#288 Looking through the little window in the oven

Where were you 31,000 years ago?

Immortal wizards aside, I’m guessing you were the same place I was: nowhere. Nope, you were just a twinkle in your cave grandpa’s eye back then. Seriously, you weren’t around but your ancestors were scraping across soggy jungles, wet cliffs, and dirty deserts trying to patch together an existence on hunted animals and handfuls of trees.

And then they discovered ovens.

People, it’s true — according to our egghead pals over at Wikipedia the first ovens on earth are from back around 29,000 BC when our cave families cooked mammoths outside their homemade huts.

So I say let’s all stop for a second today and let our minds slip back to those cold desert plains.

Sharp winds whip dust across your dirty face on dark and dreary nights. Clouds crack and cold drops fall while you hear bushes scratching and footsteps stomping around you. Babies cry against sweaty chests, bleary eyes fade to rest, and everyone hunkers around each other for comfort and caring and touch…

Can you imagine how good it must have felt to cook up some gooooooood eatin’ back in those prehistoric days? Yes, I’m guessing your entire pack salivated while crouching around the smoky fire.

Next time you look through that little window in the oven to scope your rising cupcakes, bubbling lasagna, or crisping cookies, don’t forget to pay silent tribute to our past, when staring into the oven meant staring into energy… and life… and


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Photos from: here, here, and here

29 thoughts on “#288 Looking through the little window in the oven

  1. Mmmmmmm. All the food that comes out of a mammoth…I bet that mammoth bacon was pretty darn tasty ;) Sadly, though, I have one of those old-school ovens where the light only turns on when you open the door. I don’t get to watch the cheese bubble up on my lasagne.

    1. LOL.. “all the food that comes out of a mammoth..” This had me cracking up..

      I wonder if Neil’s Cave Grandpa had that on his blog: “3 Awesome Cave Paintings” by Grog Pasricha..

      If he did, I’m sure it created a real stir in the comments sections!

      1. 3 Awesome Cave Paintings! LOL! Yep, I’m sure it would have created quite the controversy in those anti-hunting-only-gathering-fig-leaves-not loincloths groups.

  2. The oven with the window is most magical when you have a three year old who is totally amazed at how muffins grow and cookie balls flatten out right before their big unsuspecting eyes. Thanks grandpa caveman for giving me an AWESOME moment in life in allowing me to rediscover amazement and wonder through my child’s eyes.

  3. Looking through the looking glass…
    If only GRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat Gramps would’ve had the forsight to insure some of his sweaty chest hair. I’ll bet we’d have a very large clan hunkered around our fire pit right now, near comotose from all the comfort and care. Glazed over eyes and bloated bellies from all the big-a** “Cookies!” Staring into energy and life force for one another…my collective commune…and as my grown children put it to me… my Steven Tyler style “Dream On.”

  4. I love deck ovens and rotating rack ovens. You can fit a ton of sheet pans in one and bake off hundreds of cookies at once. Totally awesome.

  5. I just recently introduced the oven light and window to my daughter. She sat forever watching her cupcakes the other night before she got upset because they weren’t doing anything yet.

    1. If she’s got a short attention span for watching things through a little window, do her a favor and put a marshmallow in your microwave for a few seconds.. she won’t have to wait for too long to get a result then! :)

      1. I think someone on here was telling me last year to microwave those marshmallow peeps. I still haven’t done it….. need to. Easter candy is out now, I should get on that.
        I watched a youtube video with someone doing it and yes, its pretty awesome.

  6. I will never forget the day I realized that there is a LIGHT in the oven to help you see what’s in there when you look through that little window. My favorite thing to see is cookies. Or a turkey, but that’s another story for another day. Maybe sometime in November :)

  7. I never thought of this as something I’d miss … until I moved to a place where there is NO LITTLE WINDOW IN THE OVEN! Who does that?! (Answer: Kenmore, circa 1980s). It’s so sad. It even has a light (pointless), but it’s burned out (go figure).

    1. WHAT?!?!! Not possible.. I’d never heard of such a thing, so I just headed over to Laura’s place (sorry ’bout that Laura, I just let myself in.. hope that’s cool with you)..

      Well, turns out that she’s right.. I took a quick photo of her kitchen before I had to run out.. (I think her neighbors were calling the cops)..


      Who knew that such a thing existed? Well, at least you’ve got those 6 dials on your microwave, Laura.. that’s got to be working out well for you.. :)

      1. I’d never heard of such a thing, either! Preposterous.

        Don’t worry, my neighbors weren’t calling the cops … probably just QVC, judging by the amount of packages they receive on a daily basis. Or maybe they’re into some shady underground dealings involving stolen car parts, like in Matilda. They’re pretty old, though, so I’m gonna go with QVC.

        I am so ashamed that you posted that picture of my lovely kitchen. If you were at my house, though, the least you could have done is left my new set of windshield wipers you promised me a while back! ;D

    2. Oh, they made them well past the 80’s! Mine can’t be more than 15 years old and it has a slick door that looks like it’s disguising a window that’s only visible when the light is on, but there’s no window :(

        1. That looks exactly like mine except that the dials are different. It’s my landlords’ old stove. The one that I had before this one was way older, but the oven had a window :/ Hardly an upgrade.

  8. I have no choice but to watch whatever’s in the oven like a hawk. It has an unfortunate tendancy to burn everything that goes in it no matter how much we decrease the temperature and time specified in the recipe. It will usually spend about ten minutes looking like nothing’s happening and then when I open the door a minute later the smoke alarm is going off. You can always tell when dinner is ready in my house by when all the doors and windows are flung open to let the smoke billow out and a pan of some unidentifiable black substance is put on the back step to cool.

    All this talk of food and cooking is making me hungry…

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