There comes a time in the childhood of every self respecting kid when he or she realizes that a younger brother, or sister, can be easily led down the garden path- straight into a life of crime. It’s really a piece of cake-with an Easy-Bake Oven.
My sister received an Easy-Bake Oven for her birthday. I turned shades of jealous that I didn’t know existed. When I was a kid, an Easy-Bake Oven was a highly desirable item to have in one’s toy collection. The fact that my sister got the Easy-Bake Oven, and not me, made it that much easier for me to plan a kitchen crime spree. She was also 4 years younger-and 4 years more gullible.
There was one and only one rule where the Easy-Bake Oven was concerned: PARENTAL SUPERVSION REQUIRED.
I can’t remember where my parents had to go-I just remember feeling dizzy with excitement as I saw that opportunity had come calling. That, and a sense of danger knowing we didn’t have much time.
I bet I made my sister plug the Easy-Bake Oven in and turn it on. I wanted to implicate myself as little as possible. And I also told her right up front that we weren’t going to bother with any of the little mixes that came with the oven-we were going to make something from SCRATCH.
We worked quickly, (though I don’t recall accuracy being a priority)-measuring and stirring, and then laid out a dozen tiny cookies. The Easy-Bake Oven eagerly swallowed the miniature cookie sheet-and we waited, bursting with anticipation, for the few minutes it took to bake our illicit treats.
When the cookies were done, and cooled-we discovered in the very first bite that we had done something terribly wrong. We had baked a batch of rocks. Honest to goodness stone cookies.
I panicked! What were we going to do? Part of my original plan had been to eat every bit of the evidence (though at the time I don’t remember cutting the recipe in half, so we are talking hundreds of itty-bitty cookies between the two of us.) I took the first action that came to mind. I threw the cookies outside for the birds.
I love birds. I enjoy watching them come and eat the food we provide for them. But they let me down that day. Or maybe they had good intentions of coming to the rescue, but they just couldn’t seem to make any headway when they tried to eat our mistakes. And so there lay our cookies-out in the yard- in plain sight…
I know that I got in trouble. Big trouble. I was probably grounded. Maybe for life. But I learned a couple lessons, too. First, the aroma that filled the house provided our parents with a pretty powerful clue as to what my sister and I had been doing in their absence. And second - when it comes to baking-following the recipe really is a good idea. Because baking powder and baking soda are NOT interchangeable.
Unless, of course, rocks are what you are shooting for…