What’s this Oven Thing You Speak Of?

I got an email from my mother. She was coming to visit Leo and me in a week and it had been a while. I was actually looking forward to it in spite of some trepidation. Mothers can be naggers and they can scout out your territory with a keen eye.

Okay, I can handle it. I would clean the house, tidy up the guest room and put a nice throw out. I would fluff the pillows, make the bed like a hotel maid, and put new soap in the bathroom. I wanted to please and impress her since she had her doubts. I don’t think she believed I could keep a nice home. I would prove her wrong. Everything would look as if it had always been that way, and then some.

My mother loves her morning coffee or and I have the right equipment for both. I can make a fresh pot of her favorite tea with my amazing tea infuser or use the pods for the single cup coffee machine to make the perfect cup. That problem is more than solved. She also likes eggs and bacon cooked perfectly in the oven. Now here was my problem. I didn’t know how to turn it on. I use a microwave virtually all of the time. What’s this oven thing you speak of? Bacon comes out just right in the device, no need to mess with a broiler. The oven is for decoration so my sister says, laughing at my inability to cope.

Microwave? No, my mother would not hear of it. At home, it had been an issue easily resolved. We used the oven and nothing else–not even a frying pan that was great at accumulating the grease. Now that she was on her way, I would have to learn how to use my oven ASAP. I would practice baking some chicken. That was easy. I popped it in a cookie sheet lined with foil, sprinkled some seasoning on top, and set the dial to 350 degrees. It was the tastiest, but it was edible.

I then practiced with a few strips of bacon under the broiler. This time I forgot to leave the oven door ajar, and smoke billowed from the kitchen, scaring the poor dog to death. Where was the fire alarm? He was thinking. Where are the paramedics?

I learned fast. I would be ready to make it the right way soon. I would not let her do any cooking on her own so I could show my newly-found skills. Leo and I anticipated an easy visit and a nice breakfast each day. Upon her arrival, she unpacked her suitcase and surveyed the scene. Nice, she commented. We had a great evening and retired at eleven pm. The next morning she was in the kitchen getting bacon from the fridge.

“Let me do it,” I protested and took the package into my hands. I went over to the stove and was about to open the door. “Oh, wait,” she exclaimed. “Let’s do it in the microwave. It’s so much cleaner.” What, I thought, you are kidding. “I have changed my tune,” she went on. “I am a convert to the modern lifestyle. I do my bacon the easy way on a paper towel.”

I was dumbfounded, but recovered quickly. Okay. That was fine. At least I knew how to use the stove for another time.

Written By Taylor