Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The National Weather Service says it will only be 101 tomorrow, substantially cooler than yesterday's 106. One hundred degree days are rare here with only a few albeit memorable days each summer. I vividly recall the hottest day on record a sweltering 107 when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. It was like sitting in a sauna with a heater in my stomach.

This weather reminds me of a 105 degree day when I was about seven. I was hanging out in the pleasantly cool basement when my aunt, a budding gourmet cook, arrived with the brilliant idea of making a Baked Alaska. To prepare this exotic dessert, ice cream is placed in a mountain shaped mound on top of sponge cake and covered with meringue. The whole assembly is then baked in a hot oven just long enough to brown the meringue. 

Sounds simple, right? Not so on a hot day. As soon as we took the ice cream from the freezer, it started to puddle around the edges because not only was the thermometer at a record breaking high, the oven was cranking out a blistering 425 degrees. Being amateurs, the mounding of the ice cream took longer than expected. By the time the creation went in the oven it looked like Mount Saint Helens after the eruption. You can imagine how it appeared coming out. 

I just checked the thermometer - it's 103. Baked Alaska anyone? 

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