14 February 2011


So this is silly, but I am unreasonably proud of myself for making cookies tonight.  Getting all the ingredients in the kitchen at the same time isn't easy, but working with the oven is the real trick.  Just lighting the thing is an adventure, because you turn on the gas and toss matches in till something lights.  Then you let it heat up for a while, but you don't know how long.  There is a thermometer, but it goes from 1-8.  You guess what that means.  I've decided that 5 is about 350.  Unfortunately, there really isn't a way to maintain that temperature, whatever it is, so you spend the entire time fiddling with the gas and checking whatever you're cooking.

I'm seriously missing eating German pancakes, but I'll make crepes tomorrow so I can do them on the stove instead of in the oven.  The family is waiting for baked potatoes.  The idea gives me a headache.  I don't think I could manage an hour of babysitting the stove.


  1. I grew up in France (I may not have mentioned before because it is usually quite irrelevant). Then oven temperatures were also labeled from 1 to 8 (we called them "gas marks" even if it was an electric oven).

    Here is a table of conversion

    Gas mark (°F) - (°C)
    1/4 ------ 225 -- 110 very cool
    1/2 ------ 250 -- 130
    1 -------- 275 -- 140 cool
    2 -------- 300 -- 150
    3 -------- 325 -- 170 v. moderate
    4 -------- 350 -- 180 moderate
    5 -------- 375 -- 190
    6 -------- 400 -- 200 moderately hot
    7 -------- 425 -- 220 hot
    8 -------- 450 -- 230
    9 -------- 475 -- 240 very hot

    Hmmmmm??? for some reasons tables in "comment" format are trickier than expected.
    Anyway, I hope this helps.

  2. C, you are wonderful. I think this is close to what my oven is. And just having a table feels like I'm more in control. :)

  3. I remember when we had a wood stove in my childhood home for heating, we sometimes had really long fireplace matches. Might not be practical for using daily, but I think I've also heard of using a long piece of straw (like you might find on a broom).

  4. It seems like there would be something here that would be more practical for lighting the oven. We always use a roll of paper when we need to light the furnace inside, so I could do that for the oven too.