Family Magazine

A Love Letter to My Full-sized Oven

By Sherwoods
Dear oven,
I love you.  You are by no means the most flashy of ovens.  I didn't even realize that you could have an oven that required sparking the pilot light before turning on the actual oven.  There's a reason that most ovens don't do that as it only works on the first try about half the time.  You can't clean yourself (and it turns out that the housekeeper never cleans you either, so you're kind of dirty), you don't have any timers or clocks or time bake, and your temperature dial is more of a guideline.  Honestly, you don't actually do anything except get hot so that I can bake things inside you.
But the one shining attribute you do have, the thing that sets you apart from any oven I could buy here in Uzbekistan, the feature that makes my heart sing whenever I use you, is your size.

Back before I moved overseas and lived in the land of Full-Sized Appliances, I didn't know that there were places in the world where people had to be subjected to the indignity of Easy-Bake Appliances.  I didn't know that there were washing machines that fit three shirts and a pair of socks, stoves that were designed for doll pots, microwaves that only allowed for midget baby bottles, and refrigerators that held thirty-six hours' worth of food.  Maybe I had heard of them, but I didn't think that normal people actually used such atrocities.
Then I moved to Baku and my eyes were opened.  I had to buy a smaller pizza pan because my well-used and loved one was too big for the oven to properly close on.  Canning was a near-impossibility on my stove because the pots hung half-off the closely-packed burners.  Baby bottles had to be microwaved with their tops off because the microwave was so short.  The Thanksgiving turkey fit, but barely.
I almost cried when our acres of countertop in Dushanbe embraced another tiny Easy-Bake stove that took forty-five minutes to come to temperature to cook one 9 x 13 pan at a time.
So imagine my joy when I moved to Tashkent and found you, glorious full-sized American oven, sitting in my kitchen and waiting for me to cook vast quantities of food in you.  Every time I place two pans next to each other, cutting my german-pancake cooking time in half, I want to shout for joy.  Whenever I bake bread and fit all six pans on the same rack, my heart sings with happiness.  When I use all four burners at once and each one has a normal-sized pot on it, I bless whatever GSO decided that we should have American appliances here in Tashkent.
When I go to America and see my mother's new double ovens with convection heating and time bake and self-cleaning and all the amazing features, I promise not to be disloyal to you.  For I know that I will not always have an oven like you, and the next place I live may have me cooking for seven children in yet another mini-sized oven.  I will appreciate you for as long as a I have you, despite your technological backwardness.  For you are my one and only, my full-sized oven.
Love and cookies,

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