All I wanted to do is fry an egg.
My newly installed GE Profile Induction/Convection Slide-in Stainless Steel Range came with a complete set of cookware made from a type of metal to react with the magnetic induction coils. Problem was, it was all in the bottom “storage” drawer, which was decidedly stuck.
This after a three-year search for a range to fit the existing peninsula in my tight kitchen, renovated 16 years earlier.
Sweating, sitting on my haunches until the pinch point in my lower back reverberated pain down to my toes, I changed positions to kneeling, hoping to gain an advantage.
“Oh, come ON!” I pleaded.
The giant two-foot-long crowbar, foot-long screwdriver, yardstick, barbeque tongs, long and short metal spatulas, carpet-tack strip remover thingy, metal clothes hanger, paint scraper, flashlights, and toolbox lay scattered across the tile floor. I discarded each tool one-by-one as they proved their uselessness, their collective brawn no match to the task.
Bargaining with an inanimate object resulted in machine 1, woman 0.
Thankfully, the cooking pots, too big for the “storage” drawer, were stacked in the kitchen cupboard. I attempted frying eggs in the soup pot. As I maneuvered the flat spatula down the high pot sides to flip the eggs, the laws of mathematics ruled. I scraped the scrambled-ish mess from the bottom onto a plate.
Ah, there is a reason a soup pot is for soup. For frying eggs, not so much.
Frustrated, busy, and worn out from wrestling with an unyielding stainless steel beast, I gave up—for the moment.
About a week later, I remembered the service number. When I finally connected to a person, I learned there was exactly nothing they could do. The drawer had welded sides and front. Short of finding a blow-torch to hack an opening, well, I tossed that idea aside as it surely would destroy my new range and who knew what else?
So, every couple of days, I wiggled the bottom drawer, finally freeing one side a few inches.
It was not enough to matter, but the movement gave me hope that one day—one day!— the drawer would spring open as designed.
Two months later, after carefully surveilling the bone structure of my friends, I asked one with slim wrists and dainty hands to come by.
Wriggling her slender hand through the slit, with my eyes her guide, I could see the culprit; The fry panhandles had lodged into a metal lip at the top, jamming the compartment from opening.
After 45 minutes of the two of us pushing and prodding, sweating and swearing, wiggling and jiggling, the top panhandle sprung free-along with the drawer. Hallelujah!
I’ve thought about this appliance episode a lot during this pandemic, when the fried eggs of our old lives—going to a birthday party, visiting your parents, hugging a friend—have become impossible. It might take more time and patience before we’re sprung free again, but with any luck it will happen.
Lookout 2021. Out of the fire and into the frying pan. ❏