Mixed grill, again.

It’s the end of the week, and time for? Items in search of a blog!

Like every other writer on the planet except for me, Gene Weingarten has a Substack, and dropped one of his language pet peeves: “reach out to” instead of “ask.” This peeve is journalism-focused, so he quoted some story where X reached out to Y for an explanation, etc. I am in full agreement with Gene, and would like to add one that came up in my reading yesterday:

“Change out.” X was recommending Y change out their air filter, although sometimes it’s “swap out,” which might have a tiny bit of nuance, but probably doesn’t. Don’t get me started on “change up,” which is just ridiculous. Change your air filter, swap it, I don’t care. Just stop adding “up.” OK? Settled.

Next week: We’ll circle back to “circle back.”

I don’t believe I have it in me to fight another culture war, so I’m just saying it now: I’m a non-combatant in the Gas Stove wars to come. Also, I will give up my gas stove when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. That’s how much I love it, and don’t tell me how great induction is. It may heat up quickly, but it’s the cooling down that takes a while, and that’s what I love about gas. You turn off the flame and…the heat goes away! We cooked on induction in Europe, and that “H” stays lit quite a while after you turn the burners off. Don’t talk to me about air quality, either. I have no respiratory illnesses, neither does Alan, and if gas fumes were going to kill me, they’d have done so by now.

The rest of you who want to preen about your moral superiority in cooking with induction, go right ahead. I’m sitting this one out.

(Also, I know this issue is overblown, and based on sloppy reporting. Still.)

Nolan Finley, the conservative op-ed page editor at the Detroit News, gets a fair amount of undeserved credit for mundane observations; I will never forget or forgive the chorus of what-a-keen-eye-this-gent-has when he noted the near-absence of black people in a trendy new restaurant. But generally, gennnnerrrallly, I can respect that he seems to be a conservative with eyes to see and a tongue to speak, which is another way of saying he’s smart enough to see Trump for what he is. In discussing the current state of the Michigan GOP (paywalled, sorry), he writes:

How sorry are the affairs of the state party?

It still is figuring out how to pay for its state convention in Lansing Feb. 17-18, where roughly 2,000 delegates are set to gather to select a new chairman from an 11-candidate list. That slate, in its mediocrity and lack of both political experience and appeal, is distressingly reminiscent of the field of hopefuls who initially filed for the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2022.

The party is proposing for the first time charging delegates a fee for attending the convention, as many other states do. The suggested amount right now is $50 each.

Failed attorney general candidate Matt DePerno is pitching a proposal to charge the 11 candidates running for party chair, including himself, $20,000 each to pay for the convention and other operations.

Maybe the GOP should just hold a bake sale.

And you know what? DePerno, a thug fired from one of his former firms for putting hands on a client, is likely to win the chairmanship. The two closest competitors are equally crazy and unqualified, and it’s going to be glorious to watch them try to rebuild with a 2020 election denier (no matter who of the top-polling candidates wins, it’ll be a stop-the-stealer) at the helm.

With that, the weekend awaits us all. Let’s enjoy it.

Posted at 10:00 pm in Current events |

74 responses to “Mixed grill, again.”

  1. Dexter Friend said on January 13, 2023 at 1:20 am

    The use of “literally” has been discussed here before, and it still is irritating me to hear radio show hosts say that everything they do , they do it literally. They literally see a friend on the street, they literally lost their pen, they literally spill their coffee a little bit. There is no getting away from it. It’s the lexicon.

    Lisa Marie Presley has died at 54. Will Michael welcome her to the underworld with a moondance?

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  2. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 7:00 am

    I sure hope the Dems hold on Michigan and the Rs crazypants strategy lasts until I move back in a little over six years. I might be able to do it sooner if I can reach out to the company and get approved to go 100% remote. I’d be happy to change out my Wisconsin residency for Michigan residency. It is cringey, isn’t it? Unless cringey bothers somebody. In that case it’s cringe worthy.

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  3. Michael said on January 13, 2023 at 7:14 am

    Can we deal with ‘swap out’ after we quash ‘based off of’? This is the stupidest construction ever: bases by definition have other objects/concepts placed on them. A country that accepts ‘based off of’ is a country too stupid to use gas stoves.

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  4. alex said on January 13, 2023 at 7:27 am

    I take the gas stove debate about as seriously as the Runaway Toyota debate from about 10-12 years ago. Remember that one? May have to jog your memory here. In the end it proved to be a nothing burger and remains forgotten even though it inspired great hysteria at the time and motivated people to get rid of perfectly good cars. That’s how these things go.

    “Reach out” seems to be some kind of office-speak. I suppose it’s an umbrella term for “call,” “e-mail,” “write” or do it however you please just get it the fuck done.

    “Change up” is fashion-speak for clothing and furnishings.

    “Change out” is Hillbillic for anything you need done at AutoZone.

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  5. Jeff Gill said on January 13, 2023 at 7:46 am

    The implosion/de-lamination/irrelevancy of party structures on the national, state, & local levels is something I am sure someone has written about, but I haven’t stumbled onto yet. Old school Republicans talk about the rise of primaries as having started the process that direct mail & small dollar donor bases accelerated, and cable news drove off the cliff, but I think it’s more complicated than that . . . but I admit I have a tendency to over-complicate things.

