Yesterday I decided to use the new oven to cook dinner for friends. This did mean that things probably seemed totally chaotic when they arrived at our apartment. When cooking for other people I’m a great fan of dishes that can mostly be prepared the day before. I’ve gotten used to making soups, curries, and stews. I’m completely out of practice when it comes to using an oven.
I made chicken soup the day before for our starter, which was one thing less to worry about. I wanted to cook turkey breast, stuffing, potatoes, and carrots in the oven. Since the oven is quiet small we tried putting things into it earlier in the day and realised that there was no way that was all going to fit. Instead of roasting the carrots I made honey and orange coated carrots in the crock pot. I have gotten used to the crock pot so when it plays it’s weird little Japanese tune I know that the thing instead it really is cooked. Pity I can’t say the same about the oven.
The roast potatoes cooked really fast. The turkey breasts cooked really slow. At one point it looked liked all the vegetables would be ready with nowhere to keep them warm. I had this large bowl of colcannon that I was beginning to think might have to go in the crock pot with the carrots, which wasn’t a brilliant solution but I really didn’t want to dry it out on the stove.
In the end it all worked out and I did learn a few things about the oven. It’s really hard to cook two things in it at once that aren’t going to finish at the same time. It has one oven tray and a wire stand that sits over this. So, when you take out the tray, the stand comes out too. If your meat is on the tray there is no way to baste it without lifting out the stand, and in my case, the potatoes. The oven loses heat really fast when the door is open so it’s not a good idea to open it and then realise that you haven’t got a clue how to unwrap the tinfoil around the meat so you can baste it.
Oven gloves would also be very useful. I used to have these but we have no idea where they might be. I’m hoping that somewhere I have an unpacked box containing ovenware.
I’m really glad that I had ordered Easter eggs and little Easter cakes from the U.K. for this dinner. If I hadn’t I would probably have decided to bake a cake and that would have made the day a complete stress-fest. As it was we had a bit of flapping around followed by a really nice meal.