My electric cook stove has been in bad shape for awhile, now, but I just keep limping it along. Actually, the cook top hasn't even worked in about a dozen years, so I have been cooking on a double burner hotplate all of this time. In the middle of winter I use my wood burning stove that I heat my house with, but the rest of the time, it is just that old hotplate.
The oven isn't much better. When I was divorcing and temporarily moved out, my ex let the mice take over and they tore most of the insulation out of the oven. (my cats did a great job getting rid of the mice) So now it doesn't heat very evenly. Add into the mix, the springs have broken on the door of that ancient oven and the only way it will stay closed is if I wedge the door shut with a mop handle. Looks pretty funny, but it works. One day, though, I didn't get it wedged good, the door flopped open, hit something I had temporarily setting on the floor in front of the oven, and shattered the outside pane of glass into a jillion pieces! The inner pane of glass is still in the door, but even more heat escapes, now. There is a positive side to this. On chilly nights when I don't want to fire up the wood stove, if I bake my dinner, it takes the chill out of the house at the same time! The challenges of my oven gets even better. It is so old, that all of the numbers on the nobs have worn off. Yep, I have no idea what temperature I am setting it to when I turn it on.
But tonight, my challenges grew. The nob broke off of that old hot plate! Yep, it just snapped right off. Now, it does have two sides, a large plate and a small plate, and the nob is still on the small plate, but that small plate is nearly worthless. It is good for melting butter and warming water, but that is about it. So now, no nob on my large plate, the part that I do all of my cooking on. But the good news is, the nob broke off while the burner was on! It appears it was on high, too, which is good, because that is the only setting at which it will cook anything. So now I have two settings for my hotplate... unplugged for off, and plugged in for high. At least, it is still working. I just have to make sure and remember to unplug it each time I use it. I guess it is all in how you look at things. I could complain that I no longer have a working stove top. I could complain that the nob broke off of my hot plate. But I am not. I am REALLY THANKFUL that I have a hot plate, it still works and I can still cook just as well on it.
Maybe it is time I should put forth more effort in more natural, alternative, self-sustainable cooking. As winter moves in, I will be cooking on top of my wood stove, and inside of it in my tiny little Dutch ovens. Maybe by the time warmer weather comes back, we can build that outdoor kitchen I have always dreamed of having. Then I wouldn't even need that ancient electric stove any more and I would save tons on my electric bill!