Friday, February 26, 2010

New Arrival and a GIVEAWAY!

We've talked about it for years, since we finally bought our own home. We knew it would happen eventually; it was just a question of timing.

Well, today was the day. Do you know already what we welcomed into our home?

Miss Chef was home for the delivery. We had to coordinate several professionals to assist with the big event. I wish I could have been there to help her, but, in the end, it was her baby.

Her big, bright, shining, stainless steel baby...

Yes, we have finally converted--to cooking with gas! Attentive readers have probably noticed that Miss Chef was creating her culinary wonders on an electric stove; you may even have wondered how such a fabulous professional chef could live that way. Well, the house came with most of the original appliances, which were still very serviceable, and having a new mortgage doesn't tend to free up a lot of extra cash.

However, you may also remember that the bottom element of that 20-year old white stove went out during the Thanksgiving Feast of 2009. We could have just plunked down $40 for a new element...but maybe the dramatic malfunction was a sign. After all, I had been working crazy hours at two jobs, which eventually translated into the long-dreamed-of disposable income. What better reward for all my hard work?

So now we have not just a gas range, but one with five burners and a convection oven. The fifth burner is a long center one with a cast-iron grill. Looking forward to some pancakes or French toast in the morning... And I've never cooked in a convection oven before, but from what Miss Chef tells me, it can make a huge difference in baking. Time to dig up her snickerdoodle recipe!

As for the old stove, it is currently sitting forlornly in the dark at the head of our driveway. But it will soon be taken away to a new home. When the appliance salesman told us the delivery men would remove our old stove and take it to the...DUMP...Miss Chef and I looked at each other and said a silent "uh-uh."

The next morning I posted an announcement on our local Freecycle group, and any minute now a perfect stranger is going to show up and give our old stove a second life. That's what I call a happy ending.


Flartus' First Giveaway!

Technically, this is my second giveaway, but I wasn't sure if those persimmon seeds were gonna work, so that first one was kinda lame. (Unless Alix ends up with a beautiful fruiting tree, in which case, oh my gosh, that was such an awesome giveaway!)


Anyway, here we are at the end of dreary February, having survived one miserable, cold, gray winter month after another. Many of us are still snow-shocked, and I'm beginning to count the sunny days as if I were back under Cleveland's cloudbank. So I figured it was time to bring somebody out there a little bit of cheer! It could be you receiving a (sort-of) surprise package sent to you from the heart of Flartopia!

To enter my First Fabulous Giveaway, simply write a comment to this post, answering the following two questions:

1) Which Flartopia (or My Two Sense) post have you enjoyed the most, or found the most memorable, and why?

2) What do you think the prize is!?

Entries must be postmarked submitted by midnight Thursday, March 4th. The winner will be randomly selected from all valid responses to #1. Feel free to enter multiple times, if you're so inclined.

And what about question #2? Well, if anyone happens to guess right, the first one is an automatic winner. I might just pop back here in day or two to add a hint, just for fun...


  1. Oh! Oh! Pick me! Pick me! (madly waving hand from the back of the class)

    It's snickerdoodles...fresh baked from your new oven! Right?!

  2. Sorry, Claire, it's not snickerdoodles. Good guess, though. Feel free to answer Question #1 to be entered in the drawing--and/or guess again!

  3. 1. Hard one. Your post about migrant workers has always stayed with me. Your tribute to your Holocaust surviving aunt, as well. I also love your visits to the Farmer's Market. And anything about Rosie and your passion for food. And I love getting hints about you and Miss Chef and just what you guys are like on any given day.

    2. Guess the prize... cookbooks? An assortment of goodies from Miss Chef and that GORGEOUS new arrival? (totally jealous- my old gas stove is a hard worker but a basic gas stove and oven. I long for an upgrade!) An autographed pic of your family- you, Miss Chef, and Rosie? Oh! A visit to my home by you and Miss Chef (and Rosie is welcome, too) and an amazing meal prepared for me and my family? All I know is... it better not be your OLD stove!

  4. No fears, Liz, the stove has already gone on to a better place.

    Now I'm just trying to figure out how many entries your first answer is worth... :)

  5. I'd have to agree - I was deeply moved by the post about your holocaust surviving aunt. But I enjoy all your posts, doncha know! :-) And as for the prize - well, I just hope it's something that can be posted to New Zealand!

  6. Yes....that's right, the 'dramatic malfunction' just had to be a sign...uh huh, yep. lol!

    Congrats on the new blingy stove. It's like functional jewelry for your kitchen. hehe!

    1) Yep. Definetly the post about your Auntie Eva touched me very much. But I also enjoyed Rosie's Kludge. She looked so dang cute in her homemade raincoat!

    2)A Rosie Raincoat?


  7. 1)I like the food and farmers market posts the best. The Thanksgiving 2009 post with all the food photo's was a good one.

    2) Canned jam?

  8. Alison--yes, it CAN be posted to NZ! I meant to explicitly open the contest to all, even flightless birds from south of the Equator!

    Lisa--lol; getting a garbage bag in the mail sounds like kind of a downer. Nope, that's not it!

    Joanna--another excellent guess. Unfortunately, the last jar of jam is almost gone. We almost had enough to make it a whole year!

  9. Flar, I'm not prone to jealousy, but that stove is over the top fabulous and I PINE for it. I so want to convert to gas. I dream of spider burners. I want. I want. You are so lucky and I am so happy for you.

    Can I be the stove's Godmother? That and only that will make me feel better for my own sorry glass top stove.

    Someday we may convert to gas. Was it expensive? The piping I mean?

  10. Wow, congratulations on the new beautiful stove! If I had that I might actually cook more. I bet Miss Chef couldn't wait to use it!

    I would love to enter your giveaway! How neat. Picking a favorite post is not easy though, I remember the one about the migrant workers because it really did change the way I looked at things and opened my eyes to something I had not even thought about before. I also love all the farmers market posts but I have to say my favorite post is the one with the tree log cakes. Buche-de-noel. I had to look it up because I couldn't remember the name of the post but I sure remember Miss Chef's beautiful work of art. I had never seen anything like that before and thought it was so neat. I also loved all your wonderful "artsy" photos in it as well!

    Remembering the wonderful, huge stack of interesting books you posted a picture of one time, I am going to guess the prize is a book?

  11. Alix--your jealousy makes our stove that much shinier. ☺ To answer your question, the gas co. wanted $750 to run a new line, but we found a plumber who did it for about $200 less.

    Jennifer--thanks for your gushy compliments on Miss Chef's bûche...I shared them with her. I'm afraid, however, that parting with one of her books is not in the cards for this contest!

  12. 1) Which Flartopia (or My Two Sense) post have you enjoyed the most, or found the most memorable, and why?

    Your trip to Chicago. But I'm kinda partial to actually visiting with you and Miss Chef.

    2) Cookies?

  13. Thanks Flar. When we built our house we hadn't intended to stay here beyond my kids graduating high school - so - we didn't put a lot of upgrades into the place. Now that real estate has done a loop-de-loop, we are reconsidering staying her in our home and are looking for ways to upgrade it for the longterm. A nice gas line for a stove and fireplace would make me very happy. I shall look into it and see what happens.

    So glad you and MC are enjoying your new stove. Well deserved!


  14. I am officially jealous of your fabulous new stove! WOW and congratulations!

    My fave post was about your Auntie Eva and your memories of the packages she sent you as a child.

    My guess for the giveaway would be something cooking related-- pots and pans or utensils???

    Can't wait to find out what it is.


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