When we had the gas company come out to turn on our gas, the guy came inside to inspect the gas oven/stove. He informed me that two of the burners had broken igniters. He also commented that the stove/oven was very old and I should think about replacing it.
I did think about replacing it. I thought about it a lot. After the gas guy left, I did two things: One, I put a lighter by the stove so I could manually light the burners (works great!) and two, I called the home warranty company to see if out oven/stove was under warranty. It was! So we payed the fifty-five dollars to have a repairman come look at it.
While we waited, I discovered that the oven never reaches the programmed temperature. It also makes the house smell very strongly of gas when we turn on the oven, and anything we cook it the oven, tastes like gas. This made the safety of the oven highly suspect and I decided to exclusively use my small, counter-top, electric toaster-oven. It bakes, it toasts, it broils, it even turns off after the timer dings (meaning I can leave the house while something is cooking). I can't bake a whole loaf of bread, but I can bake mini ones. I can't fit in a whole cookie sheet, but I can do several batches. It works out just fine.
The oven repairman discovered: One, the stove/oven is filthy. Two: the oven is broken. Three, two of the burners had broken igniters. Four, the stove is so old and rusted that in order to repair anything, the whole stove has to be replaced. Five: mice has chewed through several of the wires. He recommended I get a new stove/oven. I told him I agreed and he should make sure he passes that recommendation along to the warranty company.
While I waited for an answer, I continued to cook on my stove by manually lighting the burners, and bake in my little toaster oven.
The answer was no. One tiny bite mark one any wire automatically disqualifies the entire stove/oven from warranty.
So I decided to finally clean my stove/oven. It took several hours, and some scratches and stains couldn't be fixed, but it looks much, much better. I got used to the idea that my stove/oven has personality, if not functionality. I decided I would replace my stove/oven, it would just take a few years.
A few days ago I decided to call up the repairman and ask how much he would charge to come out and fix just the stove part. He nearly had a heart attack: "WHAT?! You are still using that death trap? It's dangerous! It CANNOT be repaired! Don't you realize that every time you manually light the stove you are playing with your LIFE? IT COULD EXPLODE! You are lucky it hasn't already exploded! It will explode your kitchen! It will explode your house! It will explode YOU! You cannot ever, EVER use it again!
Oh. Good to know.
But I cook. A lot. And even though I enjoy cooking, I don't really enjoy gambling with my life every time I cook. Although I can see the draw: EXTREME COOKING: Feel the heat. I could start my own reality cooking show. Learn new techniques, get new recipes and watch the contestants explode! Last cook not-on-fire wins!
We can't afford to buy a new stove/oven right now (or anytime soon) but I can't NOT use a stove (maybe now is a good time to go RAW? Is the universe trying to force me into a new life choice?) Thankfully, my mom had it covered. She shipped me a "Space Saving Buffet Warming Electric Double Burner" which is basically two stove burners that you but on your counter and they act just like a stove.
So now I have an electric counter-top stove, and an electric counter-top oven. It's a good thing my new kitchen has plenty of counter space.