My stove/oven is a small table-top number with 2 burners and a tiny easy-bake-type oven. Today at work I was inspired (via messaging) by one of my fellow PCVs to try a Mac ‘n Cheese recipe from the Peace Corps Jadi, Jadi! (Eat, Eat!) cookbook. On the left burner was my pot of boiling pasta, on the right burner was my saucepan with milk, flour and melting cheese that I was constantly stirring so as to thicken–not scorch. In the oven (on 50C or 130F) was a chicken breast that I had forgotten to defrost and was trying to play ‘catch up’ with so I could cook it and add it to the Mac ‘n Cheese. I had just torn up some fresh spinach leaves to drop into the cheese sauce (I always have to change recipes) when I saw a blue flash dart out of the back of my easy-bake oven accompanied by a rather loud ‘pop’. NOT GOOD!!!. I immediately turned off the burners and oven, but was obviously toooooo late!. Fortunately electric burners do not immediately lose their heat and my pasta continued to cook, cheese continued to melt, and spinach successfully wilted. I poured the sauce over the drained pasta, mixed it and ate without baking it in the oven with the intended chicken pieces and garlic crouton crust….oh well, it was hot, and I was hungry.
Just as I was looking for ‘broken’ on google translate and debating whether to call my landlady tonight or wait until tomorrow, the doorbell rang! Talk about good timing! She was here to fix my coat rack that keeps falling out of the wall in my front entrance and it made it so much easier to SHOW her what happened than to try to TELL her. (I can beat you all at ‘Charades’ by now!) She was soon on the phone and within half an hour a repair guy was here. It took him an hour or so to re-wire the thing and I was eventually able to cook my chicken breast.
Before he left, he communicated that I should probably NOT have both burners AND the oven on at the same time……. Who KNEW???? Now from an American perspective, one would say, “Why manufacture something that you can’t use for the designed purpose?” From a Macedonian point of view…….well, I’m not really sure other than they seem to be able to make things last and repair things better than anywhere I’ve ever experienced! I only know that if I want to be able to cook without future interruption, I should try not to burn up the oven, start a fire, electrocute myself or otherwise challenge the electrical capability of my easy-bake!
On another note…….tomorrow is Macedonian Christmas Eve. There is apparently a huge bonfire in the center of town at 4:00 after which I am invited to my counterpart’s home for the evening with her family and friends: NICE! So dear family and friends…Merry Macedonian Christmas.