Easy-Bake Oven

A lot has happened since I last sat down and hit the keyboard. I got my first paycheck. I roamed around a few temples, a few palaces, and a few markets. I learned about a delicious hof food, and a few meals that are quick and easy. I walked around the old city of Seoul, and even had nostalgic trip back to a university campus or two. Oh, and I made it overseas to Taiwan.

But right now, none of that is relevant. What the most pressing matter of the moment is: how can I bake when I’m in a country with no ovens?

About three weeks ago one of my classes (the highest level) had its first debate class. The “pro” side had a convincing argument stating that lip-syncing was okay and artists must do it – some of the arguments consisted of “What if they got sick? They should then use lip-syncing so they don’t disappoint their fans,” or “They already sang the song once, so every time it is played, it is them.” Even during the rebuttal they crushed the “con” side argument of “It isn’t moral.” You can’t use morality in an argument, kids!  As they squealed in victory, one of the kids asked “What’s our prize?”

I hadn’t thought I would have to supply that prize, but it turns out, they said that all of the teachers in the past gave them prizes (some prizes costing up to man wan). So what am I, a new teacher, to do other than believe their possible lies? My solution? Promise them a prize. What kind of prize? Cookies. Home baked cookies.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that I don’t have nearly anything I need to make cookies. I have oil and sugar. What I need is: brown sugar, chocolate chips, butter, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Oh right, and an oven.

It has been about two or three weeks since I promised them some cookies straight out of the oven, and I could only handle so many excuses as to why they weren’t there. “Oh, my oven broke.” “I couldn’t find eggs.” “Do you know what they even taste like?”

So this weekend, my first weekend back in Seoul since Taiwan, I tried to make some cookies.

Let’s just say it didn’t work out that well. I had all of the ingredients but no measuring cups, no baking soda (just baking powder) and, quite frankly, no oven.

What I did have was a little toaster oven that resembled one of those 1990’s Easy-Bake Ovens for little children who want to mimic their parents in baking. I am neither a little kid, nor someone wanting to mimic anyone baking, but I did end up using an Easy-Bake Oven.

The results were not cookie like. I think I added too much flour. Or maybe it was the fact that the butter was the saltiest, oily-est stuff I’ve ever tasted. Either way, the “cookies” came out like little pancake biscuits. I can’t say they weren’t good. To be honest, they’re already all gone. But I also can’t say they’ll be given as a prize any time soon. Next time: real butter and maybe some vanilla.


2 thoughts on “Easy-Bake Oven

  1. i have the same problem- i want to make cookies for my study group but i’m without an oven here! i’ve been slowly collecting the ingredients for these no-bake cookies that sound pretty good:
    straight up rolled oats still elude me but once i find them i’ll try it out and let you know- actually on second thought, this may not help you at all- are south koreans fond of peanut butter?

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