We greeted the arrival of our Samsung NX58F5700WS freestanding gas range and convection oven with the fanfare appropriate of a visiting international dignitary. That didn’t happen when other appliances made their way into the house–not the refrigerator and certainly not new washing machine. They didn’t get a fraction of the attention and for good reason. For food people, a stove not only serves the utilitarian function of adding heat or flame to things that we will eat, it serves as a portal to a magical land of what could be.
In the reflection of the stainless steel, I flash-forwarded to Thanksgiving meals lovingly prepared in the not-too-distant future: a giant roasted turkey worthy of a Rockwell painting, mountains of two kinds of stuffing, and mashed potatoes that would make my wife and son embrace each other as they cried with delight. Soon after, many assorted Italian Christmas cookies would come out in piles to celebrate the birth of Jesus by way of gluttony. A few months later, a garlic-studded leg of lamb, roasted to perfection, would bookend a meal with an Easter Pie. In between all of those holidays, freshly baked cakes, pies and dessert bars would welcome my boy home from school, and rustic loaves of bread would be a daily occurrence.
Its predecessor, the generations old Magic Chef stove was functional with two and a half of the four burners working. However, its oven door broke off after daily use since the Nixon administration; we quickly forgot it before the deliverymen left the driveway. It came with our house when we moved in over a decade before. It was on its last legs then but we kept it because my wife and I had plans for a glorious kitchen remodel that would happen once we settled in. It made sense to wait and buy all new appliances all at once. Life and finances got in the way, and the remodel still hasn’t happened. A while back, the dilapidated refrigerator broke, and we replaced it. Not with the Sub-zero that was the stuff of my fantasies, but it’s a nice LG, and it gets the job done. But like Fantine in Les Misérables, I whist fully dream a dream of what life could be like in my fancy new kitchen.
It would be a bright and sunny room with lots of granite counter space and a center island. A rainbow might even be perpetually present over the pots of fresh basil, rosemary, and chives. It would be well organized too. Pots, pans, and Tupperware containers would be neatly arranged and would not cascade out in a cacophony like the contents of Dagwood Bumstead’s closet. The deep sink would be able to accommodate dishes in addition to the many canning, brining, and fermenting projects that would be done.
It’s more than just an appliance. With a new stove, comes the promise of new and exciting possibilities.
So too, this is a new blog and I am excited about creating this space for guys who love food. I am also excited about the Guys and Food podcast that is on the way. Stay tuned!