Monday, February 14, 2011

Not So Easy, After All


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…


  1. Nah, you made biscotti - you just didn't know it ;-)
    You know, I always thought those easy bake mixes were kind of gross. Fun to bake, not so much to eat!

  2. Biscotti! Of course! We were just ahead of our time:)

    I always wondered what we did with those mixes-I don't remember using them. (Maybe we were barred from ever using the Easy-Bake again!)

  3. You know the saying, Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! Your story made me think of that. Boy, did you ever get the cookies! Thanks for sharing, Happy Valentine's Day :)

  4. Thanks Joanne!
    I guess it' good I didn't go into the bird food business:)
    Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

  5. My dad cut off the plug to our easy bake oven as soon as some unsuspecting family member gifted us one. *Total disappointment.* Looking back, I can't say I blame him.

  6. I was giggling all the way through this. Your writing style is so natural, Valerie. Very, very nice (I especially liked the "eagerly swallowed the miniature cookie sheet).

    I had a different form of the Easy Bake Oven - it was shaped like a microwave and I bet I only used it once or twice before it became a permanent fixture in my "play kitchen."

  7. Parental wisdom at its best-probably based on experience!

    When I think of the trouble my sister and I could have caused-like a fire...

    Poor Amy-she never got an easy bake either:)

  8. Thanks Melissa! :)

    After that day, I don't recall ever seeing the easy bake again. I can't get over how hazardous some of our toys were:)

    I did keep practicing with the cookie baking though-hee, hee!

  9. I always laugh at the thought of the easy bake oven and a woodburning set. In this day and age they would be completely taboo. But then again, it was the day of no seatbelt, and everyone smoked.

  10. So true, Kim! We'd never heard of bike helmets either-and I remember crashing into a parked car while I was riding my bike and ending up on the hood! My biggest fear was getting into trouble for scratching the car's paint LOL!

  11. Fantastic story! I had the easy bake oven in my family, but then my sister had the baseball bat and glove... Also, although she was younger, she was definitely the leader in mischievous exploits. Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. My friend had an easy bake, but we ended up eating the dough instead!!

  13. Thanks Jen! I was the one with the bat and glove:) Somehow, the easy bake just seemed like more fun-probably because it forbidden that day!

    That's hilarious Lisa! And it sounds like something I would have done. Now I wonder why we bothered baking the dough instead of just eating it! I think it was that forbidden element again-that and my jealousy, and the fact that I thought easy bake was the coolest thing ever.

  14. PS I plan on answering your question more fully in another post. For now, my favorite old movie is 'Cleopatra'. Talk about a visual feast!

  15. Thanks Tina-I can't wait to read your post! In the meantime, I'll add 'Cleopatra' to my Netflix queue:) There are so, so many old movies I need to see.

  16. This reminds me of the time I stole my sister's root beer chapstick and when I was fooling around with I couldn't get the balm part back in the tube. So I smushed it in and left it for my sister to find. I was interrogated and denied it (I was six years younger). And then my sister smelled my root-beer scented hands and I was so busted!

  17. It's too bad the root beer scent gave you away! I was busted more than a few times too.

    And sisters! If there ever is a writing prompt about them-I could write a book;)

    But I love them both:)

  18. Did we, as kids of the 70s/80s, have a SINGLE toy that wasn't detrimental to our health and safety?
    And how the heck did that lightbulb cook so many cookies at once?

    This was a fun post, I'm glad I came by!

  19. I'm surprised any of us survived childhood! I also sort of remember that the easy bake light bulb was super hot-maybe the cookies my sister and I tried to make just petrified inside the oven:)

    I'm glad you stopped by too:)