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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Easy Baker

There's nothing better than the real thing.  My Easy Bake Oven looked just liked this one.

I am heartbroken.  Hasbro has redesigned the Easy Bake Oven and it no longer bakes cakes with the heat from a 100 watt light bulb.  The oven now uses a traditional heating element which makes my favorite childhood toy operate more like a countertop appliance than, well, a toy.  It's heartbreaking.

My sister Jill was always the baker in my family.  She made "real" coffeecakes using Bisquick and the real oven.  I, on the other hand, was an Easy Baker.  I loved my Easy Bake Oven and spent most of my childhood peering into the oven's little slide-in slit, waiting to see if my round cake was fully baked.  I would serve those cakes with pride.  To me, they were just as gourmet as my sister's Bisquick creations.

Now Hasbro has gone and redesigned my beloved oven.  And it's not just the light bulb that's gone.  The new Easy Bake Oven oven is sleek and looks more like a space ship than an oven.  And it's purple.  Purple.  Who wants a purple oven when you can have aqua blue?  
The redesign.  It looks like a flying saucer.  None of the style of the original.  And what's with the purple?  The original aqua had a certain charm.

But what makes me so sad is that there was something so innocent about the original oven.  It did what it did and there were no fancy heating elements that avoided hot spots.  A good Easy Baker, such as myself, knew that you had to rotate the little pan halfway through the baking time, even though the instructions didn't tell you that you had to.  A good Easy Baker knew that if you didn't warm up the light bulb before baking, it sometimes took more than the recommended 15 minutes for the cake to bake.

And now, like so many other things, the Easy Bake Oven has become much more sophisticated.  I guess it was just a matter of time.

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