    But the DNC & RNC are a few rented offices with relatively modest funding, and no power to gatekeep on candidates; even here in our increasingly uniparty Ohio, the state GOP is a clown car like what Nancy describes just to our north. And the Chicago of my childhood has a Cook County Democratic Party that still holds some sway on patronage and services, “but it ain’t what it was, I’ll tell you that.”

    And Madison Cawthorn is being revealed as having largely dispensed as a House rep with constituent services, a trend which I’d love to see investigated for those staying on like Greene & Boebert & Gaetz. If representatives are more tied to revenue from their mailing list than to either their district or the party, the question of who represents whom gets pretty murky. But primary nominating systems don’t account for much if anything in that sort of development.

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  6. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 8:32 am

    The runaway Toyota thing wasn’t a nothingburger. It just wasn’t caused by what people thought or were told what the cause was. It wasn’t something in the car’s electronics causing the accelerator to mash itself. It was caused by pedal misapplication. That was Toyota’s explanation and it was true. It was also victim blaming. Toyota designed the pedals so they were too close together and with not enough difference in the pedal height. The accelerator pedals also had the pivot points on the fire wall so the end could catch under the floor mats. Because of the lack of difference in the pedals, people thought they were mashing the brake pedal when they were mashing the accelerator. Toyota wasn’t the only auto maker that had the same problem. They just took the heat for it because the original crash that brought it to light was so dramatic. So now, everybody places the pedals further apart. The accelerator pedals are hinged on the floor instead of the firewall. The floor mats are pinned so they can’t impinge on the accelerator. It was a human factors problem which happens all the time on products. The problems are found and designed out. If we’re lucky before anyone gets hurt.

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  7. LAMary said on January 13, 2023 at 8:57 am

    Reach out has bugged me since 1984 which was the first time I heard it used as a substitute for “call.” I had a boss then who used it a lot. I thought of the Four Tops song whenever he said it.

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  8. Jeff Gill said on January 13, 2023 at 9:05 am

    Four Tops, or Diana Ross?


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  9. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Blame AT&T for reach out. Remember the “Reach out and touch someone” jingle? That must have come from the 70s if not the 60s. It’s being repurposed for a new generation of business speakers.

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  10. Mark P said on January 13, 2023 at 9:21 am

    Ah, yes, language peeving. Everybody loves to language peeve. I mean most people. Ok, a lot of people. All right, all right, some people who write. I used to peeve about “to beg the question” for “that raises the question” or something like that. To me it meant we lost the rhetorical use meaning “to assume that which is to be proved.” But I have given up language peeving, along with ordering the tide not to come in. But I have come to accept the facts that I’m getting old, and that language changes. Mostly.

    I see news reports fairly often of people hitting the accelerator thinking it’s the brakes; “The car just kept going faster and faster even though I was mashing the brakes as hard as I could.” The reports almost never mention it, but some cases are obvious from the circumstances. My late father in law stopped driving when he wrecked his car while trying to park it. It’s mostly older people. Mostly.

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  11. Bruce Fields said on January 13, 2023 at 9:54 am

    Yeah, I managed to burn something while visiting family over Christmas because I’m used to gas and I forgot how hot their stove will get and how long it will take to cool down.

    The issues with health and carbon emissions are real. Gas stoves probably should have died out long ago. Eventually we’ll replace ours and I’ll get used to it.

    But this is a job for systems, not individuals: we should be taxing gas correctly and discouraging it in new construction and then letting people transition when it makes sense for them individually. Shaming people for hanging on to their stoves isn’t helpful.

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  12. Icarus said on January 13, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Eric Zorn is a big Language Peever. I tease him about how he gets his drawers in a bunch whenever a word is used beyond its tight definition. I’ve decided to sit the Word Wars out. As long as I understand what you mean, we’re good.

    A Facebook friend enlighten me years ago about how gas is bad and that we never should have adopted it. I went down a rabbit hole and learned that like a lot of things, consumers had a choice between gas and electric and they succumbed to marketing instead of efficiency.


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  13. ROGirl said on January 13, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Sounds like Toyota either used a new design or changed an old one, and didn’t bother to adequately determine potential failure modes. A design change could have been a cost saving effort.

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  14. Charlie (she/her) said on January 13, 2023 at 10:54 am

    There are these little generic portable induction burners you can get for like 60 bucks on *mazon, and they have a killer feature: actual temperature control. I do not understand why none of the full-size induction stovetops seem to have it!

    Want to get oil ready for frying? Punch in “350” and off you go! Need to simmer broth for 10 hours and make sure it doesn’t boil? “180”! I don’t actually know what temperature makes pancakes the way I like them but if I could just work it out and write it down instead of fiddling with the gas burners every single time, I’d be down at the store yesterday.

    You know they have the hardware to do this because they all have temperature sensors (for the “H” warning light) and the usual half-penny computers that run the world of consumer appliances. Most of them have digital displays.

    But the last full-size induction stove I used had settings “1” through “10”, where 1-6 were “are you sure it’s on?” and 7-10 were “charcoal.” I don’t get it.

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  15. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 11:05 am

    This is just a guess as to why the designed them that way. In those days, Camrys were available with manual transmissions. The brake pedal was closer to the accelerator to make room for the clutch pedal and they reused the brake pedal position for the automatics as a cost saving. So if the original unintended acceleration crash had been a manual they could have pressed the clutch. With their foot mashing the accelerator, they would have likely blown up the engine but they’d be alive.

