(Written October 2011) Well, I’ve been bested by our oven. And it’s not even like I was trying to make a vegan tofurkey feast or anything. It was a damn frozen pizza that I managed to scorch into charcoal. And this pizza, unlike our first, even had degrees in Celsius, so my only conclusion can be that we have a super-sonic Easy Bake oven (and yes, I did follow the instructions correctly).
Previously, we had discovered that it cooks things incredibly fast. Roasting eggplant in a regular oven can take a good 20-30 minutes. But in ours, it’s done in 10. You have to just sit in the kitchen and watch, because you can’t just set the timer and walk away. It’s proving to always be done far earlier than expected (lesson learned, at the cost of one decimated pizza).
Part of the problem is that we’re still figuring out the symbols on the dial. There are three dials, the left is degrees in Celsius (from 0 to 250), the middle is the timer, and the right is the oven settings. The one we’ve tried with success is labeled “pizza” and seems to work for most things. My husband managed to confirm that the light bulb-looking one does nothing more than turn the light on (and unlike the original Easy Bake ovens, does not appear to be able to cook a chocolate cake). The remaining nine symbols are a variety of squiggles, dots, little fans or clover, and parentheses that have fallen on their side and look like burger buns. So I guess I’ll just have to throw in some eggplant and cook a batch with each setting to see what it does. For now, I’ll throw everything in under “pizza” and will sit on the kitchen chairs with Chuckles (his latest favorite spot to sit-in-wait) and we’ll just watch the water boil, so to speak.
This issue with new appliances and fixtures, continues to vex us throughout the house. It took us two weeks to figure out that each bathroom has a switch for hot water. Now, when we first arrived, this wasn’t an issue, because the cold water was so hot it was all you needed. But with the drastic drop in temperature a few days ago (it dropped below 100), we did find that we could use a little hot water. My husband figured it out by hitting all of the five switches outside the bathrooms and tracing their use.
That’s another thing. For some of the rooms, the accompanying light switches are not actually in the room you want. So you have to backtrack into the hall, turn the light on, and resume entry. Our downstairs bathroom has the handy feature of having all the switches on the far side of the first room. So you have to walk into the dark double sink area, turn on the switch, and then continue into the half-bath. And if you want to turn on a table lamp, make sure you’ve turned the plug on. Each wall socket has its own on/off switch. And if you have need for a power strip, then you have the socket on/off switch, plus an on/off switch for each plug on the strip, and then the appliance switch. Great fun for those with a switch-fetish. This is the same for the washing machine, the dryer, the fridge, the dishwasher, and the oven, or “cooker” as it’s called on the switch. It took me a befuddling few minutes to figure this out with the washing machine, until I wandered back into the hallway and saw two suspicious switches. I flicked both until I figured it out. Then I went and grabbed my handy Dymo label maker and labeled one “washer” and one “dryer” for the next tenants (aren’t I kind?).
I have great faith that by the time we leave we’ll have it all figured out to perfection and will cease in the torching of various frozen dinners, and will only take two attempts to use an appliance.