it don’t come easy

today, i share the tale of the Easy Bake Oven. it will be a tale much like another famous tale, though it involves no curtains. mercifully.

it’s starts with a little girl. let’s call her BC, shall we, as we always do around here. when BC was about three years old, she went to a chanukah party at her uncle BTD’s house. there were many children there, as her uncle has five kids, and her uncle’s wife’s family has a lot of children and cousins. at this party, everyone had presents to exchange; everyone, except the uncle, who had presents for all of the other children but no present for his beloved (and at the time only) niece, BC. probably a little oversight on the busy present shopper’s part.

in any event, bless BTD’s heart: this is conjecture, of course, but it appeared that after BC’s beloved uncle scrambled upstairs, and then downstairs, he presented BC with a gift he had plucked from an upstairs closet from thin air: a brand-new Easy Bake Oven. BC loved this oven; only, too bad for her. EBOs are for children age eight and up. no matter how mature madame was at this age, she was not ready for an EBO. carefully, her grandmother whisked the present away to toys r us, where she exchanged it for something a little safer for a spunky three year old.

fast forward to our hero, the now-eight-year-old BC. that same grandmother, remembering how much her granddaughter wanted that EBO, got it for her for chanukah. her other uncle, the lovable, right-wing nutball larry, supplied a whole bunch of EBO mixes to keep her own personal glycemic index at about 1000. happy days are here again, right?

not quite.

for our hero, who had not yet fully developed her ability to read fine print, took the giant long cattle prod pushing tool and shoved it into the oven, lodging it permanently inside the oven, even before she had any chance at baking anything. oh woe, she cried. her mom, desperate to dislodge the long plastic thingy, called up hasbro for guidance. unfortunately for all, hasbro and our friends at the cpsc had just announced a recall of the EBO. apparently, other things were getting entrapped in the ovens. (things called fingers.) dutifully, BC’s mom and dad packed it up and returned it, as they had been instructed. the mixes lingered, but the oven was gone with the wind postal service.

months went by, months when hasbro said they might rebuild it; or then again, maybe not. eventually, they issued a $25 gift certificate for any item on hasbro.com. considering the shipping, it wasn’t the best offer in the world. (BC’s mom promptly lost the offer, so in truth, she’s just rationalizing because she felt so guilty.) in time, BC’s evil mom, fearing that the mixes were going to be nastier than nasty, chucked them as well.

fast forward once again to this very date, a date which shall be remembered for so many things. for one thing, BC’s brother jools celebrated a whole week of dry nights; he was to be gifted, as promised, with a shark slip and slide. (after weeks of obsessing about this item, he decided to choose two other items instead as his reward.) for another, BC achieved straight As on her report card. and, remembering that a child had been denied her EBO for so many years, BC’s parents caved bought her her very own EBO.

hurray!

but woe to BC: her mixes are gone. BC’s mother, being cheap industrious, located DIY EBO recipes on the internet, as she knew the three included mixes would last about two minutes. and after BC’s dad returned from the store with a lightbulb (the secret to those crispy crusts delicate cakes heated plastic oven walls), we set forth on our baking adventure.

#1: yellow cake (one packet) with chocolate frosting (one packet), baked especially for the man who bought the lightbulb.

#2 and #3: chocolate peanut butter fudge, one serving shared by wreke and jools, this serving was affectionately dubbed gloop for it’s consistency. imagine the fine taste of confectioners sugar with a slight brownish tinge. the second attempt, eaten by BC after a stint in the fridge, fared a little better.

BC had a great time, though her mother, wreke, was left with the realization that the same woman who would not buy wreke an EBO was willing to do so for her grandchild. no, instead, wreke realized that her own mother, aka the grandmother, was willing instead to let wreke use the real oven instead.

in retrospect, it was probably safer.

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10 Responses to “it don’t come easy”

  1. Oh, what a saga! How amazing that it all resulted in some cake. Of sorts.

  2. Hear, hear for real ovens (but I totally loved my EBO as a kid).

  3. Wonderful story!

  4. So glad you discovered my blog as it led to my discovery of your gem!
    Glad I could make you smile, as you did indeed reciprocated.

  5. even wreke’s mother who is certainly not baker of the year (or cook either) realized that using a lightbulb for baking purposes would lead to the heartbreak of underbaked cakes and often burned fingers. Some presents are just losers! mom

  6. my mom may not be martha stewart, food-wise, but she is mom of the year, however. i’d not have it any other way :-)

  7. I think I was the ONLY girl our age who did not ever want one of those ;-) I love to cook, but baking has never attracted me. Wonderful tale!

  8. Thanks for the laugh. I loved this saga. I remember my own EBO fondly. And my friend remembers us making a HUGE MESS and my mom threatening to ground me for a month if we didn’t get it cleaned up.

  9. Susannah Says:

    Love this tale for all the nostalgia of never having an EBO of my own (which is much sharper nostalgia than the regular kind) and the totally familiar story of the holiday present exchange gone terribly wrong.

  10. EBO is a ridiculous contraption. Nowadays, we have microwaves. And, you know you can get microwaveable cake mixes. And, you can even get pre-mixed cake mixes for the microwave. Add water, stir, and pop little plastic tray in the nuker. I say, it ain’t 1970 anymore, and we’ll never be able to go back to the nice n slow days when we had the time (or the will) to bake a cake in a real oven. :)

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