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  16. susan said on January 13, 2023 at 11:09 am

    “Going forward.” That’s one that makes me cringe. Ugh.

    And using the word “podium” for when the person is talking about a lectern or simply a counter. That has pissed me off for years. I have almost come to terms with it, but I’m not quite there yet.

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  17. nancy said on January 13, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Charlie, YES on the weirdness of induction settings. In Europe, I learned to make the coffee at 8, because otherwise it’d be faster to walk a mile to a Starbucks. But then I’d turn it off and move it to where the pot was only covering 30 percent of the burner, because otherwise: Cooked.

    I will nod to the also-ubiquitous-in-Europe induction tea kettles / water boilers, which were a-maz-ing. It’d boil a couple quarts of water in, like three minutes.

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  18. Dorothy said on January 13, 2023 at 11:40 am

    I’m not a journalist but I’m going to share my pet peeve (and I’m 100% sure I’ve mentioned this before but screw it). “At this point in time”. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST SAY NOW?!?! And when did it become normal to say about someone who did something admirable “Good on him (or her)”? Isn’t it supposed to be “good FOR her (or him)”? Example: Did you hear Jim got a promotion? Oh did he?! That’s great! Good on him! That just sounds so stupid to me.

    And I’m right there with you on the gas stove issue. I’ve used both gas and electric and strongly prefer gas. This current stuff in the news is just the latest hot (ha!) topic and will simmer (ha again!) down once some other new, shiny topic comes up.

    I was at a guild meeting last night so I was unplugged from the news and social media for a few hours. When I got home at 9:15 i was stunned when my husband told me about Lisa Marie. I said “She was just at the Golden Globes 48 hours ago!!” Not sure why I said that, as though being at the GG event would have cloaked her in some kind of invincibility. I saw a clip from some pre-show footage and they said she was a little wobbly on her feet. It showed her saying to her escort “I’m going just hold onto your arm …” while she was answering a question. I knew her son committed suicide two or so years ago, and I’m wondering if she was on medication for depression or anxiety and maybe she over medicated? Her daughter Riley is an adult but she also leaves behind twin 14 year old girls.

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  19. Sherri said on January 13, 2023 at 11:43 am

    I love my induction stove. Yes, it takes a while before the stove indicates that it is cool after you turn it off, but that doesn’t mean it’s hot enough to burn anything. Your gas stove isn’t cool after you turn the gas off; the gas is off, but the metal grate is still hot from the radiant heat, and will take a while to cook off. Same thing here; the stove surface has absorbed some heat from the pan, and will take a while to cool off.

    It heats up quickly, it’s responsive, easy to clean, it’s safer. What’s not to like?

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  20. Julie Robinson said on January 13, 2023 at 11:49 am

    We had one of those Camrys, but never any issues with the accelerator.

    Gas isn’t available here. It’s not used much in Florida, but there’s also no lines in our neighborhood. Our current electric stovetop is ancient and terrible, but I haven’t burned anything recently, so I guess I’ve adjusted. It isn’t capable of a low simmer for soup. When we redo the kitchen we’ll probably go induction because it’s got to be better, right?

    Our wall oven (tiny, as they usually are) blew its lower baking element a few days ago and we thought we were in real trouble. No point in putting much money into it since we are planning a total remodel. Our good-guy local appliance dealer came to the rescue with a new element and about 15 minutes later we were back in business.

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  21. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    I started using “good on ya'” when I heard Molly Ivins say it. So it’s probably a Texasism. I liked the sound when Molly said it so that was good enough for me. I’m getting pretty agnostic about language. I hardly even flinch when I hear nook-you-ler. The last thing I want is to have English speakers become like the French and call a cop and l’Académie Française if someone says le jumbo jet instead of l’avion gros.

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  22. LAMary said on January 13, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Molly once said to me, “Daughter, watch out for that guy. He thinks he’s prettier than you.” I didn’t listen. I married that asshole. It didn’t last. I let Molly know that about a year before she died.

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  23. 4dbirds said on January 13, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    I’m not sure I know the difference between a podium, a lectern or a counter either without looking it up. Well, maybe the counter. There is also a dais, which I just looked up. Thankfully, at work, we have a editing and reports section that takes our work and cleans it up. I too was shocked about Lisa Marie. As I age, I become more aware of people who are younger than me dying. I also wondered if her son’s death was an overall factor in her health. My own young adult son’s death threw me into outright insanity. I publicly embarrassed myself several times on social media. My drinking got out of control and found myself going to detox and rehab. I do feel for her mother as the loss of a child is a loss as no other no matter their age. I also knew I had to stay alive until my daughter received her disability for SS and finally it happened. It ‘literally’ took years. I am not overusing the word literally. 🙂 I use gas and will not use an electric unless some technology comes around that makes it as efficient as gas for cooking. My next and last car will be electric. It won’t be a Tesla however. I can’t stand Musk and how everyone fawns over him. My car is five years old so I have a few years to make a decision which one I want.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on January 13, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    The usual suspects have grabbed the arguments against gas stoves and run with it. We’ve had a gas stove in our house since we purchased it, but if their time is passing, so be it. My mom burned about 2,000 pounds of bacon the first year she moved into a house with an electric range because she was used to letting the skillet sit on the burner after it was turned off. She learned. We will, too.

