane and due to it's age it is very finiky. It has a mind of it's own, and worse than a woman that doesn't want to cook! If you do not take care and time with the stove, it will blow it's own fire out and suck back in the propane, fighting with me every step of the way.
Now, I have managed to crank out a few ordinary meals, but nothing fancy. My oldest, Kaleigh, is a baker. She is 13 years old and loves to bake about anything you can put into an oven. Besides the grill, the oven or crockpot are my favorite ways to cook also, so a nicely working oven is a must. It is no where near the digital one's I am used to, setting it to 375 degrees and trusting it to turn out a cake is a thing of the past.
I tried to cook ham as my first oven food. I figured, I like crispy ham, and truly it was fully cooked in the pakage to begin with, so If I burnt it... I'd eat it, and if it didn't cook all the way at least I wouldn't have made the whole family sick. When you turn on the oven, all you have to guide you is a thermometer (who know's how old it is!) and the height of the fire ring.... it took it a while to climb, but when I thought it was pre-heated, I tossed in my ham eagerly. After about half an hour, of course the cabin was pretty toasty, and... of course a branch got caught in the through hull for the air conditioner. This very neighborly branch didn't help things when the air went out right in the middle of oven testing! We were blessed that the previous owner had an exaust fan installed to ease with the heat and cooking fumes!! A must as far as I'm concerned! The temp continued to rise so I backed off on the fire a little. I probably really need a food thermometer to get accurate temps on the food, the very first piece turned out crispy, but the rest not so bad!
I love a gimbled stove, and am used to cooking on those while underway and at a pretty good heel, but cooking in the oven WHILE cooking on the stove top is a whole new acrobatic experience.... and we are docked at the moment! What am I going to do underway??? MUCH more practice and tips to come... This is a precise science here! :) I am uploading a pic of my very ancient oven, maybe my husband will find boat funds to upgrade if I keep burning the ham :)