The thing about our E-Z Bake Oven we have squatting in our luxurious studio flat is that:
1. It has only three working burners, which are the burner size of...;
2. Since Keebler Elves are clearly its target purchasing demographic, it fits a standard cookie sheet pan...if you don't go for highfalutin' extras like edges;
3. If you have the oven on, do not expect the bottom right of the aforementioned 3 burners to work, because clearly you are expecting too much out of life;
4. The vagaries of its oven temperature and my oven thermometer are constantly in the kind of d'accord usually found after treaties are signed and both sides figure out that the other one was compromising in a way they never intended to honor, but before each one has deteriorated to open "suck it, sideways" hostilities;* and,
5. Its constantly-burning pilot light makes a ROCKING dough-proofer.
This doesn't mean I don't want to set it on fire, constantly. Or suspect that it wants to do the same to me. Believe me, the kitchen rant is coming. And when that rant comes, I want none of the following to detract from its well-deserved kick in the metaphorical Y, wherever an oven's Y is found.
But...I can't afford a proofer. Not monetarily, not counter-wise (I can't afford the room or the Union Dues for three tapdancing Smurfs, counter-space-wise, if we're being honest, here). I want a proofer, just because I get into these bizarre obsessions and naturally assume that nobody, EVER, has gone through this same thing. The people at The Fresh Loaf? I love 'em; I stalk 'em; I am intimidated as HELL by them. I am a novice and a dilettante once again on the home ground of people who have spent their whole lives learning to do what I want to do maybe one or two afternoons a week.
We also are looking to save money; newlywed under a year, I bake our bread. ALL of our bread, barring the occasional Sunday-eating-what-we-want splurge or the JedI bringing home a treat from the restaurant. I try all kinds of recipes, and am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/. Sweet crunchy cracker, is it gorgeous, and seriously? No kneading? WHY DID WE GET TO KNEADING AS A SPECIES, ANYWAY?!**
So tonight, as I made a bread that totally decided on its own to be a total ahole, the only thing that made me want to not slice open the dough and bewail its lack of entrails, was that my E-Z Bake Oven does appear to be every bit as forgiving and possibly a bit more maternal than the mini-cake packs, icing-pack debacles, and neighbors whose parents clearly make more than yours and give you really awesome shit like an E-Z Bake Oven.
I loathe my E-Z Bake Oven. It is a total dick, and anybody who says differently heats up those Ramen packet noodles and doesn't even bother to put butter on them and sprinkle the seasoning packet over it.
*A great deal more on this in an upcoming post. The oven, not the treaties not honored. I have no effect upon world politics, less so over my personal domain which includes the aforementioned rat bastard oven, as well as a cat that thinks, well, exactly like a cat.
**Is this simply people trying to make people who haven't the patience necessary to knead something making everybody else feel like an asshole, thereby assuring job security?