    One incident I recall from my pre-school years occurred in Lawrence, Ind., after my father took a job at an Indianapolis daily. (It was short-lived…less than two years.) Tornadoes roared through the area one evening, leaving those with electric stoves no way to heat baby formula while the power lines were down. I recall a group of young mothers –I would’ve been about 5 at the time– gathered in our kitchen to warm their bottles on my mom’s gas stove. Even now, I console myself with the thought that were our power to go out in the winter for an extended period of time, we’d at least be able to eat warm food and sip warm drinks.

    Apparently, Mercedes Schlapp, one of the ultra-conservative harridans, has been screaming about the death of the gas stove. You’d think she’d be more concerned about the charges that her husband, Matt, the founder of the horrible CPAC, fondled the penis of a young campaign worker in the Herschel Walker effort this fall. These people…

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  25. FDChief said on January 13, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    Re: Toyotas and automotive engineering…the saying in engineering (and I know I’ve used this here before) is “change happens one death at a time.” It’s the things we think we know that kill us.

    Example, earthquake engineering in San Francisco.

    Now we “knew” about the hazard; 1906 yadda yadda. We KNEW we were building to the highest seismic engineering design standards because, giant earthquakes, right?

    Then the ‘89 Loma Prieta and the upper deck of the Nimitz Freeway collapsed.

    Turns out? All that massive vertical rebar in the columns? When the columns shook the rebar bent and bulged out thru the concrete and the columns failed. Turns out you have to add another coil of steel around the vertical bars to resist that. Too late for the people underneath that deck that day in ‘89…but not for the next time.

    That’s what this whole “gas stove” thing seems to be; a look at the potential climate costs vs benefits of burning a fossil fuel vs a stove that can be run on renewables. It’s learning from past failures and present conditions.

    But it’s utterly unsurprising that a GQP that is all jewish space lasers and drag queens will refuse to understand that. Ho hum, Republicans; can’t live with ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em…

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  26. Jeff Gill said on January 13, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Reading this sitting at the corner of Indianapolis, Lawrence, & Fishers.

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  27. susan said on January 13, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    FDChief— I’m stealing that. Republicans: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em…

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  28. Brandon said on January 13, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    And Madison Cawthorn is being revealed as having largely dispensed as a House rep with constituent services, a trend which I’d love to see investigated for those staying on like Greene & Boebert & Gaetz.


    Former Rep. Madison Cawthorn reportedly didn’t hand over any of his office’s constituent casework to his successor, Rep. Chuck Edwards, creating a mess for the freshman representative.

    Members of Congress, outside of legislating, provide a series of services for members of their districts. This includes help obtaining government resources, casework, US Service Academy nominations, and more.

    And when a legislator departs Congress, they’re expected to pass along any casework and ongoing constituent services information to their successor in order to maintain guidance and leadership for their constituents. The deadline for signing over the database of information was December 23, 2022.

    Cawthorn, his successor said, failed to do that.

    Edwards is a fellow Republican who dispatched Cawthorn in a primary.

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  29. Sherri said on January 13, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    Constituent casework doesn’t get you on InfoWars or Steve Bannon’s show or Tucker Carlson, or any of the other places to perform own the libs outrage.

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  30. FDChief said on January 13, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I should amend that; you CAN shoot ‘em, but they’re so greasy and hard to clean that it’s hardly worth it for the food value you get out of ‘em…

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  31. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    They must not be expecting much out of Santos for constituent service either. I was listening to a story on the radio saying a Congressional office from a neighboring district has agreed to help people in NY-03.

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  32. susan said on January 13, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    FDChief— Who said I was wanting to eat them? Pthfth. Gah. Nope. Just want to control an invasive species.

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  33. Deborah said on January 13, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Our condo buildings in both Santa Fe and Chicago do not have options for gas stoves. I don’t think I’ve ever had a gas stove, not that I didn’t want one, it was never an option that I remember. But maybe we did have a gas stove once in a place we lived, I’m trying to remember. Whenever I’ve stayed in a place with gas, I’ve always been slightly afraid of it, that I was going to be asphyxiated by it because I didn’t know how to operate it properly. People in Abiquiu often have propane stoves, which aren’t exactly the same as natural gas. One of our friends there recently got a new stove and didn’t realize it was set up for natural gas and flames came shooting out of the oven the first time they used it with their propane hookup. Thankfully it was able to be converted and they’re very happy with it. The problem with propane is the tanks if you ask me, you have to have them refilled periodically, or maybe they just switch out the tanks like you do with gas grills. But the tanks are huge so that doesn’t seem practical. Plus I think they’re ugly sitting on people’s property. Apparently you can’t cover them up or contain them because they need to be visible to keep from getting run into by vehicles or whatever. We have a little camp stove that we use out in our cabin in the summer kitchen in nice weather. It has cute little dark green tanks that hook up to it and each actually lasts a pretty long time, longer than I expected. The problem is the empty little tanks can’t be recycled and we have to dispose of them at the dump. During the winter we cook on the wood burning stove.

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  34. David C said on January 13, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    Propane is a much cleaner burning fuel than natural gas. Because it’s refined there isn’t the nasty crap that’s in natural gas. Natural gas has benzene and other pollutants which is what the to do about gas stoves is really all about. The biggest drawback to propane is the price fluctuates wildly and there are often shortages. Propane tanks can be buried but most don’t. Buried tanks are more expensive and they need good sized weights to hold them down because there is gas space above the liquid so they can start to float out of the ground if there’s heavy rain.

