Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Here's a hymn to Hob Brite

This is the Neff hob, bought for hundreds of pounds years ago. Mrs BB swears by it. Thermal reaction is the equal of any gas ring but its inestimable value is its cleanability. No wretched grease-tarnished cast-iron birds nests. Just a quick wipe with a dab of Hob Brite.

When I contemplate shelves of cleaning stuff a word springs to mind – fraud! I refuse to believe there are chemical distinctions between something said to make kitchens sparkle and one which does the same for bathrooms. Hob Brite is the exception. As well as rendering the Neff worthy of Home & Garden it removes heat-lacquered stains inside the oven’s glass door. More remarkable, given the vessel’s pimply orange-skin surface, it cleans the Le Creuset casserole. And the coffee stains in my favourite china mug disappeared in a flash. It could be based on something inimical to human life – sulphuric acid in cream form. But what the hell.

NOVEL EDITING Names. Hatch is Hatch, an immutable. But I see Clare just as clearly and she just isn’t a Lowther (always remembering this is her husband’s surname). Using Word’s find/replace I changed all 36 references to Kepler, the German mathematician, astronomer and (I’m mortified to admit) astrologer. An improvement but somewhat anonymous. Not there yet.

Dialogue. Christopher commented he wasn’t tempted to write novels because dialogue is difficult. I agree. The first awful discovery is that it isn’t spoken English it’s much more rarefied. A spoken sentence may start with “So” or “Well” but not a dialogue sentence. And here’s another

“The magazine hasn’t let you know?” asked Hester.
“No they haven’t. But I do have an interview…”

“No they haven’t.” must go.


Rouchswalwe said...

Wholehearted agreement from me - tis fraud! Mr. Clean is all I need (the bald genie with the earring). And what I would give to brew on a stovetop like that! No electrical coils to worry about (they always seem to be in crooked and that creates havoc for the brewkettle).

The Crow said...

Too bad we don't know Hypatia's last name. Seems it would be fitting for Clare.

Avus said...

But will it clean the tarnish off stainless steel motorcycle exhausts?

marja-leena said...

Inimical cleaner? You mean harmful to humans? You sure you want to fry your brains with the stuff? I used to use some nasty products but now it's just vinegar and baking soda.

Anyway, I do envy that cooktop, not being too fond of cleaning coils or those gas burner tops.

Hattie said...

Hmm. I wonder if there is something like Hob Brite in the U.S.
Those induction stoves are kind of tricky, and I'm not too fond of the one in our place in Seattle, but maybe I need to use it more.
I really prefer my cheapo klutzy Sears gas stove here that we fuel with propane, not being on a gas line. Sure it gets dirty, but a little oven cleaner keeps it looking clean enough.

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: You're listening to the fleas cough. My brains don't have far to go now and are much more likely to succumb to the effects of alcohol than the intermittent use of cleaner. And, as a matter of principle, I seek to avoid manual work. Hence the employment of gardeners and cleaning ladies.

Hattie: I swear the Neff is not tricky; the response times of the elements are - I kid you not - as quick as gas flames. What's more you see them instaneously brightening and darkening within the ceramic material as the controls are changed. The downside is the moolah, Neffs cost lots and lots.

But here's the major point. We are old and we have moolah. You may shrug off "a little oven cleaner keeps it looking clean enough" but Mrs BB would rather be reading and I would rather be writing. Long ago we decided that cleaning the pan holders on a gas stove was not an ennobling experience and that requirement has been extirpated from our lives. Possibly your argument is that our moolah should be hoarded and handed on to our daughters while we work our fingers to the bone to ensure they are comfortable in their old age. The hell with that. Our oldest daughter is nearly fifty; our need is greater than hers. Unless the state takes it all away in payment for looking after us when we're ga-ga both daughters will do well.

After sixty-five, and certainly after seventy, you should never do anything you don't want to unless forced by economic circumstances. We just started a little earlier is all.

Barrett Bonden said...

First three commenters: Sorry I got carried away responding to Hattie and I missed you out.

RW (zS): The Neff - made in Germany and a device that, for once, lives up to that country's sedulous prowess in creating myths about its own competence - is all that and more. As I have posted several times before.

The Crow: I'm a sensitive soul, my dear. Even if knew Hypatia's surname I'd be far too conscious of her hideous end to attach it to my beloved physicist.

Avus: And why on earth would you want to do that?

Plutarch said...

Odd how cleaning products when they do the job well become almost as important in every day life as virtues some vices. Hobright is a very present help in our kitchen too, although our hob is ceramic without resorting to induction. Ceramic hobs do not take kindly to more abrasive cleaners.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch (and others): I should have explained that the Neff is not an induction hob but something Neff says is far far superior.(Being German, they would, wouldn't they?). I did once read the technical distinction but my eyes swam.