This is the time of year in Texas when I stop bragging to my family in Minneapolis about the weather. The heat gets downright oppressive, even at night, and outdoor activity is best limited to the early morning or the late evening when the sun's rays are ever-so-slightly less scorching.
As you can imagine, turning on the stove or the oven is less appealing in this heat. So in lieu of cooking something fabulous, I thought I'd cook up a little experiment for my blog...an attempt to fry an egg on the sidewalk.
My first attempt was on a total whim. It started around 5:00 p.m. on the day the photo above was taken - not the optimal time, but that's when I thought of doing it. Our house is very tree-shaded, so I cracked an egg on the ground in the cul-de-sac sort of kitty-corner (or catty-corner, if you're a Texan) from the house. I then went inside and e-mailed my neighbors to explain to them why their crazy neighbor had left a raw egg sitting on the street outside their homes.
My neighbors are very forgiving.
After about twenty minutes, I went out to check on it and it didn't look like anything was happening. The shade was starting to encroach on the spot I'd chosen and I felt self-conscious about leaving this thing out there for too long, so I scooped it up and threw it away.
Most people would have stopped there. But not this intrepid (read: nuts) food blogger.
Attempt #2 began a few days later at around 2:30 p.m., which I thought would be somewhere around the hottest time of day. It wasn't quite as hot that day - around 101 degrees - but since my weekend opportunities for conducting an experiment like this are limited, I thought I'd make a go of it. Some quick Internet research suggested that putting the egg in a pan would facilitate the process, so I thought I'd try that method.
Kicking off attempt #2
After about twenty minutes, the edges started to crisp up a little. Promising.
However, the next 50 minutes didn't bring much progress. This is an hour and ten minutes in:
At this point, I started to get impatient and broke out a magnifying glass:
...but I didn't want to sit outside in the heat for as long as it seemed like it was going to take, so I exchanged my magnifying glass for a mirror:
Forty minutes after I put the mirror out (a total of two hours into the experiment), the shadows began to take over my "lab" area and I was forced to throw in the (kitchen) towel.
The "finished" product.
Gordon Ramsay would throw me out of Hell's Kitchen for this egg, for sure. Looks like I won't be trading in my range anytime soon.
Sorry, Texans. Apparently, it's not that hot.