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  35. Deborah said on January 13, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    David C, that’s good to know, thanks for the info about propane. I didn’t know the tanks could be buried and too much rain wouldn’t be a problem for us, since rain is ridiculously scarce now in northern NM.

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  36. susan said on January 13, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    I would never have a propane tank outside my house, nor, well, in my house, obviously. Years ago we had an oil-burning heat stove and the oil tank was outside on the north side of the house. I was always nervous about all the hunters around, and idiots shooting ground squirrels, and couldn’t wait to get rid of that thing. A tank full of propane would really freak me. There are so many people with guns and fireworks.

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  37. LAMary said on January 13, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    When I read the word “Propane,”I hear it Hank Hill’s voice.

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  38. Deborah said on January 13, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    Propane tanks aren’t allowed inside at all in NM. Our summer kitchen at our cabin in Abiquiu is outside where we use our camp stove with the little propane tanks in the summer. We do know people who use those camp stoves inside, which we would never do, it’s not safe at all.

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  39. FDChief said on January 14, 2023 at 12:36 am

    Susan: my pop was a child of the Depression and his hunting rules have stayed with me. One shot, one kill. And you never kill what you won’t eat.

    Fortunately, most of the fatty parts of a Republican are between the ears. The rest is all red meat…

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  40. susan said on January 14, 2023 at 1:05 am

    Gristly and rancid red meat.

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  41. Dexter Friend said on January 14, 2023 at 1:47 am

    Bo Dietl on “Imus in the Morning” was the last person I heard use the phrase, “…he took the gas pipe.”

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  42. beb said on January 14, 2023 at 6:41 am

    I found the gas stove debate somewhat laughable. Mostly because how long do you use a stove during a day? I heard a mention that the concern was over the creation of NOx, which happens with any open flame in our atmosphere. That could be an issue as homes becomes more air tight (conserve heat) Of course they could just mandate exhaust hoods over any gas stone to vent the NOx. Nut mostly I hear the voice of some dishonest group trying to ban gas stoves.

    There are two types of electric stoves, resistance coil and induction. Resistance coils get hot and glow. And take a long time to coil down after being turned off. Induction stoves over work with iron or steel pans because they use an electromagnet to induce the pan to get hot. Since only the pot gets hot the stove top remains cool and turning off the induction current stops the heating immediately. I’ve never cooked with an induction grill so I don’t know how to work with it. I grew up with a resistance stove. You learn the tricks to using it. When I moved to Detroit everything was gas and I got used to it. I like gas over resistance heating.

    Some phrases irk me more than others. Steve Benen who writes the Rachel Maddow blog can’t stop using “circle back” that phrase shows up in one or more posts every day, sometimes all of them. Swap Out doesn’t bother me so much. It seems more of an idiom like calling ‘soda’ ‘pop’ or vice versa.

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  43. sgillie said on January 14, 2023 at 7:11 am

    I’m with Sherri, Team Induction all the way. Here’s a professional’s experience with converting.

    Before “retiring,” I cooked professionally in a commercial kitchen with a gas stove that almost blew up. Someone, two blocks away saw the glow and likened it to watching a rocket ship about to take off. Soured me on gas cooking forever.

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  44. David C said on January 14, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Gristly, rancid, red meat, with a prion disease.

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  45. Mark P said on January 14, 2023 at 9:55 am

    In the recent past it was thought that oxides of nitrogen were formed only by burning at high temperatures and pressures, like in an internal combustion engine, but more recent research found potentially dangerous levels of NOx production from gas stoves. The U.S. currently has no regulations for indoor NOx levels. If indoor levels are regulated, it may mean no more non-commercial gas stoves, or possibly strict regulations about venting to outside the house.

    NOx exposure can cause respiratory problems, especially for kids, who may end up having more health problems later in life. Consumer Reports rates induction ranges highly and recommends them. We make do with an old-fashioned resistance-heating range. So far we have survived.

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  46. Julie Robinson said on January 14, 2023 at 10:13 am

    agillie, somewhere in heaven my MIL is jumping up and down saying I told you so about gas stoves. She distrusted them with a deep feeling of dread about explosions, so much that she would never touch ours when she was over. Of course, she also believed that all pork had trichinosis so had to be charred before eating, but we digress.

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  47. alex said on January 14, 2023 at 10:29 am

    I was thinking about getting my 95-year-old dad an induction cooktop so that he won’t burn the house down, but it sounds like it would all be a lot of trouble. Besides, he’s confounded by change of any sort, especially when it involves using any new sort of technology.

    He just got a replacement credit card in the mail that has to be activated using a QR code and a cell phone. No 800 number to call anymore and he doesn’t have a cell phone and doesn’t want one. So he’s just not going to activate the card.

    I learned to cook mostly with electric for 20 years living in a Chicago hi-rise without gas service, and for another 10 after buying a house with a cool vintage range. Then I changed to gas and figured out why I was never able to make a perfect roux, either burning it or undercooking it but never quite achieving the appetizing aroma and chocolate-brown color touted in all the best cookbooks. To do it right you need a heat source that responds in an instant. My meals are so much better. I would find it hard to go back to electric or to learn the vicissitudes of induction where you can’t actually see the size of a flame.

