First, though, I have to explain that I did this more than a month ago. I’ve been under the weather more than usual the past weeks (watch out for a post about that) and that made it difficult to do Supertamad or even come up with the right words. But now I’m back and I want to tell you about this new cooking style I picked up at the peak of summer.
It was already hot when that April day began. I felt as if the sun was just three feet away from our house. By 8 a.m. the garden was already parched; the soil was brown, cracked, and hard. In the backyard, the trees stood still; not a single leaf quivered from a breeze.
Inside the house, we were all sweaty, sticky, irritable, and, in the case of The One Who Spits, covered in neon green pen ink. It was around 10 a.m. when I realized I better think of a diversion before The One Who Spits and The Tactless Child clawed each other’s eyes out.
I remembered an old Archie comic strip where Jughead cooked an egg on the sidewalk on a hot summer day. Perfect. I put a non-stick frying pan on a cement patch in the garden, in the sunlight. No sense wasting a good egg just for entertainment, see. About three hours later, after I’d used up every bit of my patience as a referee, I called a truce. The kids immediately put down their weapons when I announced that we were going to do an experiment.
The Tactless Child cracked the egg over the pan, covered it, and we waited. There was a brief scuffle when The One Who Spits came over with his small yellow umbrella and held it over the pan “because it’s raining.” But he was distracted a few seconds later by a bunch of ants ganging up on a poor writhing worm. We did want to keep Humpty company, but it was just too hot outside. So we escaped indoors where, to keep the spirit of the outdoors, we had a little picnic in the living room. The Tactless Child brought along the kitchen timer which she set every 10 minutes. Each time the timer set off shrilly, she’d ask, “Is it done yet?” I’d trudge out to the egg, check, say, “No,” and The One Who Spits would try to sneak a dried twig into the pan. We did this every 10 minutes for about an hour and a half.
Finally, the egg really was cooked. I must admit, I didn’t think it would work. But the sunny-side-up egg looked like it was ready for breakfast. It wasn’t as firm as those cooked over a flame or electric current, but it still looked safe to eat without fear of salmonella poisoning. Imagine that, the day actually was so hot that we cooked an egg on the ground.
To celebrate a great experiment, I seasoned the egg with salt and said we were going to have it as a snack with bread. But I was wrong there. The Tactless Child said she didn’t want to eat a dirty egg (she didn’t care if it never made contact with the ground or her brother’s garnish of twigs). The One Who Spits took one forkful of the egg then spit it out a second later. To show them I meant what I said, I had to eat some until I realized I’d put in too much salt. In the end, our dog ate the egg after I disguised it under a mound of fish.
I was proud of our little experiment and I had a lot of nerdy fun doing it. But I’m even happier that inside our house, away from the glorious sun, we have a stove where we can cook a perfect egg in five minutes and not an hour and a half.