Today we have a little thing that was so much more than a toy with this fast and loose doodlewash of a retro Easy-Bake Oven. It actually gave you a way to bake your own little treats to eat. And all of this magic was made possible with an ordinary incandescent light bulb. The one shown here is an original Kenner model from the 60’s in a just-like-mom’s oven color and shape. Later versions had a pink and purple toy look, resembled a microwave, and the little light bulb was replaced with a special heating element which pretty much killed the magic.
I’ve never been into cooking, but something about miniature cooking made this thing super fun. I didn’t own one, but played with the one the girl up the street had. Baking treats pretty much anywhere we could was sort of amazing. I was eventually allowed to use an actual oven and tried “real” cooking from a kid’s cookbook, but it just wasn’t the same. I’m not sure why, but light bulb cooking just felt more like something only a kid could do.
Since I was a boy, this was not considered a toy that I should own. It wasn’t until a few years ago that they introduced a gender-neutral version for the first time. A girl named McKenna Pope started a Change.org petition that earned more than 40,000 signatures and the support of celebrity chefs, causing Hasbro to offer a black and silver version that might appeal to boys. Unfortunately it looked liked an 80’s boombox and not a cool stove, so even though it was years too late for me, I didn’t really feel like I missed anything.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Ultramarine Blue, Maroon Perylene, Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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