March 17, 2010

We Are The Easy Bake Oven Generation

easy-bake_oven.jpg

Regular readers of Daddy Types, who know better than anyone just how fascinating and insightful I am, can appreciate it when I say that I am, without a doubt, the least interesting thing in Adweek's in-depth article about [not] marketing cooking toys to boys.

Boys 2-11 love watching cooking shows; they're taking cooking classes; they're cooking and pretending to cook. But cooking toys are still in the girls' section of the toy store, and they're all/mostly still only marketed to girls.

What I noticed, though, was that the toy companies don't like to get called out on their gender-based marketing strategies. The makers of the girliest cooking toys--including Hasbro, makers of the venerable Easy-Bake Oven and a new cake/cupcake thing called Girl Gourmet--either sidestepped the issue or declined to respond altogether. Awkward.

And then on what I thought was a completely unrelated article, the New York Times reports from some kitchen appliance expo where the big innovation is apparently one-button cooking: "Popcorn." "Steak." "Bread." Everything is becoming the 7-Eleven microwave. And all the toaster ovens have "pizza bumps" because all anyone eats now is frozen pizza.

What the hell, people? Do you see the connection? It's the Easy-Bake Oven. It was introduced in 1963. Entire generations since then have been brainwashed to be incapable of cooking with anything more complicated than a light bulb. Entire generations of girls, that is. It's now up to boys and their parents [i.e., dads] to rescue cooking before it's too late.

Toy Pitches Half-Baked [adweek.com]
Kitchen Gadgets Take The Fast-Food Mentality Into The Home [nyt]

8 Comments

Blech!
Food doesn't come in a box. Food is also rarely cooked in the microwave.

As to cooking toys and boys...
My little devil has a toy stove/sink and is really starting to enjoy 'helping' in the kitchen. At four, he's just old enough to start stirring (with supervision), mixing, and measuring. I can't wait to introduce him to the art of cutting when he's a bit older.

I fully intend to prepare him to fight the good fight for good food.

I love cooking, and laugh when other 'guys' give me grief about being in the kitchen. They can eat the crap casserole their wives make. Clearly, I have the last laugh here.

Casserole is something that happens to other people. (I want this on a shirt)

What the heck is a pizza bump?

I am proud to say that we have not used a microwave at home for almost 5 years. Not once.

Great article. The same questions could be asked of toys related to child-rearing (i.e. dolls).

As for the pizza bump, I know exactly what you're talking about. When searching for a toaster oven that could be mounted under-the-cupboard, practically the only option had been redesigned to accommodate pizzas, something we have yet to cook in it one year later. The big problem is that by making it deeper, they also made it flatter, and taller foods, say a small meatloaf or piled-high sandwich are too close to the heating elements. Ugh.

Americans are really cooking pizzas in microwaves?!?!? Isn't that the worst possible way to cook a pizza? I am so confused...

under-cabinet toaster ovens, I think.

When I bought my daughter a toy kitchen for Christmas a few years ago I got a lot of raised eyebrows from other women. But the funny thing is that my daughter thinks kitchens are for men because that's who does all the cooking in our house. She plays in her kitchen to do things "like daddy."

pizza. If I were to rate the appropriateness of cooking methods for pizza in increasing order it would be like this:

1. Boiling
2. Poaching
3. Steaming
4. Stir frying
5 (tie). Sautéing
6. Deep frying
7. Smoking
8. Microwaving
9. Grilling (superb if you do it right)
10. Baking

So microwaving in the top three really. although not recommended.

It's true . I think I have cooked about 9 times in the past 4 years of marriage. Today I got this whole-wheat mac and cheese from the health food store for my 2 year old and my 9 month. My Husband made it the other day and it looked really good and my daughter loved it! It looked like soup when I made it. I threw it away before my Husband could notice.

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