Adventures in baking: un four électrique

If you’ve never seen the 1987 classic film Adventures in Babysitting, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go out and rent it right now, pop up some popcorn (yes, with salt and butter, or salted butter if you prefer, or butter with salt crystals if you’re in Paris), kick back and enjoy.

Now you’ll understand the reference when I say: “Where y'all think we're at, Boise, Idaho?”

Or, more accurately, in my case: in Ottawa with your full-size fridge, oven and *sigh* KitchenAid mixer?

I adore our heatless shoebox of an apartment in the 16eme arrondissement of Paris, I really and truly do. Right down to the little toaster oven, with the doorframe that springs off each time you open the door and the temperature dial marked with those funny little Celsius increments.

Sidenote: I almost feel like a liar for telling a Parisienne, when recently asked, that Canada uses the metric system. True, in the sense that elementary school taught me to estimate in metres and litres and convinced me of the virtues of a measurement system based on 10. False, in the sense that I only know my height in feet and inches, my weight in pounds, and my recipes in cups and teaspoons.

But back to the four électrique (as it was advertised to me by the woman from whom we’re subletting this apartment). You see, it wasn’t yet in the apartment when we first visited in our semi-comatose state, having arrived in Paris at 5:30am that morning on an overnight flight from Toronto. So I was a bit taken aback – to say the least – when we moved in two days later and I found that I could carry our oven under my arm. You know, handy dandy for those days when I feel like baking in the park with a really long extension cord.

What’s that saying: When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade? Well, when life hands you a toaster oven, I say make chocolate chip cookies. With oatmeal, because it adds bulk and is really cheap. Unlike les pépites de chocolat (literally chocolate nuggets, but think mini chocolate chips).

But I digress. More on shopping for baking supplies in Paris later.

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