Local Heart, Global Soul

June 28, 2013

My 18 Year Old is Finally Leaving Home, (And We Aren’t Talking About Kids…!!!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You can tell I’ve had food on my mind in recent weeks…  not just in my cooking lessons mind you, also in my own kitchen. Here’s why…

My oven is 18 years old.

As is typical in the Netherlands we recieved money from various friends and family as wedding presents and since we had saved to pay for our own small, tightly budgeted wedding,  had just bought a house together and were broke and almost furnitureless, we bought a small freezer, oven and some large bookshelves with the contents of the gift envelopes we received.

Both the freezer and the oven are still functioning… (the freezer is fine) but knowing the tend of today’s planned obsolescence in appliances I know it can’t last forever.

When we bought this oven we opted for what we could stretch to with the funds we had, therefore we got  the most basic and cheapest model on the market at the time and I settled for a smaller oven than I really dreamed about having.  I only realised how small it really was when I started using it, and also when I bought some standard baking trays for biscuits (cookies) back from a trip to the USA and when I put them into my oven they mocked me by sticking out way past the door which could never close on them, rendering them useless.

Any Foodie will know that using a 60 centimeter (23.5 inch) oven, that allows only two dishes in it at a time with no fan assist, baking only one tray of biscuits (cookies) at a time in the centre of the oven makes for considerable extra time needed and additional  frustration, also especially when trying to cook in bulk for special events, for school fundraisers and for relaxed dinner parties.

It sat in the kitchen next to a gas heater that we used in winter but isn’t needed any more now that we have a new heating system installed.

My oven in recent years appears to have some erratic moments concerning temperature control every now and again and takes forever to get to temperature for baking. Ever since it passed it’s 15th year I had been hoping and expecting that it would soon be giving up the ghost but the little oven simply refuses to die, and three years on the frustration of trying to juggle cooking and heating hot dishes has been driving me to distraction.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On special family days like St. Nicolas it’s great to have the family round for buffet dinner but it’s not been so great only being able to fit  two dishes in the oven at one time, with one being directly under the top element getting burnt on the top and the other on the floor of the oven getting it’s butt singed.

We spent a lot of money rewiring the electrics, installing a heating system from scratch and general renovation costs in the last 18 months and wanting the savings account we started for “house stuff” to recover, I bit the bullet and shelved the idea of a new oven for the last 18 months.

Then a few months ago whilst at home on annual leave, I did some baking and bulk cooking and again the frustration of  only being able to use the centre of the oven to get things cooked properly rose up again.  This time as much as I hate to throw out anything that still functions, I decided that my old oven had to go. We aren’t going to just let it be condemned to the compactor though, we will give it away to someone who needs an oven, making it clear that it’s still operating but a little less than at 100% and for as long as it lasts. If it’s a freebie I think that should be an acceptable trade-off.

old oven 1o (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s government policy here in the Netherlands that the cost of disposing of white goods and furniture are incorporated into the cost of the new appliance/goods and so we paid it when we bought the oven.

When our old oven eventually dies, disposal for the new owner is as simple as making an appointment with the city council,  setting the oven on the street  on the appointed day to be collected and compacted.

Since here is no cost at the end of the life of your goods and no mess, this is a policy I’d love to see implemented in more countries.

Then came the magic moment I’d been waiting for all these years: delivery of a new 90 cm electric oven (35.5 inches), that’s fan assisted as well as convection, has  six gas pits on top and can take four deep casserole dishes or four trays of biscuits in one go… bliss!!! One of the  six gas pits is three times stronger than the usual flame and is especially for wok cooking… (next purchase will be a proper wok, as I love stir fries and they are starting to feature heavily in my healthy eating regime).

We had a 92 cm space in our tiny Dutch kitchen but by removing the gas heater we can just squeeze in the new oven next to the gas tap… perfect!

All I need to do now is to get to know and tame this beast of an appliance in my kitchen… I’ve never cooked with a fan oven possibility before so oven times for my old recipes will have to be mastered and adjusted but … hey this is going to finally be a pleasure instead of a frustration.

You can imagine me at the moment… I have a grin as wide as The Netherlands plastered on my face every single time I look at it. This oven is this Foodies dream come true. I’m looking forward to dishing up some delicious items together!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. Wow, that is a very interesting policy you have there and I agree, it would be nice if it were implemented in more countries! The new oven is a beauty, congrats!

    Comment by Sinfully Tempting — June 28, 2013 @ 1:07 am | Reply

    • Sinfully Tempting,
      It’s brilliant logic in it’s simplicity: if the person buying the product from new has also paid for it’s disposal then it’s done and dusted from the beginning and there’s no hassle later. It probably helps the second-hand market too since the buyer knows there’s no extra cost when the appliance finally dies.

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  2. Yay 🙂 Congrats on the new baby! I think my indoor one is only the size as your old one and I hardly ever use it…

    Comment by Imported Kiwi — June 28, 2013 @ 1:21 am | Reply

    • Imported Kiwi,
      In spite of my new purchase I have to confess that I suffer from a disease known as Serious Oven Envy every single time I open up on of your recipe posts that involves Big Bill LOL! (What Foodie wouldn’t want a massive pizza oven in their garden???) and all the casseroles, bread and meats you do in it too… drool!

