When I moved into my dorm three months ago, I was surprised to see what we were equipped with in our kitchen.Although I knew a kitchen in a dorm would be small, I didn’t know just how small it would be.While we have a full sized refrigerator, a small sink, and even a garbage disposal, the stove and oven was less than remarkable. Ericka, my roommate, and I nick-named the oven, “our easy-bake oven”.The oven is at least 20 years old and can only fit a 9 by 13 in pan, and there is not even a inch of wiggle room on the sides!
Cookies or Charcoal?
After about the first week of living on campus, and this is after finally getting everything put away, I wanted to test out my new oven.I made up some cookie batter and portioned them out on a sheet pan.The first problem that arose was that there was no temperature markers on the dial.So, I tried to overcome that hurdle with an oven thermometer.Although I couldn’t get the oven to stay at one temperature, I figured somewhere between 350 F and 375 F would be alright.I put the cookies in and waited.
After only five minuets I went to go check to see how the progress was going.Oddly the outside of the edges were almost black and the center were still completely raw!Obviously, I took them out and threw them away, but I wasn’t about to give up.
After another 2 hours and about 36 more cookies, I finally found the right combination of oven temperature and oven placement, along with placing 2 sheet pans under the cookies to block the intense heat on the bottom.In the end I mastered the art of the chocolate chip cookie in my easy bake oven.
Moving On Up
So now after making cookies, and that’s about it in my oven, I am taking a risk and stepping out.I am making a pot roast.
Ok, so I know making a pot roast is a little less temperamental than cookies or any other baking, but this is a full meal I am making, not just dessert.After braising a large chuck roast that I obtained from Whole Foods, I put it in the oven at what I thought was 325 F.After waiting an hour, and of course I couldn’t find my oven thermometer, I realized that was most likely not even 200 F.
Now, three hours later, I have a beatuiful roast beef with potatoes and carrots.Just the way my mother makes it!
Hopefully in the future, I can continue to wrangle my oven into doing as I wish, but I think in the mean time I will stick to driving to my aunt and uncles house and using theirs!