Random Reflections

Learning to Adjust

So I have a new oven.  Brand new glistening white oven.  All kinds of gadgets. A new oven in my new house. No longer do I own the pink 1950s freaky double oven and pull out range. 

But I kind of wish I did.  I was use to him. I understood him. I had figured him out and knew how to work him.  Set him a little below the recommended temperature.  Bake a couple of minutes short of the recommended time.  Perfection.  It was a beautiful relationship.

But now I’m in a relationship with a new oven and I haven’t figured him out yet.  He reacts differently than my old oven.  The temperature is off and I can’t figure out whether he is too hot or too cold.  And don’t get me started on his clock.  With brownies, he took 10 minutes longer than he should have.  But I’m not getting rid of him yet.  I know there are some adjustments to be made when you begin a new relationship and so I’m trying to be patient.  I really think he is worth it but I didn’t realize it would be this hard.

Bl_chocolate_chipBut tonight . . .well, tonight . . . he did me wrong.  Five failed attempts at baking my famous chocolate chip cookies.  An entire batch that failed to survive his temper.  I adjusted my recipe; I adjusted the time; I adjusted his racks but to no avail.  Every single time, he failed me.  I just don’t get it.  I’ve been baking cookies this way for years and its always worked for me. My other oven was just fine with my techniques and baking skills.  But this new guy . . . I mean, he is in top form, clean lines, a slick face.  Pretty handsome and the envy of many of my girlfriends who stop by and meet him.  But he works differently and I’m just not sure we can make it work.  He isn’t compromising at all.

Or maybe I’m not compromising.  It is difficult to change when you’ve baked a certain way for so many years.  Maybe its going to take more work than I thought to get to know him, to understand how he cooks, how he responds to different entrees and desserts. Maybe he does need more time to accomplish things.  Perhaps he does bake at a different rate and with a little trial and error I’ll figure it out. Maybe I’m just not patient enough or maybe I’m scared of a little hard work and compromise.  What if I fail to make it work? And if I quit on this model, whose to say that I’ll ever be satisified with another?  Maybe I should just not have an oven.  Maybe an oven isn’t for me.  I can eat out, eat cold food . . . it wouldn’t be too hard to avoid him.   I can settle for a can of cold corn or I can brown bag it.  Hey… that might even be a little adventure, something so different it would make make me forget all about the warmth of my oven.

Funny thing is . . . I know after awhile that brown bag would get old.  That can of cold corn would be exactly that  – cold corn.  And I would wish longingly for my oven.  Even with all his peculiar ways, he still nourished my hunger and made me feel warm inside. It just required some work and compromise. 

Hmmm… I seem to recall five years ago beginning a new relationship with that old 1950s quirky oven and it taking awhile for us to figure each other out.  I actually recall a few burned batches of cookies before we learned how to work together to make the best cookies possible.  And it was worth it.  I mean, I enjoyed those cookies very much and many of my friends commented about how good we were together.  But it didn’t happen overnight.  I forgot that it took some time, some patience, some burned batches, some failed recipes before we figured each other out and made a great team.

Perhaps I will find that magic with this new guy.  If I’m patient and willing to do a little give and take.  I’ll let my cookies be the judge of that.

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