I cleaned my oven yesterday. I can't handle the smell or corrosiveness of spray oven cleaners and my oven is not self-cleaning. So, I mostly scrubbed and scraped it with borax, steel wool and lots of elbow grease. As I had my head stuck in the oven I thought about the witch in Hansel and Gretel for a while. And then I thought about my current sewing project. Then I thought about my garden. Then back to the witch and on to sailboats versus motor boats. Finally after about an hour and a half I settled on "virtue." I thought about how virtuous I felt for having done this thing, battling this grease and grime and giving of myself in such a selfless manner. I mean, I literally was exchanging two hours of a gorgeous summer day to clean my oven. What could be more virtuous than that? And since I still had the grates to clean I started thinking about "the virtues" and wondering if there really were seven, but then I thought I was getting mixed up with the seven deadly sins and I figured that one of those must be oven-frying chicken thighs at a high temperature so that they are extra crispy making it necessary to clean the oven before another thing was baked in it, which led me back to the seven virtues. "Surely," I thought "cleaning the oven with steel wool on a gorgeous summer day had to be one of the seven virtues." Sure enough, I Googled "virtues" and there it was right up there next to chastity, temperance, charity, kindness and humility. Oven cleaning has to qualify for both "patience" and "diligence", so I think I earned double the virtue.
But then I thought maybe I shouldn't have reminded Noel four or five times about how hard it was to clean the oven and how proud and virtuous I felt, because I kind of knocked the "humility" virtue all to heck. Oh well, two steps forward. One step back.
If you were wondering about the point of this drivel, it's this. I was going to give you the recipe for delicious, crispy oven-baked chicken.
But, I wouldn't do that to anyone.
I'm not even sure I'll ever use my oven again.