Helpful Hints from Heloise OR When Bad Ovens Make You Feel Better OR Why You Should Listen to Your Motherrrrrr!

Posted by on Dec 30, 2008 in Blog Posts | 4 comments

Remember a couple of posts back when I commented on some cake-baking fiascoes over the holidays? I went through utter torment for a week struggling to figure out where I went wrong in baking the tried and true pound cake….NINE TIMES!!!!!!! I’m getting mad all over again just typing about it! Let me tell you my flesh was showing during that week and I’m not talking about skin. I’m talking about attitude and language over the situation. I’ve confessed and repented and now you know I can say ugly things.

I called the White Lily Flour people to get some advice. The very young and baking-inexperienced woman on the other end told me it was the humidity and that I should only use Crisco spray (even though she admitted never making a pound cake). White Lily owns Crisco, by the way. Any self-respecting baker would not simply grease the pan for pound cake with an oil spray. No! This is a job for good old-fashioned shortening (yes, I used Crisco) and flour! I talked with my home ec teacher mentor, Sandra Burns, and we were both baffled and she commiserated with me. I think she understood the damage this was doing to my ego. I mentioned it to my mother. I should have listened to her. Her response was that it must be the oven thermostat. But then we decided against that because it was being a problem in both ovens. Surely the thermostats wouldn’t go bad in both at the same time!

Finally I called the appliance repairman Friday and he visited with me in my kitchen today. While here he shared all sorts of tips on appliance care and maintenance. By the time he left, I felt unworthy of owning any appliance and repented of all my lack of maintenance issues (on appliances and myself…)! I learned how to clean the dishwasher inside, not to use fabric softener (which I do not do often), how to clean my disposal, and why you should not let steam build up in your microwave, among other things.

Back to the story. The thermostat was bad, sure enough. BUT, that was not the main problem. In today’s technologically-savvy world, everything runs off a computer board. Mine behind the oven touch pad is going bad, hence the reason both ovens are not accurately gauging the temperature. Mine is 100 degrees off. My cheap oven thermometer from the grocery store is very accurate, I have discovered. Thanks to Santa for bringing it.

In his glowing and eloquent speech on good appliance habits to form, he politely told me to NEVER use the self-cleaning feature on the ovens again. The heat generated from that feature (900-1000 degrees) has cooked the computer board. TA DA!!! In a genuine effort to clean my oven twice a year, I have ruined an important feature…a touch pad computer board. Solution? Self-cleaning oven spray! If you have continuous cleaning ovens you may not use such spray due to damage to the finish.

And so, I feel better now. My baking skills are not the reason for my cake failures this season. The oven was the culprit.

Is it fixed now? No! Now I will learn more flexibility and patience as the necessary part will probably come from Japan and won’t be here until after the new year; two to four weeks after!

At least I can still cook. I just set the oven 100 degrees hotter than necessary and hope for the best.


  1. You are so cute…Thanks for brighthening my day…smile

  2. You’re a real trooper – 9 times! You have the patience of Job!un

  3. You’re a real trooper! 9 times, my goodness and I though Job had patience!

  4. This is only the first step in the computers’ plans for world domination. They are coming…with a vengeance. I’m afraid we will be helpless against their assault.

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