Friday, February 5, 2010

Behavioral conditioning

Our new oven works great. I, on the other hand, have some reprogramming to do. Over the past 10 years I've figured out how to adjust for the quirks of the old oven, and I'd never realized how conditioned I'd become. We baked brownies in the new oven yesterday, and I automatically subtracted 25 degrees from the temperature. The brownies turned out good, but a little gooey, and then it dawned on me what I had done. Tonight I'm baking rolls, and I'm having to force myself to stick to what the recipe actually says about time and temperature. The first batch has turned out well. But my mind is shouting, "Don't bake them at 375 degrees! They'll burn!" It's like that spooky book I read in elementary school, House of Stairs, where the kids in the experiment become so trained that they can't stop going through their ritual dance for food even when the experiment is over. I used to have nightmares about that book. Hopefully it won't be quite as traumatic to retrain myself to bake properly.


Lisa said...

I was haunted by that book for YEARS.

Tamary said...

Yeah, and I was dumb enough to read it several times, just so every detail would be vivid.