Friday, December 29, 2006

Misty Watercolor Memories...

Time, it seems, gives the events of the past a lovely, golden glow. The memories of childhood become romanticized. We start to believe that there was never a better time. Never did we have better friends, we slept the sleep of the just and laughed our way through every ding-dong day. We somehow manage to take that which was, at best, mundane and, at worst, icky-poo-poo, then turn it to perfection.

And so it is with The Easy Bake Oven.

I was never one who was blessed with this childhood toy. Probably for the best given that I was not the most graceful of children. I pretty much left a trail of smoke and shattered glass in my wake. A device that cooks using a lightbulb could be dangerous in my little hands. But I could dream. I envied those lucky girls who found one under the tree on Christmas morn. In my mind's eye, I saw them donning starched white aprons and hosting fabulous parties featuring teeny little cakes and cookies. They were the height of sophistication and style. I seem to recall partaking of one or two of these microscopic baked goods and finding them to be no less delightful than the very nectar of the gods.

I'm just sayin' that it is possible I have one or two false memories from childhood.

Last night I was privileged to dine at Chez CamMad. I gussied myself up and wore my new Bead for Life bracelet. Mom C. took care of the general entertaining and child wrangling while Dad C. whipped up a meal worthy of kings. (individual chicken pot pies...yummy!) The nieces-by-proxy played their roles as "centers of attention" to perfection and Auntie Sheepie felt like the most honored guest to ever cross the threshold. The highlight of this event was to be a dessert baked by niece-by-proxy #1 who, as the eldest, was gifted with the latest version of the Easy Bake Oven and was quite excited by the prospect of baking for company. During the pre-dinner playtime festivities, she frequently had to excuse herself (along with Mom C./baking supervisor) to attend to kitchen duties. This left me to the not-so-tender mercies of niece-by- proxy #2 who, excited by the presence of Auntie Sheepie, showed her affection by launching herself bodily at the aforementioned Auntie at speeds approaching that of light or sound.

After dinner, nbp #1 and Mom cut the cake. It had been agreed earlier that this treat was to be split between baker and guest of honor. As I was assessing the condition of my spleen following a particularly enthusiastic airborne assault from the very happy nbp #2, I heard from the vicinity of the kitchen, "Um, Auntie Annie...would you,, like a cookie to go with your um...cake?" Then: "Hey, know what might be nice? Maybe Auntie would be willing to have a smaller piece so that we can, um...share?"

Even with mild to moderate internal injuries going on, the subtext was fairly easy to catch.

The little cake was divided accordingly and we all partook. It was not exactly what I remembered from my childhood days. It was one of those moments where you dig deep into your reserves of social graces, call upon your love for a child and think about how expensive long term therapy might be for a little girl who really wants you to enjoy her first attempts at baking. You smile. You rub your tummy. You make "yummy" noises. You compliment her on the unique flavor and texture of her cake. In eat it.
Besides a reality check on childhood memories, toddler induced internal bleeding and a renewed appreciation for my so-very-quiet house, I took home some leftovers for lunch and this neat little item:

A "Yarntainer!"

Dad C. is in charge of much of the holiday shopping at the CamMad household and thought this might be a good gift for Auntie Sheepie. Mom C. agreed. The nieces-by-proxy were also impressed and nbp #1 wrote the tag her very own self: To Anny. And I'm here to tellya that it is a truly handy little yarn dispenser.

But the best part, by far, was a quick little conversation that I think went unnoticed by Mom and Dad. I had just presented my feet to the group in order that I might show off my new handknit socks. Little nbp #1/resident baker said, "you made those?" I confirmed that I did, in fact, do just that. She looked again, a bit more closely this time and said:

"Hmm...they look real!"

Seriously. I'd eat a million Easy Bake cakes for that little girl.



Anonymous said...

I refuse to believe that the easy bake cakes of my youth weren't as delicious I remember them! Nope, they must have changed the recipe.

Real socks? You knit real socks? Cool.

Anne said...

We knitters are an odd group - I was at the doctor's office today and thought he was admiring my hand-knitted Xmas socks. When I turned to him and said, beaming "They are Christmas trees". He looked confused and said "I was just trying to see if your ankles were puffy". Okay dude - you do your thing and I'll do mine. Whatever.

trek said...

Wow, you knit socks? Real socks, like you can wear on your hooves?

Anonymous said...

It dashed my memories too when I tasted an Easy Bake oven cake baked by H as a wee one. I think it is a different recipe or all the safety features on the oven just don't cook the cakes like they used to.
Glad you had a fun visit. The Yarntainer is fabulous!

Beth said...

I never had the Easy Bake Oven either. And what I really thought I needed was the Chrissy doll with hair that "grew." Hope your spleen is okay. :)

Susie said...

You do socks real good!

My sister got the Easy Bake Oven. I was already using the real one. Hers looked like more fun because everything that came out of it was sweet, whereas mine almost always had dinner in it (except for those wonderful Saturday afternoons when I could bake Tollhouse cookies and she would abandon her little oven to help me...)

Hope your spleen is okay. (Ouch!)

Happy New Year!

April said...

Only the very finest of culinary confections ever came out of my Easy Bake Oven. My particular favorite was the Spice Cake.

And kudos on the real sock production! I'm still doing pseudo socks myself.

Debby said...

I never had an Easy Bake oven, but then, I never asked for one. And I still hate to cook. My December calendar page has a beaming image of a 1950s woman opening a brand new pot, with the caption, "Gee Santa, but I asked for Take-Out Menus!" I couldn't have said it better myself! My parents gave us art supplies and books...

mrichme said...

Sheepish portrayed the night's events accurately, with the exception that the volume rivaled a NASCAR event. We've learned to tune it out but for the untrained ears it can be a bit much. We're glad you had fun!

B. said...

I had an Easy Bake oven when I was a wee lass. I got one for my darling daughter last Christmas. I'm thinking I should dig it out for her again.

I've posted my "six weird things about me" list. Check it out at:

Thanks for tagging was fun!

camadsmom said...

It was a pleasure hosting Auntie Sheep. Sorry about the fact that nbp 2 prevented you from ever having children. Nbp 1 loved making you the hard rock sticky concoction. Just think how lucky you are though. You don't have to eat the next concoction, or the next one, or the next one, or the next one.......

Knittymama said...

Personally, I prefer make-believe socks. I can knit them much faster!