Wednesday, August 24, 2011

sympathy shakes and how to clean your oven

Yesterday our car broke down and I felt my first earthquake. 

Today my goal was for things to be a bit less... eventful. 

But before I move past the events of yesterday, I must tell you that I was talking to Natalie on the phone when the earthquake hit.  She said, "Our house is shaking.... what should I do when the house is shaking?"  After a few seconds of brainstorming the safest place in her house to go, I walked into my own living room and felt the floor shake and heard the walls creak.  And I thought to myself- "we have reached a new level of closeness- I'm having sympathy shakes." 

Natalie and I have a serious connection, much like twins that don't look alike, and it is not uncommon for one of us to feel something just because the other is feeling it.  But in this particular case, we were both feeling the same earthquake, which made the distance between us seem a lot smaller. 

Today I am doing regular things, like sewing.  I finished up a few orders and started cutting and assembling fall projects from my new fabric. 

I made a scarf, or three.  Then I imagined it being cool enough to actually wear a scarf.  These days, I'm dreaming all the time of fall.  It's my favorite season. 

I had both machines going all day long.  I'm thinking of getting an embroidery machine, but my biggest concern is where I'd put it.  The sewing table is rather crowded as is. 

Did you think I'd forgotten about the oven?  No, pumpkin, no. 

I consider myself a pretty good housekeeper, overall.  But I almost never clean the oven.  Probably not even yearly.  Instead, I just try really hard not to drip anything or to wipe up spills as they happen. 

But this week I decided that it was time.  I came to this conclusion after setting off the fire alarm while making dinner.  Twice. 

The last time I cleaned the oven (2008?  2009?), I used a standard oven cleaning spray foam and I can still remember the fumes.  And how our food tasted like orange scented chemicals for a week.  Ick. 

This time, I used baking soda and water and it was amazing.  As baking soda always is.  I took out the racks and scrubbed them with a baking soda/water paste and a green scrubber.  While I was doing this, I heated the oven to 250.  Then I made the paste a little runnier and poured it all over the bottom of the oven (I turned the oven off at this point).  Once I finished cleaning the racks, I used a sponge and wiped out the oven, scrubbing a little when needed. 

The whole process took less than an hour, including clean up.  Oven cleaning is one of those jobs that seems to daunting and huge to me.  I felt a bit ridiculous that it took so little time. 

Let's talk recipes later in the week, shall we?  We've got company coming this weekend and I'm already thinking up treats to make.  In my clean oven. 

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