Looking for leftovers
Checking my oven is a life-long habit of mine. When I was a kid, we always checked the oven before we turned it on to bake. The oven often stored left-over cake or cookies or some other fun food. Mama taught us to open that oven door and check to be certain there was nothing present so we would not have remnants of burnt offering.
When I moved away from home and manned my kitchen by myself, I didn’t have to check my oven. I always knew what was in it. If I left something in the oven, I remembered and removed it before I turned on the oven. Plus, in humid southern Virginia, leaving part of a cake in the oven guaranteed spoilage sooner rather than later. There was just no need for checking my oven.
Looking for toys
Then we had kids. It was that number two child who made it necessary to check my oven every single time before I turned it on. There was the time I forgot to check and smelled plastic heating. I opened the oven door to discover toy cows basking in the heat of my pre-heating oven. After that, I always checked my oven. I rescued animals, blocks, mittens, hats, hammers, marbles, cups, and empty boxes from my oven before I turned it on. One time I found a pacifier. Oh yes, I knew which kid that belonged to.
It didn’t matter if I had just checked the oven a few minutes before. Those little hands could get toys into that oven faster than I could blink my eyes. I learned to be careful and cautious. Once the oven was hot, the temptation was gone for my toddler.
After our kids were grown, foster kids found their way into my kitchen. Those toddlers had a way of opening an oven door to hide a favorite toy from a sibling. After all those years, I was still checking my oven.
Still checking my oven
I’m still checking my oven. Call it habit or safety or being a grandma – no matter whose kitchen I’m in, I check the oven before I turn it on. And sometimes, now that I’m older, I find things I forgot I put in there – and I’m glad I’m in the habit of checking my oven. I wonder, what kind of burnt offerings have you found in your oven over the years?