Monday, February 4, 2013
One of my best decisions when we remodeled our Berkeley kitchen was to insist on a Warming Oven. I almost always eat a cold lunch, usually ham and Camembert on a piece of baguette, plus 3 prunes, an apple (of which one-quarter is passed along to my wife), and a small piece or two of dark chocolate. But I prefer a hot meal for supper, and that goes in our warming oven, at half the maximum heat. I like to have the evening's wine open and poured--we usually take to evenings per bottle--before my warm plate is put in front of me. Barbara prefers to call it a "Warming Drawer": either way, it's great for keeping cooked food warm, until we are ready to serve it. In Colorado, we have a different system: a shelf above the stove has two sides, each with controls for heat and light. It does a good job of keeping food warm, but there's no way to vary the temperature: the heat is either on or off. It's a minor difference, but I slightly prefer the warming oven. On the other hand, in Colorado it is always obvious if a dish is being kept warm. In Berkeley, sometimes I find that food left in the oven, in case someone wants a second helping, is left there overnight, and I find dried-out food when I open the warming oven to heat up the breakfast plates.