Today I am excited, nay GIDDY, to have Adele Griffin stop by my blog! She is truly one of my favorite people because of her sweet disposition, fabulous writing, and of course wicked awesome sense of humor.
Straight from her childhood, Adele is here to share her favorite holiday memory. It's a sweet one too! (Pun totally intended.)
Of Mix and Mixes
My standout childhood Christmas memory was the year my cousin Lisa and I took over the E-Z Bake Oven. It wasn’t our gift. We, at age thirteen and fourteen, were way too old and awesome for ovens. That was the Christmas we traded mix tapes for our boulder-heavy Sony Walkmans, wriggled our multi-colored toes in Esprit socks, and slathered on peppermint-glitter lip balm. Meanwhile, my eleven-year-old brother Robert and twelve-year-old cousin William—minions, really, to whom Lisa and I hardly spoke—lurched around in a quasi-Atari coma. It was frankly exhausting to be as pubescent-ly cool as we were that Christmas.
The oven was actually a Santa gift to my then five-year-old brother, Geoff—a frog leap younger than the rest of us, and generally left alone throughout the entire visit at our grandparents’ house. He had asked for this oven, I suspect, not because he had a fondness for sweets, but for projects, and on receiving it, had set up quietly in a corner of the kitchen. The rest of us had been informed that any fun made of his gift, his cooking, etc., would be at our own peril. So we ignored him, which was kind of operating procedure, anyway.
Then Geoff proudly presented us with his first batch of cookies, heated to imperfection under the oven’s electric light bulb. We each had one. Disgusting. Delicious. What a fun gift; the best one, easy. Parents were all getting loud on wine in the living room, so it was impossible for them to hear the muffled sounds of Geoff’s protests as his siblings and cousins took over his oven. Yellow cake, spice cake, chocolate fudge cake, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, vanilla icing, strawberry icing … soon we’d all dropped our Walkmans and rivalries and devoted the afternoon to using every single just-add-water package. We were gluttons; villainous and exuberant. We began pushing the pans through too quickly so that cakes came out half-cooked, just to snarf it down and get to the next one.
I remember that day as fun, plus a bad stomachache. Geoff remembers it as one of his best Christmases, ever; the afternoon when his siblings and cousins had not only paid attention to him, but when we’d all collectively regressed become five year olds, our play harking back to holidays when we had not cared a jot about cool. Someone told me recently than a love of cakes and cupcakes has more to do with childhood memory than our actual palette. When I think of that EZ Bake Christmas, I believe it. Mix cake half-cooked by a low-watt bulb never tasted so divine.
Thank you so much Adele for this heartfelt post! Happy Holidays!