Monthly Archives: June 2011

The burning stove problem

We have been working on renovating our kitchen.  Apparently I, as an old broad, failed to realize somehow that the trend in stoves makes for appliances that look like glorified outdoor grills in an attempt to imitate restaurant stoves.  The only problem is that they are horrible looking (that’s why they keep them in the back — and why they have LARGE sinks to clean the grates, etc. — who needs huge iron grates?)  Also, get off my lawn!

Anyway, we looked, and to my astonished surprise, I went home and wanted to hug our perhaps 30 year old Caloric Prestige that came with our house years ago.  Oh yeah, its grates look like they’ve been through a nuclear armageddon, and the lady cleaned it will Brillo every week, but it cooks like a charm.  And it’s still better looking than the other stoves.  Also, I’m wary of those little buttons you push to make the oven work — they broke so easily on our fancy toaster-oven (lifespan: less than 6 months).  When I went back to the cheap-o Black and Decker toaster oven with dials (lifespan of the one before the fancy one: 15 years), my toasting world righted itself.

Off we went to Sav On Appliances in Burbank.  Would it be wrong to have bake sales to benefit our impending ownership of a 1950-something O’Keefe and Merritt, fully restored?

Late '40s Okeefe and Merritt: Hello my darling

The nice lady told us that the computers on the new stoves are located with those fancy push buttons, right where all of the moisture and heat gathers, killing them off in about 5-8 years.  The old stoves are just crazy cool, and everyone tells me they cook well.  My mother-in-law has a beauty.  It’s tempting.  We may have to visit Mr. Aikens in Inglewood to torture ourselves some more.

But for now, I’m going to hug the little stove I have cooked on just about nightly for years.  I underestimated you, old Caloric, and I may have your stove grates re-done yet you old bird!

You can recycle drink boxes and beverage cartons in L.A.!

The Bureau of Sanitation flyer

Just last week, after YEARS, it was announced that you can put your empty, dry drink boxes and milk cartons into the blue bin.  Hoorah!

The Carton Council, brought to you by the leading makers of aseptic packages (drink boxes) have worked with L.A. Bureau of Sanitation , who specify what drink receptacles can be recycled:

Refrigerated cartons such as milk, juice, cream, and egg substitutes that are found in the chilled sections of grocery stores, and non-refrigerated cartons such as juice boxes, soup and broth, soy milk, and wine cartons found on the shelves in grocery stores.

So when you’re stumbling around after the party, remember to get the wine box into the blue bin (Kathy Griffin’s Mom, I’m talkin’ to you).  I’ll go into my uber-geekly love of Tetra Pak (shout out to Ruben Rausing!) some other time.  You’re welcome.

Feeding hungry children this summer

Hi there, sorry to be away for so long…I never intend it!

I was riding along in my car yesterday wondering what kind of summer programs exist for children who, without the aid of school meals, face hunger and possibly malnutrition this summer.  I made a note in my head to look this up.  Unfortunately, my head is a very crowded and somewhat disorganized place, so I forgot.

Then this morning I saw an article in the L.A. Times about fewer qualified children participating in food programs during the summer because fewer summer programs were being offered at schools.  (here is the link:,0,7728509.story)

Life is difficult enough with everyone out of work and struggling.  There are nearby parks and community centers in Los Angeles offering assistance and to make it easy (it isn’t terribly simple to find unless you know where to look), here are some places to go:

A listing of food service program locations in the Los Angeles area at nearby parks with telephone contact information, the times when lunch and snacks are served  to children ages 1-18 for FREE with NO PAPERWORK — just come and eat — from June 27-August 26, 2011:   Phone:  (818) 546-2383 or (818) 546-2384 Menus:

The L.A. Regional Food Bank also has programs for kids, seniors and other adults facing hunger, including programs to feed children over the weekends:

Community centers and other private entities that provide food services are reimbursed by the federal government through the USDA.  If you are looking for such a program and you do not live in Los Angeles, or you would like to start one of your own, please go to:

National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE