Too weird to figure out….
When I moved into this beautiful new home, one of the first things I tried to do was bake some caramel rolls.
I wanted to give some to the landlord and some to the new neighbors I had met – I was so grateful for both of them.
I’m damn good at baking caramel rolls! I *know* how to bake these.
So here’s the proof: the beautiful things as they were being put into the oven:
Now c’mon… aren’t they Beeeeeeeauuuuuuutiful?!?!??!
Well.. they *were*. The oven ruined them. They didn’t finish baking on time… and by the time the edges browned a bit, the middles fell into being a gooey, nasty, doughy mess. OMG.. I was so pissed.
I called the landlord and told her I had great intentions, but the rolls I had intended to give her were just ruined beyond belief. I told her I’d take a shot at trying to figure out this oven – but I had no idea why the rolls didn’t turn out OK. I was soooooo bummed.
A week or two later (again, I was moving – most kitchen things hadn’t been unboxed yet) … anyway.. I found the oven thermometer I had used in the old place. (I don’t trust ovens… these are good things to own)
Once I put the thermometer in the oven, all confusion was lifted. The damn oven would heat up to 400 degrees … (slowly, but that’s ok) … but then I learned that it would drop to 275-300 or so before heating back up (slowly) to 400 again. The dang thing wasn’t holding a consistent temperature. That’s why the rolls got ruined.
A Costco lasagna or a frozen pizza could survive being heated in this oven.. but FORGET trying to bake breads, muffins or cookies… aaaaargh.
So I finally got around to having our local gas company’s service tech come out. The landlord has a service plan that is kind of a warranty to cover these kind of repairs… so it shouldn’t cost her, or me, a thing.
He came, he saw, he figured out what was wrong… and then reported that the oven was so old that the parts were no longer available to fix it. A new oven was needed. BUMMER!
The landlord was upset… I don’t blame her. These damn built in ovens are about $1,000. I told her that it wasn’t anything to stress over… I’d be happy getting anything that looked presentable – so maybe an open box from Home Depot or Lowe’s… or even something off of Craigslist. No emergency here…
Well, yesterday the landlord’s son-in-law came with a new replacement oven. YAY!
But here’s the weird, weird thing….
He pulled out the old oven. There was some sawdusty-like crap in the opening (expected) so I asked him if he wanted a vacuum to get that cleaned up before putting the new oven in the space.
He had a weird look on his face and said… (as he had his hand down a hole in the base of the cabinet space) … “yeah… but do you have a shop vac?”
I said “Why? Is there something dead back down there?”
He responded: “No, I don’t think so… but it’s weird.. there is dog food down here… lots of it” – as he pulled a handful out to show me.
So while I went out to the garage to get my shop vac, he pulled the floor of the cabinet off (which is about 3-4″ above the floor).
After removing the board, the space under it was FULL of dog food. Seriously… he used my dustpan to scrape up about 20 pounds of the stuff. Look at this!!!! …..
There were no mouse turdlets in there… nor have I heard any noises nor seen any other mousie droppings in the house.
I guess the last tenant was a real jackass according to this dude… and he thinks this last tenant pulled the oven out, dumped that food down in that space, and then put the oven back in – possibly to draw vermin into the house. (Gotta wonder what else he may have sabotaged in this place, huh?!?!?) …. anyway… There was a weird puncture (not big enough for a mouse to easily haul in 20 pounds of food through!) in the drywall between the kitchen and dining room. So not really an access for a typical mouse as it wasn’t an exterior wall.
At least I got a nice new oven.