of mine invited me to his house the other day. It was a casual
get together. Cup of coffee kind of event.
was planned on the fly two or three days earlier, and planned
isn’t really the best of descriptions. Basically, we hadn’t caught
up to really talk in a bit, he and his wife had ordered some new
kitchen appliances, and he claimed to have something he thought
was funny that he wanted to show me.
the risk of spoiling the end, the excitement involved his new
off-the-path note: Who the heck calls it a range in real life?
No one, right? Not a single person on the planet refers to the
appliance in the kitchen that cooks things as a range. I am convinced
this is true.
Yes. Announcers on game shows? Seen that. Home improvement web
sites? Again, there it is. Range does get used. But it’s hardly
a true part of our vocabulary.
fact, conduct a survey and offer: Name the appliance in your kitchen
that cooks things. I’d bet more people will use the word dishwasher
than will use the word range. (And yes, not a typo, they’ll say
dishwasher while doing something silly like wrapping a piece of
fish and some lemon in aluminum foil to try out a crazy idea they
for all of us, and again, I mean each and every person that uses
the English language, they are stoves and ovens and even cooktops.
Yes, yes, there are different things to consider. Electric and
gas models. Separate pieces when the heating elements are placed
in countertops and ovens in the wall. Still…
cannot think of one time, ever, in my life when someone was discussing
a kitchen and called it the range. Of course, someone has. Kind
of impossible to even consider that it hasn’t happened. But I
don’t remember it.
friends with new appliances… husband had something to show me
and laugh about involving his new stove.
walked across the kitchen and he opened the oven’s door. He pointed
inside, chuckled, and asked me to look.
enough, there it was, a third shelf.
ok… yes, a third shelf… that part doesn’t seem so special. For
the special and funny part, you needed the owner’s manual that
was delivered as well. Because in there…
part’s list. Not a part’s list in any traditional sense. More
of a checklist, and one where the manufacturer could direct your
attention if they needed to claim it was clearly stated someplace
that the unit did not come with a power cord. Just so happens
that same list also noted it came with three shelves for the oven.
read-me-first section. You know the areas, which you should always
take a few minutes to look over before playing with any of the
switches on your new kitchen range. In this case, the bulleted
points mentioned not to operate the oven with three shelves in
yeah. Brief pause at this point while you catch up to us, and
consider a manual that says (I’d normally say my words at this
point as a bit of a disclaimer, but the heck with it, let’s have
a bit of fun and pretend I’m quoting my friend): “This range comes
with three shelves for your oven. Never use more than two.”
spent more time than I care to admit doing research on this third
rack dilemma. Began on our phones, moved to an iPad, and then
finally we headed off to his office and fired up the computer.
found lots of references that talked about the oven and cooking
zones. Which in turn you should understand means the search string
picked up on the word third, and we would stumble on a fair amount
of information explaining how to cook in the bottom third of the
oven but nothing about a third shelf.
came across several places that discussed cooking in an oven on
multiple shelves. These always referred with how to position two
shelves though, and never mentioned a third shelf.
learned some lovely information about positioning things like
pizza stones. (This was the one that triggered our biggest run
of tangent searches. We decided to find out more about not placing
on the very bottom, learn about cracked stones, how to care for
them, and… ok… never mind, back to the third rack.)
we even decided to apply some narrowing and focus to the operation,
and began looking for information about his specific manufacturer
and range model. We were stunned when time and again, big name
store after big name store, the range was available but the number
of shelves in the oven wouldn’t be listed (and if they were, it
was noted as two).
of fun research. No third rack. And then the owner’s manual on
the kitchen table, there it is… three racks shipped, don’t use
thing, this third rack. We decided it was easy enough to take
it out and store it. Maybe down the road it could be of use. Maybe.
Trick is, we simply couldn’t come up with a good comparison to
to that dishwasher. (You didn’t think I mentioned a dishwasher
earlier only as a joke about cooking fish, did you? Because, sure,
I would do something exactly like that. But I didn’t this time.)
had bought a couple of other appliances along with their new three-shelf
stove. One of those was a dishwasher. Came with some attachments
of sorts for the inside. Two of them were plastic pieces you could
use on the top racks in order to better support wine glasses.
Since they never placed wine glasses in the dishwasher, these
were pieces they didn’t need.
like to think we can agree, however, that adaptors and alternatives
you may never use are not the same as extra pieces you are told
to never use.
been giving it extra thought for about a week now. Nothing. He’s
been considering using it with the fire pit in the yard as a grilling
surface, which seems to be the best idea so far that doesn’t involve
putting in a place he’ll never remember if the day arrives where
he does need it. But we’ll stay at it, just in case.