If you’ve been a regular at my coffee shop, The Chronicles of Nani, for a while, or if you searched for Digitalegacies Designs scrapbooking freebies or found some tidbit that encouraged you to read back a bit, you’ve read and seen photos of my Davinities creations every Christmas. My Secret Santa this year could be one the folks reading the old entries, maybe? I have found not just good reading getting to know my Santees through their blog archives, but I also found some nice tips for their gifts. I’m not revealing anything this year, but Linda, of Linda’s Bee Hive, is the one who gave me the idea to send her a letter from Santa Claus, Indiana last year! Let it suffice to say that if I follow you, I’ve read your first blog entry and a few in between.
The beginning of Davinities is somewhat like the beginning of a blog. If the current blog is the first blog you did and you’re still blogging a few years later, watching the transformation is neat as the blog grows into its present level of blog proficiency. Maybe you blog more often now, maybe less often but you only blog about causes you really believe in. Maybe you started blogging before you were even expecting and now your blog is a full-blown Mommy or Daddy blog. Me, The Chronicles of Nani started out claiming it was a coffee shop on the Information Superhighway, which it still is, but I really feel like I moved in more of the comfy chairs. I hope you all like them!
So, Davinities roots were, plain and simple, a little girl trying to make Daddy happy, and everyone knows a nice treat from his Little Princess makes Daddy happy! Princess was what Pop called me when I was little. I imagine I was princess baby since I honestly don’t remember a time before he called me “his princess.” Davinities is what I call my baking at Christmas, often shared with friends at gatherings or given as gifts. The story goes that there was once a Little Princess who so loved the King that she wanted to create a confection of his favorite flavors to present to him as a gift. Pop’s favorite sweet flavors are peanut butter and butterscotch, and I found the recipe for what later became the Original Davinity when I was seven, so of course sweets were the only flavors that mattered. And Pop really did/does love them. So the rest of the story is that the King was so pleased that the Little Princess honored him by sharing them with all of his people, and the tradition of sharing Davinities with special people was born. I’ve given and shared Davinities every Christmas since then. I‘m 46 now; that's a LOT of baking!
But the beginning is not just a recipe I tried at 7, for how did I ever get the idea of making something special for my dad? Well, it was the first time that I used the stove by myself, under Mom’s watchful eye and with a chair to boost my height, but it wasn’t the first treat I’d made him!
Circa Nani's Easy Bake Oven
I got my Easy Bake Oven the Christmas before. Pop ate many mini chocolate and yellow cakes with white or chocolate frosting. That’s possibly four totally different cakes! I loved the magic of baking with a light bulb and seeing my dad smile when I presented him with dessert. It’s not like I never ate any of my cakes, I did and I liked them a lot. I made them for Mom and even Dave, although sometimes he wanted to help and it bugged me that anyone wanted to “bake in my kitchen.” I did get over that when I made the first Krisp Kringles, then called Peanut Butter Scotch Krispies in my first cookbook. I was in Mom’s Kitchen and she shared, I guessed I could too.
Circa Tori's Easy Bake Oven
When Tori was 7, I got her an Easy Bake Oven. Rina didn’t get the oven because she didn’t have the cooking passion Tori already had. If “Baby T” had been Trevin and not Torine, and he showed the desire to bake, he’d have gotten one too. I don’t buy the “sexist toy” crap about getting the oven for girls and I wouldn’t have bought the “girl’s toy” crap if I’d had a nephew who was interested. I really didn’t hear a ton of feedback, but then again this is the daughter of the kid who gave back a drum to my Mom, and complained that it sounded like a toy, the Christmas before he got his first real drum set. It’s possible she thought the cakes tasted like toys too! But she is a great cook at just 18. I was a great baker, but in trying to create a meal, I’d burn Kool-Aid until my mid-20s, so she has a serving-table leg up on me there.
What brought this reminiscing about my younger baking years to mind was an internet search for a Christmas gift that brought me to a search hit for this:
Today's Easy Bake Oven
The modern Easy Bake Oven plugs in but NO LIGHT BULB! How do you pass up the joy of baking with a light bulb? Let alone the additional science questions and answers that come with baking with a light bulb. It’s how we knew in the early 90s that putting a bag of mini hotdogs on the dashboard of the car in the zoo parking lot would give us hot cooked hot dogs by lunchtime. It’s part of an adult not having to tell you not to leave a candy bar on a sunny window sill or touch the bulb when you turn off a lamp. It teaches not just how to bake a cake, but it also imparts some critical thinking too. They do still have a light-bulb powered oven, but it’s the lesser product.
I’ll comment more at some other time about “girl’s toys” and “boy’s toys” and how awful those stereotypes are. Dave and I played with our dolls together; oh excuse me, action figures. My PJ action high school girl dated his GI Joe doll while my action coed, future lawyer Barbie was in love with action med-school Brad while action construction worker Ken and the Six Million Dollar Man doll fought over the attention of action Barbie’s action sorority sister Christie. Oh, it was something like that.
So, did you or someone you know - friends, kids, grandkids - have an Easy Bake Oven?