As a child I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven. As a mother, I know exactly why I never received one.
The Easy Bake Oven was a Christmas gift to my daughter Ashley from my mother-in-law and a huge hit. I don’t remember it being on Ashley’s Christmas list, but when she got it, I was equally as excited as she was. Until we baked with it.
We stirred a small drop of water into a very minimal powdered mix, placed it in a tiny, circular pan, which we forgot to spray, and nine minutes later we had a crispy dessert that we couldn’t pop out of the pan. It tested my strength as a baker. So we tried it again. This time we sprayed the pan and Viola, Ashley got a teeny piece of delectable yellow cake. I was frustrated, she was exhilarated.
I am not opposed to the Easy Bake Oven, it’s just that I am a baker and my children have lived their little lives sitting on the kitchen counter, measuring, mixing, whipping and licking spoons. I would simply rather bake a real dessert, use the Kitchen Aid and have something large enough to enjoy.
But the other night, the Easy Bake was an Easy Fix to a food struggle I was having with my older son.
We have rules at dinner. We don’t play the ‘clear your plate’ game, but I provide them each with what I consider a healthy portion of dinner and I expect the kids to eat the majority of it. They don’t have to finish it all; I recognize their little tummies fill up fast and that their taste buds are different than mine. If they fail to eat what I consider a “healthy” portion, they lose dessert but can have a piece of fruit instead.
My son was not agreeable to the fruit for dessert the other night. We had baked a nice batch of cookies the previous day and I know he had that on his mind.
We were in firm negotiations when my daughter, who had been begging me for two days to bake with her Easy Bake Oven, chimed in.
“If you don’t eat your dinner, you can’t have a piece of my Easy Bake Oven dessert,” she said with the same vocal inflection I use when making a threat.
“Really? Well, then how much do I have to eat,” Connor asked Ashley.
“Um, 12 pieces,” she quipped.
“How about 10,” he fired back without delay.
“Nope, 12 – 10 plus 2,” she said, standing firm.
I was completely out of it at this point. I actually sat back in utter enjoyment; eating my dinner and allowing someone else take the reins for a second. Connor was negotiating dessert with Ashley and I was not at all included.
He put up no fight. Connor forfeited. He discerned that Ashley was not budging on her number and instantly gobbled up eight pieces of penne pasta, three pieces of watermelon and a thick seedless cucumber with no additional contest. He forfeited, politely asked to be excused and cleared his plate.
I thought at this moment, its no wonder why all little girls want an Easy Bake Oven. You can bake desserts AND gain control—it’s no wonder why I wanted one for so long!
After dinner, the kids went on playing and made good on my promise. I plugged in the 100-watt light-heated oven. We mixed 1 ¼ tsp. of water with the 1/4 C of brownie mix, baked it for eight minutes, let it stand in the warmer for 10 minutes and Connor, Ashley and Carson each were able to enjoy a dime-size piece of the gooey, crusted Easy Bake brownie.
Mmm, the sweet taste of control. I guess that Easy Bake Oven has a purpose after all.