Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Put Something In the Oven…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to put something in the oven, then you should at least turn it on first.

This was not the first time – nor will it be the last – that I’ve tried to put food in a cold oven. When I was still at my parent’s house, I got used to only having to turn one dial to turn the oven on. I can’t recall if my mother’s oven was permanently set to bake and we changed the temperature or if it was always at 350 and we turned the other dial to bake. Either way, I only turned one. That stuck in my head.

Now that I have my own oven, I know darn well that I have to turn both dials simply because I keep turning both off when I’m done. Yet every now and then, I find myself forgetting and lapsing back to what I grew up with. Today was one of those days. I started out well: I had taken chicken out of the freezer to thaw early in the day and figured I’d have the kids eating at a decent time. I followed up by cleaning the bathroom when I should have been prepping dinner. It was okay though; I was just going to throw s o me stuff in a Ziplock bag, add the chicken, shake and then stuff it in the oven.

Before I even started dumping bread crumbs and seasoning into the bag, I turned on the oven. I wanted to give it plenty of time to heat up. I took my time getting everything together, had my chicken on the tray, opened my oven after noting that the light was off (as it should be when fully heated) and noticed that it was cold. After the year we’ve had, my first thought was that it was broken. Then I thought to check my dials and noted that I had indeed set the temperature but had not turned the other one to bake. The problem with a light that goes off when your oven is heated is that it also stays off when the oven isn’t even on in the first place.

Consequently, I had to wait for the oven to heat up (again) before I could toss the chicken in to cook. The kids did not eat at a decent time. So this evening, as I do almost every tome things go a little awry, I told myself that tomorrow I’ll do better…even if better means turning the oven on properly. Granted, I may just leave the temperature set at 350 so I only have to worry about one dial in the future.

Now a little side story: every time I do this, I’m reminded of a day about 10 years ago when I was working for my parents. One of the women got a call from her son because he couldn’t get the oven to work. As he was new to using a stove, he had no clue that he had to turn two dials to make it turn on so he called his mother for help. I can still hear her telling him that there were two dials and that he had to use them both and I know that I’m going to wind up having the same conversation with at least one of my boys in the future.

So what have been sure you’ve done only to find out later you hadn’t?

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