Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This is the Stuff

This has been a pukey week.  First Jude had the bug while we were on our roadtrip, and now John has some nasty thing.  The man is laid out in bed, looking pretty pasty, and hasn't eaten in 24 hours.  I mention food and he has to run for the bathroom.

So it's natural that I might have urps on the brain, and was thinking "Wow, this soup really does look like puke" as I put away last night's dinner.  (Very yummy soup, I might add, which both kids ate.  Seconds for Jude!)  I usually store leftover soup in gallon ziplock bags, so I can store them flat (for easier thawing) in the downstairs freezer.  Last night was no different, as I poured the quart and a half of leftover soup in the bag and turned to put the pot in the sink.

Except as I turned to put the pot in the sink, the bag leaned to the side and a pint of partially pureed white bean and carrot soup poured out, gushing into every crevice of my stove.

Funny, I had just been thinking before (and after) our roadtrip that the stove needed a good cleaning.  The inside window was so covered with ick that I could barely see thru with the light on.  Well, last night it got that cleaning.

All I could do was laugh.  If anyone had been watching, they would have wondered what the crazy lady was up to . . . it was 9:15 at night, and I was trying to head to bed so I could get plenty of sleep before another day of taking care of three sickies.  Earlier in the day Sophia had carefully placed all the alphabet magnets on the stove.  I not only had soup down the front of the stove, pouring all over the inside of the glass, inside the oven, spattered four feet out on the floor, and pooling in the drawer under the stove, but also all over F G H I J K L M N O.

I wasn't sure where so start, but finally plucked the bean goo filled letters off the stove and tossed them in the sink.  Thank goodness I had a half-full roll of paper towels under the sink, which I used for broad strokes, cleaning up the giant pool of soup from the floor.  After that I fell to dismantling the stove.

The drawer came out easily, unfortunately dragging thru bean goo on the way out.  Clean the bottom, clean the inside, put it aside.

Now to take apart the door.

A little MacGyver was required here.  I didn't feel like going ALL the way down to the basement for a screwdriver, so it was fortunate for me that John keeps his Leatherman in the kitchen junk drawer.  The screwdriver bit handily unscrewed the handle from the oven door, and the door fell apart.  I did catch the front of the door before it could hit the floor, so no broken glass in the goo.

I never realized before how many layers there are to an oven door.  But now I know it is somewhere in the realm of 17.  Each time I would get one layer of metal or glass cleaned and think I was done, I would start putting it back together only to realize that there was another drip inside some bit or other, and have to take it apart and clean more.

At last all of the soup goo was cleaned up, and I screwed the handle back on.  This was a ten minute project that involved all my limbs, as the layers of the door all wanted to pop apart with the least provocation.  I finally got the handle back on by holding the front of the door with my right knee, inside of the door with my right elbow, handle with my left hand and knee at various points, and the Leatherman with my right hand . . . . ridiculous.

As soon as the cleanup was done, I realized that I was not going to bed yet.  Because the soup was gone, but the inside window still had the last four years of cooking grime baked firmly in place, and I just couldn't leave it.

You know what doesn't work on the inside window?  Barkeepers Friend and a green scrubbie with lots of elbow grease.  Know what else doesn't work?  Baking soda and vinegar.  I thought maybe I could middle-school volcano the grime off, but no go.  I was at my wits end when I finally thought to try a small metal spatula.  Success!  Lots of elbow grease, leftover Barkeepers Friend and baking soda and vinegar, and a metal spatula does the trick.  Inch by inch I scraped off the years of spatter.  I hope my oven doesn't explode from all the chemicals next time I turn it on, because I followed all that up with an "all-natural" glass cleaner . . . couldn't have streaks after all that work!

Of course when I had finally finished all of that cleaning (an hour later), I realized I was out of stainless steel cleaner.  So the outside of the stove was just not going to look as nice as the inside.  Oy.  I briefly considered the "This Old House" suggestion of using mayo as a polish, but decided I just couldn't do it.  Seems to be in the realm of using ketchup as spaghetti sauce to me.

In need of creamer to make our Walmart coffee palatable, I headed out into the "snowstorm" this morning.  Perfect timing, actually, because the roads were perfectly clear but the weather channel had scared everyone into staying home so I had the store to myself.  Creamer, check.  Stainless steel cleaner, check.

Ignoring Jude clinging to my leg when I got home, I grabbed a rag and polished away.  Voila!  Our stove looks as good as the day we moved in . . . probably better, actually.  I am going to enjoy the cleanliness for the next 30 seconds before Sophia and Jude go back to mashing their faces on the glass to see inside and putting drooled on alphabet magnets all over it.

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