Lately, when I go into our kitchen, I am drawn to the shiny, aluminum-clad appliance in the far corner, next to the outside wall. I look at it, and think about possibilities. Happy, hopeful, heated, holiday possibilities.
It’s the double oven, of course.
A double oven may not be a big deal for those who’ve always had one, but I’m not in that category. I’ve only had a single oven, which has been . . . sufficient. There aren’t many times when you really need two ovens. But the holiday season is one of those times. And now, with Thanksgiving only two days away and the Christmas cookie season right behind it, I think of what I might be able to accomplish with deft use of the double oven.
For Thanksgiving, the benefits of a double oven are obvious. The turkey can be cooking away in one oven, perhaps with one or two other dishes, and the other oven can be used for warming pies, candied yams, rolls, a green bean casserole, and on and on. No more desperate attempts at oven space management, trying to jam every course into the nooks and crannies around the turkey in a doomed bid to get everything hot and ready to serve at the same time. In short, the double oven affords the luxury of ample space.
For Christmas cookie baking, the potential benefits are different. The double oven should allow me to maximize efficiency and eliminate the down times, when I’ve got a sheet of cookies ready to bake but I’m waiting for those in the oven to finish. I look at the shiny aluminum facing and I think of Dutch spice cookies turning a rich golden brown in the top oven as I’m loading a tray of Cranberry hootycreeks into the bottom unit. An efficiency expert would undoubtedly be able to calculate how much time I might save by deft use of the double oven options. It will require careful planning and sequencing, of course, but I’m eager to tackle the challenge.
And now I wonder — do I have enough counter space for all of these cookies?