A Tale of Two Ovens, Part 1: I Fried the Motherboard

Ah, Thanksgiving. It brings back so many sweet memories, doesn’t it?

Counting our blessings. Gathering with family and friends. Enjoying delicious food. Setting the turkey on fire.

OK, maybe the setting-the-turkey-on-fire thing isn’t traditional. But Thanksgiving always makes me recall the year our turkey fried the oven motherboard.


First, a bit of context: I’m not a noted cook. (That may be the understatement of the century.) Yes, for a few years I ground my own wheat and baked my own bread, but that was a short-lived aberration. I’ve finally relinquished my dependence on Hamburger Helper (we once should have owned stock in the company), but I still keep things simple and fast.

In fact, now that my four sons are older, they often do the cooking. (They also do laundry, housework, and yard work. I expect to have very grateful daughters-in-law someday, but I digress.)

All I really expect of a range is that it boil stuff and bake stuff. Is that too much to ask?


When we bought our house 11 years ago, it came with a fancy-schmancy Jenn-Air, and I was suitably impressed. However, after a few years, while I was cooking our Thanksgiving turkey, something malfunctioned and created a spark, so we shut off the power to the oven. We averted a full-scale fire, but I have a lasting appreciation for the fire-extinguisher scene in The Santa Clause movie.

(Stop laughing. I didn’t exactly burn the turkey. It wasn’t my cooking! It was the oven’s fault. Really.)

The repairman said the MOTHERBOARD had fried.

1.  The words motherboard and oven shouldn’t be in the same sentence, much less the same appliance.

2.  An oven is designed to be operated at high temperatures. This seems like fairly common knowledge. One would hope that appliance manufacturers would have that basic understanding.

3.  If, against all reason, an appliance manufacturer insists on putting a motherboard in an oven, the motherboard should be, at minimum—How shall I say this?—HEAT RESISTANT.

4.  Disclaimer: I am not a computer whiz, appliance manufacturer, repair expert, or even a great cook (see above). I’m just a busy mom with apparently unrealistic expectations for kitchen appliances.


About $200. Yikes.

I have never roasted another turkey. Ever. For a few years I outsourced our holiday turkeys to Kroger, until I discovered that the nearby Texaco station (that’s right—Texaco station), which serves the best Southern-style plate lunches in town, sells delicious whole smoked turkeys. I’ll be picking up ours tomorrow.

Do your holiday memories include any cooking catastrophes?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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