So the Grillevator has been acting funky lately. That’s what O&M calls their broiler. It has a lever you can move left and right that raises or lowers the shelf under the burner so you can get more or less charred flesh.
The oven and the broiler have a safety valve installed that shuts off the gas if something bad happens. The little solenoid pops and you get down on your hands and knees, open the bottom drawer, and push a little red button, which lets the gas flow again and you are cooking with gas, so to speak.
The safety valve kept popping and would not disengage. For the duck breasts the other night I sat on a stool with my thumb pressed on the button for eight minutes to get the skin crispy under the big blue flames.
So today I pulled the stove out, shut off the gas, and started taking shit apart. While I was as it I took off everything I could, the griddle and the stove top and the grease traps and wiped down and scrubbed and elbow greased the big white thang until she was glistening and gleaming. I stripped out the safety valve and took her apart and jiggled everything and knocked off corrosion and carefully put it all back together.
This beautiful stove is made like a Model T Ford. Every time it has acted up on me I’ve been able to open her up, stare at her a while, take something off, adjust something else, clean it up, put it back together, and damn if it hasn’t worked.
The stove may be the single best feature of the house, which is really saying something.
While I write this, the woman is singing to herself as smoke pours from her sewing machine. She is working it. The floor of the studio is covered with scraps of fabric.
Something is afoot.
How I got so absurdly lucky is a constant source of bafflement for me.