We finally got a toaster oven. I admit it. I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore. To be fair, I’ve noticed that, at this stage, a number of assistants finally broke down and bought something. For one girl it was a cell phone. For me, apparently, it was the toaster oven.
But seriously, let’s face it guys, I’m a baker. A baker without an oven. So really it was inevitable. And, of course, full of a bit of drama. Because this is France and apparently, that’s how things roll here.
I decided to buy the oven and approached The Roomie about going to the Leclerc (a large Walmart-esque store not far from where I live) in her car and getting one. She heartily agreed and we both got pretty excited. Because, really, we’re food kids and the idea of being able to cook more food was nothing short of thrilling to our oven-depressed minds.
So we went to the store and we picked out the one we wanted. Of course, it was the last one, so we had to wait for an employee to find the box and pack up to the display oven. Fine. Good. Oven packed, purchased and put in the car. Other pertinent shopping, done.
It’s hard to explain the sheer excitement of bringing home our new baby. We packed it safely in the car. We gingerly carried it up the stairs and over the threshold. We unpacked it with anticipation. We gave it a special spot on the countertop. I, of course, made brownies.
Because that’s what you do when you get a brand new oven.
Actually, I made some amazing brownies. (If I do say so myself)
They were really delicious.
Then, the next day, I roasted cauliflower. Because roasting cauliflower magically transforms it into a steaming bowl of heaven in a bowl. Trust.
And that, my friends, is where the magic ends. Rudely. Abruptly. Shockingly.
Because on the third day, late in the evening, I went to make cauliflower au gratin (which, as a side note, I do not know how to make. I was just making it up). I preheated the oven. I had the gratin prepared. I opened the door. But then door got stuck. So I pulled the door again. And WHAM! The entire front piece of glass shattered. I was shocked. I was confused. I was…speechless.
The Roomie’s response was something akin to, “wow!” and then “I guess we’re going to Leclerc tomorrow.”
That evening and into the following day, I shared the shocking news amongst friends. To which the vast majority replied, “Good luck. The French never give returns on anything.” Shite.
Later that next evening, armed with my receipt, my Roomie and the clearly defective toaster oven, we walked up to the customer service desk and tried to return our merchandise.
Mais non, she said, the window is not covered by the warranty. Only the heating element in the interior.
But, my Roomie insisted, it is because of the heat that the window is broken.
Mais, non, she replied, I think it is not possible.
Still convinced that we could prove that the window was defective, we soldiered on.
Non non!! I exclaimed, you must look at the window to see the problem!
After a bit of coaxing, we handed over the box to the woman. She finally opened the cardboard, pulled out the Styrofoam, looked and, shocked, phoned the super secret French Leclerc person. (It seems like there’s always a super secret French authority figure on the other line. Haven’t they heard of a manager, for goodness sakes?)
Mais non, she explained to the person on the other end of the line, the window is broken in a million little pieces. It must be from the heat.
And that is how we got a refund on our toaster oven. Win.
We didn’t just up and leave with our refund. Oh, no. We got a replacement. We even upgraded. And while he doesn’t match our white “décor” as well, I think (and hope) that this new one is here to stay.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place chopped chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl and heat forabout two minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted.
Add sugar. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and nuts; stir until well combined. Pour batter into a well-greased 13×9” baking pan.
Bake 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.