|This is my ode...|
When people look at you, my friend, they call you names. “Toaster oven.” “E-Z Bake knock-off.” It pains me. I know what you really are. Despite your diminutive appearance, you are, honestly, and truly, an oven.
You are the most valuable asset in my pint-sized kitchen, a true force to be reckoned with. It is you who roasts my chicken and vegetables. It is you who bakes dozens of cupcakes and cookies for hours on end without complaining or shorting the circuit. It is you who cooks and heats an entire Thanksgiving feast for five without one cold bite of stuffing or raw Brussels sprout.
I know this, yet so rarely do I tell you how much I appreciate you. Such treatment is unworthy of an appliance so great that I’d sooner call you an industrial marvel, a stroke of pure engineering genius.
Yet you remain surprisingly humble and, for whatever reason, entirely silent in the face of utter and wanton abuse. I splatter grease or pumpkin bread batter all over you without apologizing. You do not complain. I leave you on with no food inside of you, needlessly heating your precious innards. You do not complain. In the three years that I’ve had you I never properly cleaned your interior. You do not complain.
Where does your strength come from, little oven? It cannot be that simple cord plugged into the wall, for if your courage and patience were a mere manipulation of electrical current, we all would live with our fingers thrust into such sockets. No, yours is a true gift that comes from your food-encrusted interior, enriched with every batch of brownies or olive oil-covered parsnips that I entrust to you.
You make me a better cook. Dare I say, you make me a better man?
So oven, as I look up to you through the archway in my punitively small kitchen, peering down at me from your perch over-looking the refrigerator and the hotplates, mere plebeians to your patrician and regal being, I offer you this ode. I will always cherish you for the cakes you bake and for the meat that you roast.
For they say love is the secret ingredient in any dish, and, dear oven, I know our love courses through every moist slice of banana cake and in each carrot you make tender.