Alibi V.13 No.46 • Nov 11-17, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

If you're having people over to your house on Thanksgiving, you need to start getting ready now. The first thing on your list should be having your crazy, out-of-whack oven recalibrated. (Who does that? Check the Yellow Pages under Appliances—Major—Service and Repair.) I spent half an hour today talking to a repairman about my ancient Maytag Dutch Oven. The thing looks soooo cool, but it runs anywhere from 25 to 100 degrees hotter than the setting. (Sorry the cookies are burned to a crisp, but look at my cool old oven!) This year I do not intend to burn my turkey on Nov. 25. Unfortunately, the fact that my stove is so far off is an indication that calibration won't fix the problem. (Not sure how far off your oven is? Buy one of those cheap metal oven thermometers and burn some cookies while you compare reading to setting.) If you're more than 25 degrees off, or if the oven's temperature fluctuates wildly, you may need to replace the thermostat. If you're lucky, your oven is newish and the parts are still made. For an older oven, you'll have to do some serious scouting. It may end up being cheaper to replace the thing. (Nice cookies! Too bad you got rid of that old stove.) Whatever you do, don't put it off until the day before Thanksgiving.