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My oven is a rarely used appliance--it more often serves as storage for extra cookie sheets and pans than for actually cooking things.
One weekend, a few weeks after we moved into a new apartment, my husband and I decided to give our oven a go for the first time. We purchased a refrigerated pack of pre-made cookie dough--the break-and-bake variety, consisting of a large slab of dough perfectly perforated into twenty squares that you simply have to pull apart and place on a cookie sheet. You know the ones, right? In ten minutes time, by the magic of some little elves or something, the little squares become round, chewy, delicious cookies.
There seemed to be some confusion when we turned on the oven because there are two knobs that control the heat--one that reflects the temperature settings and one that allows the baker to choose between Bake, Timed Bake, and Clean.
I turned the oven to the "Bake" setting and turned the temperature knob to the requisite 350 degrees. The little indicator lights were not turning on and the dials didn't really seem to turn correctly, but eventually the oven started to warm up so we stuck a whole batch of cookies in to bake and went to read on the couch.
Although the cookies were supposed to take ten minutes, within five minutes the cookies were burned black and the fire alarm was sounding. I waved a dishtowel at the fire detector, while Will scraped the black, charred cookies into the sink.
I turned down the temperature and tried another batch. In five minutes they were, once again, completely burnt to a crisp.
I lamented the brokenness of the oven.
Will, having completely given up on cookies, went back to reading.
I, having not given up on the cookies, put in a single cookie dough square for THREE minutes with the oven door ajar. Charred to a crisp.
I turned the oven off completely, let it cool, and put a dough square in. While that cookie baked at a rate that suggested that it would be ready in two months time, I unsuccessfully scoured the Internet for the owner's manual to the oven. What could possibly be the problem? It had been well over an hour and not a single edible cookie had been produced.
I almost gave up on the cookies entirely, deciding that I would just inform the apartment staff that our oven was broken, when it occurred to me that the knobs? Perhaps they were switched. And they were. And I switched them. And the broken oven was fixed. And we ate cookies!
For the first four attempts, because of the switched knobs, the oven had been set to "Clean." I essentially had cleaned 16 cookies at over 800 degrees.
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