Easy-Bake Oven: What the Fuck?

Editor’s note: one of our New Years’ resolutions was to swear more often and more offensively. It’s been tough, but I’m still sticking to it and doing my part to "Make it Great in 2008!"

When I was six, I received an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. My mom wouldn’t let me take it home from grandma’s house. We lived 2,000 miles away from grandma. Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with Easy-Bake Ovens. So much so that I decided that our children—three boys—simply had to have one for Christmas.

Such giddy anticipation.

And such crushing disappointment.

First of all, thanks, Hasbro, for confirming that all toy companies are totally fucked in the head when it comes to gender. All Easy-Bake Ovens are either hot pink or purple or hot pink and purple. All of them.

Hey, Hasbro—ever heard of James Beard? Paul Prudhomme? Gordon motherfucking Ramsey? I’m pretty sure they use(d) ovens. Not just that bitch Rachel Ray. (Jesus, can I eat a goddamn Ritz sometime this century without her annoying mug staring up at me?)

I have an idea -- how about a Hell’s Kitchen version of the Easy-Bake for the guys? How about that, Hasbro, you fucking donkeys!?!?!

Ok, I’ll try to focus here.

I realize I’m bitching about an appliance that utilizes a 40 watt light bulb as the heating element, but DAMN, this thing is slow. The instructions suggest allowing it to pre-heat for 20 minutes, and then it takes at least that long to bake anything.

If you're thinking this doesn’t seem very long, keep in mind the Easy-Bake branded mixes, which are shamelessly sold for $5 a pop, amount to about a quarter-ounce of actual foodstuffs (and I use that term loosely). There is so little mix, it only takes a teaspoon and a half of water to create a moist batter.

I’m totally not exaggerating.

These little packets of mix are like toner cartridges. It would be cheaper to buy a new Easy-Bake Oven, which comes with like three packets of mix, than to buy two individual packets of replacement mix.

Again, I’m not exaggerating (much).

Like I was saying, this thing is S-L-O-W. In fact, it takes so fucking long that the kids forget about the tiny cake. As it turns out, this is somewhat a relief since it takes the wisdom of Solomon to split a cake the size of a fifty cent piece into three equal servings.

On the other hand, this is supposed to be a family activity, and now I’m solely responsible for a half-inch diameter pan of miniature Blondies. Great.

Who here didn't think it was possible to burn food with a light bulb? Well, you can. Now I’m solely responsible for scraping burnt miniature Blondie from a tiny pan.

The kids? Lost interest. Hours ago. I'm not even sure where they are.

And I’m too depressed to go into how these tiny baked goods actually taste. Needless to say, it didn't live up to expectations built from almost 30 years of anticipation.

I’ll leave you with this: printed prominently on the front of each $5 mix packet are the words, “Product shown larger than actual size” and “Your results may vary.”

Amen, Hasbro, amen.

Oh, and a teeny piece of advice, Hasbro – maybe next time you should focus less on the “results may vary” type of legal CYA and oh, I don’t know, make sure your pretty pink and purple ovens don’t, say, AMPUTATE THE FINGERS OF UNSUSPECTING CHILDREN? Ok? Thanks.


James Wigderson said...

Just wait until the incandescent light bulb is banned. You think it's slow now...

Anne Quimby Mathias said...

Ugh. Meaning we'll to have to wait even longer for the Easy-Bake while experiencing terrible incandescent and overhead lighting.

I'm having a hard time warming up to the compact fluorescent bulb.

Anonymous said...

Get over it, sweetie.


Anne Quimby Mathias said...

Yeah, well what about the clucking chicken, Aunt Ant? You've got to admit that mom was, uh, highly selective about the toys she would allow in the house.

Now of course, anything goes for the grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Too Funny. Thanks for the laugh Anne! You should have read the Rick Mercer rant about easy bake ovens! Pretty much the same review as yours! lol...
A ;)

enlightningbug said...

I never knew you had this blog and I am laughing my ass off now that I've read it.

Also, in a bizarro coincidence I was just leafing through my perfect-for-a-single-girl Small Batch Baking book, got hungry for chocolate, scratched the from scratch idea and made one No Pudge Brownie, available at your local Trader Joe's... or at least it's sometimes available at the one on 14th St. in NYC.

All you need is a couple of tablespoons of mix, a couple of tablespons of yogurt and a microwave. Way easier (and cheaper. and safer) than getting a damn Easy Bake.

Although I admit I always wanted one as a kid.

Good to see you again!


enlightningbug said...

my email is my firstlastname @ gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I think the Clucking Chicken had possibilities...We'll move on to the Trader Joe's stuff. We can do comparisons between Midwest and West Coast products. I have a feeling it all comes from the same stuff.

Carry on..

Gretchen Schuldt said...

I have always wanted an Easy Bake Oven, like I still long for a Hippity-Hop.

Dreams destroyed. Crushed. Shattered. And yet others take their place, still not totally formed, like an Easy Bake cake before the light bulb overcooks and ruins it.

Anne Quimby Mathias said...

Gretchen, that's a real nice simile.

I think I did have a Hippity-Hop, or maybe a neighbor did.

It was the pogo stick I was always angling for.

There was no way my mom -- an ER nurse traumatized by toy violence after treating a kid with a lawn jart in his skull -- was going to allow anything like that.