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  3. Congratulations!! She’s a beaut! I am supremely jealous as I’m living with a less-than-ideal oven at the moment, that while fully functional and “normal” size, is extremely basic and the knobs for the gas are incredibly difficult to turn to ‘low’ – if you turn too far, the flame goes out. Insanely frustrating, to say the least! I’m hoping I can replace it within the next few years…but money is tight right now, with having become a first-time homeowner less than a year ago!

    Comment by Carrie — June 28, 2013 @ 2:08 am | Reply

    • Carrie,
      Hang in there with old oven and drool over achieving your new home ownership instead! (a well worth investment! …we have never ever regretted buying property). When the time comes to replace your oven the new one will be all the sweeter for the wait 🙂 ( and I sooooo know what that feels like!)

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  4. Absolutely beautiful.

    Comment by grannyandthebaldguy — June 28, 2013 @ 3:16 am | Reply

    • Granny,
      A wonder to behold in my kitchen… I mean, seriously, who’d want to drool over a CAR when you have THIS ??????

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  5. Looks very promising…Happy cooking with your new oven 🙂

    Comment by Ronit Penso — June 28, 2013 @ 5:08 am | Reply

    • Ronit,
      Thank you! Once I get my recipes adjusted I can see a lot less stress when it comes to large family gatherings and the problem of multiple hot dishes needing so be delivered to the table at once 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:17 am | Reply

  6. Stunning – you deserve it, and I’m impressed with your sparkling kitchen. My oven is very basic, but now there’s only me and Rod at home I don’t do much baking

    Comment by kiwiskan — June 28, 2013 @ 6:39 am | Reply

    • Kiwiskan,
      The simple truth is my little Dutch kitchen is so tiny that every centimeter counts and dirt takes up valuable space LOL.
      Also if Himself and I are honest, oven cleaning is on our list of pet hates , so the only answer to that is to clean messes as soon as they happen so that it never got big enough to be a horrible job to be tackled. (since I have asthma and can’t use oven cleaner etc Himself knows it will fall to HIM to do the real dirty work so let’s say, he’s motivated to never let that happen!)

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  7. Pretty! Enjoy it.

    Comment by The Laughing Housewife — June 28, 2013 @ 9:44 am | Reply

    • Tilly,
      I fully intend to! We have to get to know each other first… fan oven cooking is a first for me, but it will be a pleasure to learn at least. 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:14 am | Reply

      • I got my first fan oven a couple of years ago. I love it.

        Comment by The Laughing Housewife — June 29, 2013 @ 9:35 am | Reply

        • Tilly,
          How much tweaking did you have to do with your recipes? Probably not big things so much like casseroles ….but biscuits or cakes?

          Comment by kiwidutch — June 29, 2013 @ 9:56 am | Reply

          • TBH, I don’t bake much, so I didn’t notice a difference – except that everything cooks much faster.

            Comment by The Laughing Housewife — June 29, 2013 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  8. I’m impressed by your government’s policy regarding disposal of massive metal things like ovens.

    “. . . much as I hate to throw out anything that still functions. . .” That’s exactly how I feel, and I’m glad somebody will use your old oven till it’s lived out its life.

    And may you have a wonderful time using the beautiful new one 🙂

    Comment by drshyamalavatsa — June 30, 2013 @ 7:40 am | Reply

    • Himself and I both detest the unnecessary throwing away of things that are still perfectly usable.
      Our dining room table is 18 years old (with us) and came to us second hand because Himself’s old boss was going to throw it away. It’s old dark wood that’s less fashionable these days but it has two extensions that made it go from a tiny 4 seater to a massive 10 seater (actually with the rounded corners we’ve squeezed in 12 on occasion) and it’s BRILLIANT for big family buffets and sit down dinners. I still love it to bits!

      Comment by kiwidutch — July 5, 2013 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

      • OMG, everything – furniture, kitchen appliances, even some of our favorite T shirts – are 18 years old, same age as our flat! The only youngish appliance is my mixie, which is 5 or 6 years old – YOU know how hard Indian cooking is on blenders! My teenage daughter says everything is ancient because my husband and I are a pair of pack rats! I would love to possess that dining table of yours, I understand exactly how you feel about it!

        Comment by drshyamalavatsa — July 6, 2013 @ 7:39 am | Reply

  9. […] My 18 Year Old is Finally Leaving Home, (And We Aren’t Talking About Kids…!!!). […]

    Pingback by My 18 Year Old is Finally Leaving Home, (And We Aren’t Talking About Kids…!!!) | drshyamalavatsa — June 30, 2013 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  10. Reblogged this on drshyamalavatsa and commented:
    The government of Netherlands has a policy that takes care of disposal of appliances that you no longer want. It is so simple that I wonder why we can’t have something similar; it might help deal with the garbage problem.

    Comment by drshyamalavatsa — June 30, 2013 @ 7:46 am | Reply

    • I WISH we could amalgamate all the best ideas in each country and make it law that everyone else adopts them, especially when it comes to being greener and less wasteful.
      It’s SO easy to add the cost of the disposal to the new appliance / large furniture… if it were extended to building materials then flytipping might become a problem of the past too.
      The planet isn’t getting any bigger, anything we can save from rubbish tips and reduce, reuse, recycle HAS to be a good idea… surely?

      Comment by kiwidutch — July 5, 2013 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

      • That’s why I reblogged your post, and shared it on FB. Indians jumped on the use-and-throw bandwagon after other countries realized how bad that approach was, and now so many of them think it’s “convenient” and, therefore, good. Upsets me often. . .

        Comment by drshyamalavatsa — July 6, 2013 @ 7:43 am | Reply

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