Friday, January 15, 2016

The Inevitable Entropy of the Kitchen

a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
"a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme"
synonyms: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse.
Definition # 2, above applies here.
A thesaurus may make it clearer:
life is a struggle against entropy: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse; disorder, chaos."
Just as with human bodies, our kitchen equipment eventually wears out, then fails. We struggle to maintain order and function.

In Mi Cocina Mexicana, there has been a recent acceleration of deterioration. Some failures have been minor, and relatively easily remedied, others have not.

First there was the worn out flat paddle beater for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. A few years ago, I ordered a replacement from, but in my haste, I got an incompatible beater that didn't fit my mixer. So I soldiered on, using the worn down old paddle. But just before Christmas, I ordered the correct one at Cristalería Corona, in Morelia. It took two weeks to arrive, but it was life renewing. I love to browse Cristalería Corona.
KA 5-qt stand mixer beater paddle
Then there was the beaker, or vaso, for my MAN™ blender. It had cracks in the base and had become leaky. I went to the ferretería (hardware store PLUS) in Pátzcuaro where I'd originally purchased the licuadora, and they told me that it would be in in a few weeks. A month and a half passed, but no vaso arrrived. As a stopgap measure (chuckle), I went to the biggest ferretería in Pátzcuaro, and bought a cheap replacement over the counter. It was o.k., but of lesser capacity.

Mine came with one vaso, but now I have one slightly smaller extra
I again checked again at the original ferretería, and it still hadn't come in. So I went to yet a third hardware store (all of which are conveniently near each other.) and got a MAN compatible, full sized, 1.5 liter vaso. It was very inexpensive, but best of all, it works fine.

Now I present the Turmix ™ Juice Extractor, Modelo Platinum Automático. I bought this in May, 2015, from on line. The feed tube broke in the first day of use, but Turmix México replaced it under warranty, although I had to wait two weeks for delivery of the replacement.

Extractor partially disassembled

Extractor ready to juice
A few days ago, I prepared to extract juices, but I couldn't start because a vital clamp was broken. I again contacted Turmix, and they were very solicitous. This time, I went to one of their sales and service stores in Morelia, Proveedora del Hogar.

PDH Morelia  (from Google Street View)
In 10 minutes, I had a replacement clamp, although it was red (no importa), but it's plastic, and I don't expect it will endure long. Moreover, the remaining metal clamp is showing a small crack, and it's only a matter of time until it fails.

But all the above anecdotes pale in contrast to what happened in our kitchen yesterday. I had just taken two beautiful loaves of challah from the oven, when I heard a noise, When I turned around, I was dismayed to see that the outer, tinted glass of my GE "hudibrastic" (Felipe Zapata's adjective) oven had fallen out, into smithereens.

This was a real downer, as you can imagine. We briefly dealt with the grossest debris, and further cleanup continues today. Now that I have more or less composed myself, I will attempt to call Sears' service department at Altozano, or wherever,  to see about a repair or a replacement. Unless it is still under warranty, this is not going to be a cheap fix.

I was really bummed out by this disaster, and feeling sorry for myself, but a bout of "Retail Therapy" (as our friend, Jennifer calls it) at  Morelia's Costco soon afterward made me feel much better.

Don't laugh: your oven door glass could fall out, even as your teeth and hair fall out. It's a race to the finish line.

No comments: