Well That Didn’t Go At All As I Had Planned

I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving.  We’re not even through Halloween and I’ve already moved on to Thanksgiving, Interwebz.  It’s enough to make a girl stick her head in the oven…if she didn’t know she’d have to pull her head right back out to deal with the fire alarm, that is.

Speaking of which, I need an unbiased opinion, Interwebz.

This weekend I was out in the wilds of Jersey with some of my friends, getting our grapes ready for this year’s barrel of wine.  After we cleaned them, moved them to a giant vat, and added the yeasties and sulfites to do their cooking thing, we all congregated around a table to “taste” some wine and nibble on cheese.  And then they turned on me.

“Did you really set off the fire alarm this week, Elly?”

“What were you cooking when it went off?”

“Did the fire department show up?”

My answer was the same with each question – “Which time?”

Would you hold on a second?  I’m getting to the part where I need your opinion but this isn’t it yet.  So stop threatening to buy me an Easy Bake Oven, already.

So then one gal asked me, “When is the last time you cleaned your oven?”

I took another swig from the bottle of wine before answering, “I vacuumed it just last week.”

Well you would have thought I’d just announced I’d raped a pony and forced it to slaughter a litter of kittens using only baby seals as weapons.  People were tsk-ing, women were weeping, one guy shook his fist at the heavens in desperation while screaming “Why God, why?” (I may or may not be exaggerating ever so slightly) before they all regained their voices and started repeating the word “vacuumed.”

“Why would you use a vacuum?”

“You vacuumed your oven?”

“Like, with a vacuum vacuum?”

Is it just me or does that second u get to be really disconcerting after looking at that word more than three times?

Anyway, the general consensus from my group of fellow wine makers is that one should not clean an oven with a vacuum.  (Interwebz, this is the part where I’m going to actually ask your opinion.  Start paying attention again.)

They’re just saying that because they happen to all be part of a small, undocumented clan from a culture that believes vacuums suck out souls, right?  I mean, you guys clean your oven with a vacuum, don’t you?  I can’t really be the only one.  I’m pretty sure Martha her self does it my way.

Next you’ll be telling me you don’t put your cat’s head in your mouth or keep your sneakers in the freezer.

No, please don’t tell me that.  The room is starting to spin already.

Well, hell.  Now I’m so worked up I can’t possibly tell you why I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving.  That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Can someone please hand me a paper bag and spoonful of icing so I don’t pass out?

I bet NPH vacuums his oven…you mean, heartless bitches.


  1. The things I do in that oven require heavier grease reducers than a vacuum.

    But that’s just me. I’m pretty vacuums clean up cooked unicorn just fine.

        1. Unicorns hate everyone. Little known fact, but it’s true. They have a complex because they weren’t included in any of the “Noah’s Ark” books.

          I need more proof than that.

          1. *old sailor voice* They have unicorns in Alaska. Yep. Call ’em Norwhals. Yessir. That Palin’s got herself a whole heap of Norwhal pelts, is what I heard. ‘sright.

        2. For the record, you really are quite lovely. At least that’s what the photos lead me to believe. And that weird dream last night with the velcro-covered water bed.

  2. I have always vacuumed my oven (annually, on the day before Thanksgiving).

    I mean, first I scrape off as much of that black crusty stuff as I can with a spatula, and then I vacuum up the chunks.

    You are doing it right. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

  3. I generally try to wipe out the bottom of the oven as often as I think of it so that I don’t have to use chemical oven cleaners to get the pizza grease.

    I’m all for using the vacuum to dust and catch all sorts of things that I would otherwise need to actually clean. But I can honestly say that it has never crossed my mind to use it for the oven.

  4. Isn’t that what a vacuum is for?!? Where do you find these people? Do they even know what an oven is used for? Warming boots in the winter – obviously!!! Although why they put the stupid thing in the kitchen is beyond me.

  5. You cleaned your oven? That’s got to be an OLD oven. Mine cleans itself. Says so right on the back.

    I’m not sure when it does it. Probably late at night so it doesn’t wake us. Ovens are very considerate, when you think about it.

    Don’t you think?

      1. You cleaned your oven? That’s got to be an OLD oven. Mine cleans itself. Says so right on the back.

        I’m not sure when it does it. Probably late at night so it doesn’t wake us. Ovens are very considerate, when you think about it.

        Don’t you think?

    1. Beware of that “I clean myself” line. Next thing you know flames are erupting everywhere and it smells like Dantes Inferno.
      Only things you can microwave from now on.

  6. I really don’t clean my oven at all…so you’re one up on me there. A vacuum cleaning of the oven sounds a wee dangerous though, me thinks. Be careful! 😉

  7. I agree 100% with you on the second U. This is proof that English was made up to torture foreigners.

    And… you CLEAN your oven?! I am going to put it on the list of things I don’t do but maybe I should because all the cool kids are doing it.

  8. I tried to vacuum the oven once, but the pot roast got stuck in the nozzle and it totally ruined dinner. Since then I have resorted to pouring a half cup of kerosene into it, then tossing in a match and closing the door. Once the smoke clears, it’s actually quite clean.

  9. Ovens get dirty? Isn’t that what the heat is for? I occasionally clean the pizza stone that lives in my oven…..

    1. I didn’t realize that if you leave pizza in the oven too long, they will grow into stones like kidney stones. Wow. The things I learn by being here.

    1. You mean that in a “Wow, Elly – how do you manage to surround yourself with people that DON’T vacuum their ovens” kinda way, right?

  10. As I’ve never encountered it, I can’t imagine most people vacuum their ovens. As such, I’m not sure it won’t one day led to a terrible explosion and fiery death.

    On the other hand, if NPH does vacuum his oven then I’m in.

    1. I’d like to invite him over for a cosmo and oven vacuuming party. We probably need costumes and a karaoke machine to do it properly. You’re in charge of crackers, ok?

  11. NPH can vacuum my oven anyday. wait that sounds like an abortion cuz he was a doc and all. but there’s no way in hell i could have a bun in the oven, so you know what i meant.

  12. Vacuums are perfectly acceptable devices for cleaning ovens. They also work wonders on gutters, clogged toilets and stuffy noses.

    I had kids for precisely one reason: so I would never ever have to clean another oven as long as I lived. They get extremely giddy from inhaling all of those oven cleaner fumes – it’s fun.

  13. OMG I have been laughing so hard my stomach hurts…..
    I can see where you might use your vacuum on your oven.. that is if everything has been burnt to a crisp- easy to suck it up….*slapping my hand to my forehead* I have been doing it wrong all these years!!!!

  14. I never thought about vacuuming my oven. I’ve never thought about cleaning it either though… Are you really supposed to do that? I thought it was just propaganda sent out by the “man.”

  15. If Martha does it – then we should ALL do it. Because that woman is a spiritual creature in the most materialistic sense.

    Truth be told, however…I’ve never, ever heard of anyone doing it.

  16. Dude I just wrote out a lengthy and hilarious comment that would have had you snorting liquids out your nose and breaking out the maxi Poise pads because you’d be peeing so hard with laughter and it all just disappeared into the damn ether. Crap now you’ll just have to take my word for the hilarity. Damn you to hell internet, damn to hell (shakes dramatic fist in air).

  17. I used an industrial wallpaper scraper to take the large chunky black masses clinging to the sides of my oven that I eventually recognized as mutated food.
    After all that had been pushed to the bottom I got a brush and dustpan to sweep it out. See? Almost as clever as the vac but not quite:)

  18. I have to admit, for someone who cooks often, I am super-lazy when it comes to cleaning my oven. I guess it’s party because we live in a rental, so I have no incentive to take care of an already crappy oven. Maybe that’s why my apt always smells like fish…

  19. We vacuum our oven out, when it needs it. That usually means we’ve baked the black hunks of spilled over, overcooked food into cinders. But, yes, we vacuum it out.

    The whole “auto clean” or “self clean” sounds great…but the stench is enough to drive you from the house for a week. And the fire safety people (like, what do THEY know? pfft!) think that it’s “unsafe” to “leave your oven unattended”.

    I say it’s just as “unsafe” to get “roaring drunk” and watch the shit inside the over “burn”.

    But what do I know? pfft!

  20. I’m a little late in reading this, but let’s set the record straight: as a part of this wine making group, when you announced you had just vacuumed the oven I believe we were just trying to get the facts straight…in that many of us have this great self cleaning option (that requires no chemicals) we were a bit confused and needed some… enlightenment. As I have no neighbors to complain about the fire alarm going off I have only cleaned my oven once in the years I have had it. Since I clean out the fireplace with a vacuum why not an oven, I guess…

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