Sizzlin’. Or Not.

The girls had their first day of camp today, and I dropped them off with ice-packed water bottles.  It reminded me of my one attempt at Girl Scout Day Camp a good thirty years ago, back when they used to make us all take salt tablets.  It was hellishly hot, there was limited shade, the ground was covered by blistering sand, and the leaders weren’t creative or empathetic enough to reschedule the planned activity, Cooking Over an Open Fire.  But hey!  We each got a Sizzler Patch!

Later in the afternoon, I attempted to embrace the Splendor of Nature by conducting a little experiment.  I thought we’d try to fry an egg on the driveway.  This was a stupid idea–I’m just telling you now.  Don’t bother.   Learn from my mistake.

It started out poorly.  M was excited and grabbed an egg, and then J wanted to hold an egg, too, and I briefly resisted, since I didn’t expect that we’d really and up eating anything.  And these are cage-free organics, baby!  So then M put her egg back and burst into tears because she wanted to do an egg but she knew that I didn’t want to waste.  And J always gets to do everything, etc., etc.  So, right away:  turns out that this is no fun, right?  I urged her to take an egg.

I had already prepared the surface with a scrubbing and let it heat up again (hence the chalk “stovetop” square), but I decided to throw on some olive oil.  The salt was part of my unjustified optimism.

Cooking Surface Ready!

Okay, right away we learned that there was a much greater slope to the driveway than I’d realized.  The whole mess started oozing downhill immediately.  Due to meek breaking, J’s yolk was smithereens.  M was quite proud of her intact yolk.  She juggled with the spatula to keep it in place.

Yikes! Runaway Egg!

Things weren’t going well.  There was no sizzle.

J oversalting M's yolk

J decided that the eggs needed more salt, and you can actually see it pouring all over M’s perfect yolk.  At this point M was still operating under the delusion that we’d be trying the eggs, so she was incensed that J “ruined” it.   We waited a few more minutes.  The girls got umbrellas to shade us.  We waited some more.  I cursed myself for stationing the cooking event in close proximity to the trash can which is currently housing at least five rodent corpses that our Mighty Huntress vanquished while we were away on vacation.  Alas, we lost interest and wandered back inside.

Later I checked back and there were, indeed, some cooked portions of the egg.  I think that if I’d been more clever I could have brought a pan out and done some scrambled eggs, because those are best cooked slowly over a lower heat, anyway.  Meanwhile, one object was cooked:  M’s toe accidentally hit the asphalt and it actually blistered.  The two hours in the town pool were quite therapeutic.

If you thought that you were hot today, and if you’re not particularly looking forward to more heat tomorrow, perhaps this will console you:  it’s not actually hot enough to fry an egg.


  1. So glad I found your website. Love that you documented the experiment in process. I have to admit, this is something I always was curious about. Yesterday was certainly the perfect day to give it a try.

  2. Glad you found it, too. I’d always wondered about the egg, so I was a little disappointed. I was sincerely expecting to have a great photo of sunny side up. Oh well.

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