Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My friend Jim was teasing me about living in Texas, about how it must be so hot down here I wouldn’t need an oven to bake my pies. I thought of his comment this morning at breakfast, when I realized the croissant I was craving was still in the freezer, frozen solid. The sun was out and it was probably already 90-some degrees. (I make a point not to know the temperature. When the temps get into the hundreds, trust me, it’s better not to know.) So rather than heat up an entire big oven for one small croissant I thought of what Jim said and put the croissant outside in the sun. Keep in mind, however, that outdoor baking has its perils: the birds would eat it...if the ants didn’t get to it first. As my dogs were on front-porch patrol this morning, the French pastry was protected. Lo and behold, 10 minutes after I left it in the sun to “bake” the croissant was not only thawed, it was warm and flaky! Our Chihuahua Desert sun may not be hot enough for oven-free pies (imagine what 400 degrees would feel like) but I like this new technique. It’s the ultimate natural microwave or, what I like to call as a nod to my childhood (and my first introduction to baking), an Easy-Bake Oven. If only all of my cravings were this easy to satisfy.