    On edit: Julie, yes, trichinosis. I think my grandma had me squicked out about pork for the first half of my life although she never warned me about how nasty poultry could be. Of course, her grandparents survived cholera epidemics so maybe that’s where it came from.

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  48. Deborah said on January 14, 2023 at 11:54 am

    My mother made cardboard tasting and looking fried pork chops, from cooking the bejesus out of them because she worried about trichinosis, she always said it was because she grew up on a farm. On the other hand, an aunt on my Dad’s side made delicious fried pork chops that were crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. She grew up on a farm too and she cooked on an electric stove, she was the first person I knew who had a glass cooktop, I thought it was super cool, until I had one and found out they’re not as easy to keep clean as they’re cracked up to be. Better than cleaning out the electric burner drip pans for sure but my glass top got streaky and cloudy real quick. LB claims that you can’t use enameled cookware on a glass top. I didn’t have any enameled cookware when I had one but LB has mostly LeCreuset, so all enameled.

    As I’ve said here before, in Chicago we have an ancient electric stove that I can’t wait to get rid of. It still works OK but it’s ugly and hard to cook on the back burners because of the enormous microwave component above it, I have to tilt to the side to see what’s going on back there. Being gone from Chicago half the time doesn’t make replacing it a priority and I rarely use more than the front 2 burners at a time anyway.

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  49. Jeff Borden said on January 14, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    It’s exhausting keeping up with all the things that upset right-wingers. It seems like it was only last week Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson was lamenting on Fox that M&Ms were “no longer sexy” because of some new marketing campaign of which he disapproves. Oh, wait. It was last week. Now, we’re onto gas stoves.

    Meanwhile, at the state level of stupid things conservatives do, the Missouri legislature is forbidding women members from appearing with bare arms while they’re in the legislature. The very legislative body that screamed Taliban when asked to wear masks at the height of the Covid-19 wave is gravely concerned about how females dress in their presence, though to be fair, I believe this effort originated with a good, bible-thumping right-wing woman. And these are the dolts who worry about Sharia law?

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  50. Mark P said on January 14, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Ask This Old House just had a segment on induction cooking. It’s faster and more efficient than gas. Apparently it’s also possible to hide the mechanism under a natural or artificial solid surface countertop so you can’t even tell it’s a stove. Nice, but expensive.

    As for Missouri, apparently they already have a dress code for men that includes coat and tie.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on January 14, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    Apparently Ms. Righty from Missouri was wearing a questionable sparkly top the day she proposed the changes and one of the other women called her on it. What’s next, ankles banned? Or maybe they’ll move straight to a burka.

    The M&M’s flap is about “women” candies. Give me a break.

    Hmm, we have a fake LeCreuset and it works fine on our current glass stovetop. We don’t mind the idea of getting new pans for induction because our pans are just pans. Nothing fancy.

    Since both sets of grandparents had pigs, we ate a lot of pork, and I’ve never liked it. It’s so greasy and my tummy doesn’t like fatty or fried foods. But my dad had a rub he got at the local Farm Bureau that produced wonderful grilled pork chops. Who knows what was in it, probably nothing good for us, but it made the pork tolerable.

    I also don’t like fried chicken. It turns my stomach. This did not make me popular as a child among my relatives, for whom fried chicken (with the skin left on of course) was a great treat and wasn’t I a spoiled picky child. About the only thing I like fried is vegetable stir fry.

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  52. Deborah said on January 14, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    I love fried chicken, which I don’t have that often, I never make it, I get Churches maybe once a year and only when I’m in Santa Fe when my husband isn’t here, he doesn’t even like the smell of it. About once a year LB and I will have Churches fried chicken with red cabbage slaw that we make. I make pretty good fried pork chops, only have the about once a year too.

    I bought 6 amaryllis plants with red waxed bulbs at Trader Joes about a month ago, they are all blooming now gloriously, there are about 6 blooms per stem, I do this every year since TJs started selling them for the holidays. They usually bloom closer to Christmas, these got a late start. The blooms last a long time.

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  53. LAMary said on January 14, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t claim to understand the induction process but Le Creuset pans are not enameled on the bottom which would be the only part of the pan in contact with the stovetop.

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  54. Dorothy said on January 14, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I just can’t believe all this hand wringing about the dangers of gas stoves. I grew up with one in both of the homes my parents owned before I got married in 1979. Then I had one in our first house where we lived for 13 years. In 1992 we moved to the country, the house we bought was on one acre of land, and we brought our gas stove with us from the first house. No gas service in the country so we were able to use a propane tank, which sat behind the house and we got refilled as needed. A company who specialized in this would bring us a new tank when the old one emptied. We lived there for ten years, never having any issues or problems at all with the stove.

    One funny story: just my husband and I went to Florida for a family wedding, leaving our daughter and son at home. Daughter was nearly 17 and drove. Son was nearly 15 – they were responsible enough to leave at home. But the third day we were gone they made chicken and rice for dinner, turned on the stove, and when it should have been cooked they opened the oven and it was cold. The tank had run out. Frantic call to Mum and Dad, who had moved on to Sanibel Island for a couple days before we came home. “Throw away the chicken and rice dish. Use the cash we left to get pizza for dinner, call the company to get a new tank delivered, and we’ll see you tomorrow!” Now that I think about it, the company came and brought the tanks on a schedule, and we never ran out like that before. But maybe that month we had been cooking more than usual so it never dawned on me to get a new tank before we left for Florida.

