First, Mmmmm, Pizza.....
Doesn't that look great? You want some, don't you? Beautiful chewy crust--thanks to working at a bakery (free pizza dough just because? OKAY.) No marinara or red sauce of any kind, instead we used pesto. Layered with mushrooms, artichokes, fresh balls of mozzerella, sliced roma tomatoes, and a sprinkling of parmesan. This pizza was awesome. This pizza was celebratory. This pizza broke my oven.
Well, no, it didn't actually break my oven, but it was the last thing we successfully baked Friday night before the oven gave up and refused to pre-heat the next day. Matt was sure it was somehow his fault. He came home after a half day on Friday so he could surprise me with an early Valentine's day present--he cleaned the house. I mean, he CLEANED the house. The bathrooms, the laundry room, everything in the kitchen (including, ahem, the oven). He did all the waiting laundry, all dried and folded. HE VACUUMED THE STAIRS.
BEST. PRESENT. EVER.
Now, I am sure that, because we were able to make pizza successfully (and such a lovely pizza at that), nothing he did actually *broke* the oven. It turns out the ignitor on the bottom of the oven just gave up and cried uncle, and I believe this has far more to do with the fact that my oven is nearly 10 years old and has been the ultimate work horse in my kitchen than it does that he ran an auto-clean cycle the day before. Anyway, the point being, I don't have a working oven now. We dismantled (or, well, HE dismantled) it Saturday morning after waffles, removed the offending ignitor and headed to the Sears repair and parts shop (ahh, Valentine's Day), where we were informed that they didn't have one in stock, and it would be 5-7 days for a new one to come in the mail (not to mention an extra $13.99 for the shipping, THANKS). So, I am currently without oven. Boo, hiss, etc.
The rest of Valentine's Day consisted of an amazing glass exhibit at the art museum (yes, we are *so*cultured, you're jealous, I know...), a trip to our favorite little store in Knoxville, Emery's 5 & 10, and a re-imagined dinner, since the Beef Wellington I had intended to make wasn't exactly going to work out on the stove-top. I played iron chef with the ingredients, and it all worked out just fine.
So, Sunday, rather than be upset over my oven and all the things I suddenly desperately wanted to bake, we wandered off in search of half-price Valentine's candy, and new curtains. I confess, you guys, we've lived here nearly a year and a half, and I have yet to install curtains in our living room. Even the lovely scarred marks on the wall from the previous occupant's horrible white curtain bars were still there, but we had nice blinds, I'm not a cave person or anything. Still, some how we just never really knew what we wanted there, and everything I thought of trying just felt wrong for the room, somehow. So, when I got some gift certificates to Pier 1, I figured, this was my best shot. A few awesome packages of panels from the clearance bin, redeemed gift certificates, some patching and painting, and rods from, yes, thank you, Big Lots (I am no snob), and we have curtains like real civilized adults. Total out of pocket was around $25. Totally worth it. I love them, the fit right in with the nature-y elements we already have in the room (I'm a sucker for leaves and birds) and really make the other green items we have pop in an otherwise neutral space.
And they made me forget about my oven, for a while...