At last, after best part of three months I have a working oven again!!!!
It's not a new oven, it's not even a particularly pretty oven but it works - and it was free so really all other niggles can be ignored!
Now don't get me wrong, life without an oven was not unbearable. The slow cooker got a fair bit of use - pasta bakes and lasagna both worked well. I developed a new method of cooking pre-cooked frozen pies which involved defrosting in the microwave followed by grilling with the tray on bottom shelf of the oven and turning the pie over, like you would when grilling sausages, so that it cooked all the way through and didn't end up with a burnt top and a soggy bottom. It wasn't perfect but it worked. Skinny chips also grill ok. I even managed to do my favourite summer dish - Mediterranean 'roasted' veg under the grill!
But what I really missed was baking (although Wright's Ginger cake mix made in the bread machine was a revelation!) Cookies, muffins, sponge cakes and tray bakes. I have had to buy cake from the shops ** READY MADE **. It really is not the same.
And you don't get that lovely warm cakey smell wafting through the house when all you have to do is slice open a plastic wrapper...
So, the new (to us) cooker came from a flat refurb and would have been thrown away otherwise (Kirstie Allsopp would be so proud of us!) and was fitted by my FIL at the weekend. So now I can bake once more.
Which is good now summer is ending. There is a nip in the air in the evening and it's very nearly that time of year when custard replaces ice cream as the dessert accompaniment of choice. Custard and crumble. Custard and steamed pudding. Custard and fruit pie. Just custard (when I'm feeling lazy).
You may have noticed that Great British Bake Off is back with more inspiration and ideas than you can shake a silicon spatula at and those lovely people at Duerrs are celebrating with their very own YouTube series of yummy cakey, puddingy (if that's not a real word I want to know why!) recipes demonstrated by their master bakers Richard and Paul. Each episode showcases a British pud in neat 5minute slices. The first episode featured the classic Victoria Sandwich - the perfect summer cake. Their latest offering is definitely more comfort food - a little twist on an old classic - a delicious looking Marmalade Bread and Butter pudding.
Now I have an oven again I shall definitely be giving this one a go!