    First time I cooked on an electric stove was 2002 when we moved to Cincinnati. I hated it. The adjustment to learn to cook on electric was not much fun but I did it. Next house in South Carolina had an electric stove. When we built our house in Mount Vernon OH we had bought 3 acres but glory be, there was gas service on that road. So we got a gas stove again and I was delighted. Then the Dayton house was back to an electric stove again. Now that we built here we have gas and all is right with the world. I’m wondering if a lot of these anxieties about gas stoves was old wives’ tales or phobias. Honestly it sounds ridiculous to me because I’ve used them for years and don’t recall hearing anyone having problems. That doesn’t mean there are NOT problems but I never personally had any.

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  55. Mark P said on January 14, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    The guys on Ask This Old House said you could put a paper towel between the pot and the cooktop and it would still work, and the paper towel wouldn’t burn. A ceramic coating wouldn’t keep the pot from working. And the funny thing is that it is actually the pot itself that heats up and does the work. It’s an elegant solution to stovetop cooking. It makes conventional electric ranges obsolete.

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  56. Julie Robinson said on January 14, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    They delivered a new tank? My folks just had it refilled.

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  57. David C said on January 14, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    Our first stove in the house we have now was gas. We had to change igniters 2-3 times a year and we finally gave up on it when the circuit board fried out and got a smooth top electric. We both grew up with electric stoves so it wasn’t a big adjustment. We didn’t feel any ill effects from the gas but we have a heat recovery ventilator so the air in the house in exchanged every 45 minutes or something like that. I’m pretty sure our next will be induction.

    I think the delivery is the smaller propane tanks. They’re 40 or 50 gallons not the big ones that sit in the back yard.

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  58. Suzanne said on January 14, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    When we were first married, in the early 80s, the rental we lived in had a gas stove so old it had no pilot light. We had to light a match, hold it near the burner, and turn on the gas to get it going. It scared me because on occasion, we would accidentally bump the knob and turn on the gas without noticing right away. But, we never blew ourselves up, so all was well.

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  59. LAMary said on January 14, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    I don’t like the coil type of electric stove. “Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer,”is a common instruction you see in a recipe. On a gas stove it reduces. On electric it takes its sweet time. I was advised by a brother who is not always reliable source of info that my house is unlikely to be wired sufficiently to switch to electric so I’ll stick to my environmentally irresponsible gas stove for now. Never had any problem with the gas burners but the touch panel for the oven has been replaced two or three times. Bad design issue.

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  60. Dorothy said on January 14, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    Julie you’re right. That must’ve been what they did.

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  61. Deborah said on January 14, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    I grew up with an electric stove in Miami, honestly I probably didn’t know there was any alternative. I had never heard of gas stoves then.

    LB tells me that we did have a gas stove in a high rise we lived in in St. Louis from about 1996 or 97 until 2003. It was a time that I didn’t do much cooking because we worked late every night. My husband would make a simple pasta dish when we got home and we’d split a bottle of wine. Those days are long over, thank god. Working late all of the time, stress city, too much food and wine to eat that late.

    Because I’m reading this Cormac McCarthy boxed set of 2 of his latest novels and that led me to Google McCarthy which led me to this bizarre LATimes article about his now divorced 3rd wife (mother of his son that inspired “The Road”). In any case she seems like one or two of his characters in his novels are based on someone like her https://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-cormac-mccarthy-ex-wife-arrested-assault-20140108-story.html.

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  62. David Edelstein said on January 14, 2023 at 8:17 pm

    I take exception to the snotty tone on induction. You can learn to cook on anything. I mean, I have gas (burp) and like it fine but I can cook on electric, too – I just have to jostle and slide the pan a little more. I have to pay attention. But I do that anyway. Induction is intriguing. The lab-nerds on Milk Street use it. The temperature adjustment is actually much quicker and I don’t think that’s correct about burners taking longer to lose heat. Not compared to electric coils. Most of my pots and pans will work on it. If it’s for the good of the planet and the good of my and my kids’ lungs, what’s the big f-in’ deal?

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  63. Mark P said on January 14, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    There is no doubt that exposure to oxides of nitrogen (NOx) can cause respiratory problems, and that the potential is greater for kids, especially if they have asthma. We used a gas stove from the time I was born until I was 17, and I suffered no problems — that I know of. But the risk is like the risk of a smoker getting cancer. Lots of people smoke all their lives and don’t get cancer, but that doesn’t mean smoking doesn’t increase the risk of getting cancer. Also, some research has found that they release significant amounts of methane even when turned off.

    Given the health and environmental problems of gas stoves, it’s likely they will eventually be regulated out of existence. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about jack-booted EPA storm troopers ripping your gas stoves from your cold, dead hands, but eventually I think you will find it nearly impossible to get a new gas stove.

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  64. jcburns said on January 14, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    Happy blog-versary Nancy.

    Thought about sending you a large Upper Peninsula tank of propane as a gift…then thought better of it.

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  65. Dexter Friend said on January 15, 2023 at 1:31 am

    I loved fried chicken until on my infrequent visits to KFC, the employees only half-cooked it, and it turned me on fried chicken; now I can’t stand the smell of it. I only cooked with gas when I visited my girlfriend’s house years ago, and I loved it. It’s just that every place I lived, many apartments and houses, always had electric. For years, I have had the glass-topped flat stovetop with side knobs to control heat. It works fine, except after a few years, one burner just quit. I never tried to get it working as 3 burners is all I need.

