Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vesta Beauty

October 2007

Hello from the mountains! Despite a drought-ridden summer and a late and less colorful fall, the ridges around here are still pulling my heart every time I walk out the door. These days B. and I get home from work and school and we walk right back out the door into the falling leaves and the sweet autumn air. The sudden seasonal shift reminds me how lucky we are to be here as I peer out the kitchen window and see the first mountain ridge shimmering visible through the spaces in our yard that during the summer were filled with leafy branches.

Busy around our place these days – lovely visitors that lately come wielding drill bits and tape measurers as various combinations of parental units come to help with The House. This weekend it was mine that arrived, three of them tucked into the cab of a delivery truck filled with a variety of goodies from a gorgeous vintage lamp my mother brought me to an even more stunning vintage gas stove. At this point I have baked and cooked on an electric stove for over a decade, including a four-year stint on an “economy model” that basically meant it was the size of a place mat. I’d dare say that I’ve even gotten good at it; quick to parse the hot spots in an oven, practiced at finding the ideal setting for a pan of rice or a skillet full of onions. But we all know there is nothing like a gas stove to a foodie girl like myself, and despite my experience I've definitely suffered my fair share of Electric Oven Mishaps.

Enter my family, a delivery truck, and a 1944 Vesta stove that my mother has been adamantly storing in her basement for the last 16 years. Suffice to say that our meal Friday night was baked in our old electric eyesore, and our soup Saturday night was warmed on the mesmerizing blue flame of our new kitchen rockstar.

Let me first introduce the beast that is now in our garage:

Next, the crew: my mum, my fake-dad, and my genius uncle. My mother spent the better part of Saturday detailing the stove. I mean, this stove is probably cleaner than it was when it rolled off the factory floor; when my mother goes for a project like this it will be done to a level of perfection that will pretty much stun you, and this was no exception – what was already a handsome looking stove on Saturday morning was a gleaming gem (inside and out mind you) of a looker on Saturday evening. The boys, my Uncle Patrick and step-dad John, made up the removal, planning, and installation team. When I arrived home from work Saturday afternoon (how lame is having to work when your family is in town?) Johnny was making the second of what turned out to be only two (!) Lowe’s runs, and Patrick was in the basement surrounded by an alluring array of nipples, unions, pipe dope, teflon tape, a variety of big wrenches, and who knows what else. Watching my uncle work I was really overwhelmed at how neat it is to know people who know how to Fix Things and Make Things Work. Plus, Patrick is a really, really great explainer of things and I got to handle a few pipes myself. Anyway, suffice to say that the job went off perfectly and B. and I are so ridiculously excited about our new stove that you’d think we grew it in the garden or something. We were all pretty floored at how well it works after the long retirement it just completed – you should see how low you can get these burners before they go out. Anyway, here are some photos from the fun:

What all the fuss is about:

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