For my inaugural post (or several postings) I want to share with you my jubilation at finally owning and cooking with professional-grade appliances. Millions of us New Yorkers love food, many of us love to cook, but most forgo the hassle of cooking because we live in apartments the size of other American abode's closets and with more than 8,000 restaurants in the borough of Manhattan alone, we notoriously order take out food.
I've been cooking since childhood and passionately love it. But, after many years with a "toy" oven and stove top -- think a white Easy Bake Oven -- I have moved to a fabulous new apartment and for the first time ever, am cooking with professional-grade appliances. I'm positively giddy and even the most mundane things are a new thrill for me.
First, here's the stove I had before THE BIG MOVE.
Appallingly small but believe it or not I could churn out Thanksgiving dinners with the best of them and served many three or four course meals. I never fully appreciated my own creativity and struggle for perfection, however, with the old stove on which I couldn't fit more than two pans concurrently with ease and how I got very adept at the rotating and swirling methods to attempt even heating of the food I prepared. My old stove had two settings for the gas burners: ultra-boiling and barely on. There was absolutely no sense of gradation, even of settings as basic as simmer, low, medium-low, medium-high, high... it was just turn it on and manipulate the pans by lifting, tilting, rotating, swapping and dancing them into a dish. The handles on my pans used to hit the wall and push the food off the flame, which bugged me at first but then became a good substitute for medium-high.
My new apartment is gorgeous, and what's more, my husband and I OWN it, so of course, the kitchen was a major factor in our purchase decision. In a word, my new kitchen is breathtaking. I'm feeling like an actress these days who wants to blather on with thankfulness and gushing but instead of starting with "I'd like to thank the Academy..." my tearful yet joy-soaked speech starts with "I'd like to thank the beautiful and talented engineers and designers at Bosch..."
So, in the grand style of transformation, you've seen the old stove of my culinary adventures, here's a look at my new beauty.
Indeed, an oven, cooktop and hood all from Bosch, which are gorgeous, spacious, fully controllable, and wonderful to regulate. I can dial-up the temperature or flames with the fine-tuned dexterity of a pointillist and can EXTRACT the extra steam or vapors as I merrily concoct my meal. In the old place, we also had absolutely no ventilation or extraction mechanism. Of course, in good NYC apartment style, we had an ultra-sensitive fire alarm. It would start screeching and beeping the moment I laid a piece of food in a pan, and in the case of my grill pan, the moment I began heating a seasoned pan in preparation to cook. It's simply stunning that I can bake, cook, steam, braise, saute, sear, do damned near anything with these appliances, and the extraction fan whisks it all away in a tone and manner of my choosing... (1 for silent, 2 for audible and 3 for loud).
The flame from the gas cooktop truly is fascinating, I turn them on and off several times just to look at the beautiful uniformity of the flame coming out and admire its blue-to-orange tinge that is dialed up or down like a dimmer switch on a light... it's a thing of pure beauty. I'm going to go play with it now.