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  66. alex said on January 15, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Used to love fried chicken, but on diabetes meds it gives me a painful tummy and indigestion, so I’ve developed a strong aversion. Still willing to indulge myself with a few French fries though.

    I’m about to make my hubby a big long-simmering batch of authentic Hungarian goulash. Used to be much harder on an electric stove element without scorching it. Never happens when I set it on a low flame with gas.

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  67. ROGirl said on January 15, 2023 at 9:58 am

    A power brown out started about an hour ago. It’s not completely out, but there was no internet

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  68. Jeff Borden said on January 15, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Cormac McCarthy fans: There’s an essay in today’s Book Review section of the NYT on the centrality of food found in all of his work, whether it’s eating around a campfire in his border trilogy or finding an unopened can of Coke in a battered vending machine in “The Road.”

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  69. Icarus said on January 15, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    I love fried chicken or at least the breading. My Polish grandmother often made breaded pork chops (you could use chicken too or veal). It’s basically a weinersnitchel but we just called it breaded kutlet.

    In Chicago, you could drive down any busy street and within a mile or so there would be a hotdog stand that served your basic Cheeseburger, hotdog, Italian Beef and Gyros. Certainly don’t have that here in Olive Branch, and I’ve only found one place like it in Memphis, and they are open very short hours.

    Speaking of hotdogs, growing up, I don’t remember ketchup on a hotdog being a cardinal sin. Most of those hotdog stands I mentioned worked under the “paying customers can eat their food however they want” model. I suspect someone branded the Chicago Dog and decided that catsup overwhelms the other ingredients so they just didn’t add it, but what do I know.

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  70. Julie Robinson said on January 15, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Icarus, don’t let anyone bully you by saying what you can or can’t put on your hotdogs. I like ketchup and I grew up outside Chicago eating Ball Park Franks. My tastebuds, my choice. Life will go on just fine if I never attend another ballgame and I have to make do with dogs from the Costco food court.

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  71. Jeff Gill said on January 15, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    The discussion of stoves reminds me of a story I was told by an elder of my last church, who was born at the end of World War II, so the math works from there.

    She describes how electric ovens & rangetops came into her part of rural Ohio, and when they’d go into town on Saturday (natch) there’d be a stop at the Western Auto or maybe it was a Ben Franklin and her mother would longingly look at the newfangled electric appliances in the 1950s . . . and her mother, who lived with them, would crisply say “I can’t imagine anyone buying one of those, it’s just giving money away.”

    Back at home, Grandma would alternate between talking about the merits of wood stoves in the kitchen, and their terrors. She’d talk about how the wood stove used brush from the farm, economical & handy (“handy if you’re not the one cutting it all the time” her daddy would say as he passed through the conversation), nothing you had to pay someone for like you did this rural electrification scheme. Just as fast she’d pivot to how HER grandmother’s littlest sister got her hair caught on fire and died a week later. Then she’d go back to how the wood stove kept the house warm, reducing the need for running the furnace . . . and then pull up a sleeve to point out a burn she got brushing too close up against the bulk of the wood stove carrying something across the kitchen.

    “And the scent is so pleasing” Grandma would note, studiously ignoring her daughter’s muttered “when it’s cherry we’re burning, which isn’t often.” My then-young friend would be tasked, as the shortest of the three women at ten or eleven, with pulling out the ashes in a scuttle shovel and carrying them out the back door, trying and usually failing to avoid spilling any ash, let alone embers, onto the linoleum.

    “Only a fool would buy an electric oven when they had a good wood stove already in place,” said Grandma, rocking in her chair pulled close to the heat. True, it worked very well for her.

    A few years later, Grandma died; my friend recalls being about fifteen years old at the time, and how she’d try to avoid admitting at school in home ec class that they still had a wood stove at home, but she didn’t complain, because Grandma obviously favored them, and presumably Momma was fine with that.

    After the funeral at the church, the procession went to the cemetery out in the country; the graveside service concluded, everyone began to go their own way from the hilltop, some back to work on a weekday, others to their homes & farms. Seated in the car, her mother & father both exchanged a look, and the family drove back into town.

    They ordered a new electric stove with four burners on top that very day, then went home so her daddy and a friend of his could dismantle and haul out the wood stove to the barn. They ate canned goods a few days until the electric stove arrived & was installed, and they never spoke of Grandma’s love of wood stoves ever again.

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  72. David C said on January 15, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t get Chicago style hotdogs. Steamed bun, mustard, relish, tomato, and pickle all together make it a soggy mess. Maybe if they had just picked two or three. Mary used to make a green tomato hot dog relish that was to die for. She became allergic to something in vinegar so we stopped making it. I haven’t truly enjoyed a hot dog since. Ketchup on a hot dog, I can take it or leave it but people are allowed to like what they like.

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  73. Heather said on January 15, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    I grew up with a gas stove and I do have asthma (and my mother developed it later in life), although of course I have no idea if it was the culprit. In my opinion it’s probably multiple factors.

    Now I have a gas stove, gas-forced air, and a gas fireplace. I’m supposed to crack open a window when the fireplace is on but I rarely do.

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  74. ROGirl said on January 15, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    I grew up with an electric stove and would not want to go back to one again. Fried foods and I are not a winning combination. I had a piece of KFC recently and it didn’t make me want to have more.

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