I continue to be intimidated by ovens. What is it about these seemingly-innocuous cooking devices that I can’t figure out? I always follow the instructions, and yet disaster always seems to strike when I use ovens.

Tonight I tried to heat up an oven pizza, which should have been simple — the label on the pizza said preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, stick it in, and then take it out 20 minutes later. Easy, right?

About 10 minutes after I put it in, I start hearing these little “Sssss!” noises coming from the kitchen intermittently. I check, and a few drops of cheese have melted off the edge pizza onto the floor of the oven. “OK no problem,” I think, “there was probably just a bit of cheese too close to the edge of the pie.” I go back to my computer. By 15 minutes, I realize the sizzling is now pretty much a constant white noise, and find that most of the pizza has melted through a hole in the pie’s centre, and through the slats of the oven tray, onto the bottom of the oven. And the pizza is stuck to the tray. Nice.

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