Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Baking Challenge

Baking was something that I did all the time at home.  Well, now here is the challenge.  If you look closely at the photo below, you will see that my oven has no temperature dial.  There is simply a flame that goes from small to large.  The challenge. . .to figure out what temperature the oven is.  Oh, did I mention that none of the stores around here carry oven thermometers.  Why?  Because no one uses their stoves (except to store pots and pans in them) because it is too hot to bake.  I also learned that turning the temperature dial to the right does not make the flame get bigger.  The biggest flame is when the dial is perpendicular to the stove top. Hmmmm, how does that work?

However, I did take the challenge and made my first batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  They turned out pretty well.  Another senior missionary told me that you have to add a lot more flour to your recipes here.  Wish I would have known that when I tried to make my first batch of banana bars. . .they were a little dense :-)  

Baking in this oven did bring me back to my childhood days when we had gas ovens.  We had to light the oven with a match and light the burners with a match in order to cook or bake anything.  So every day when I turn the oven on, and light the burners with a match, I think of my Mom and the fond memories we had growing up in New Jersey.

What temp is 350?  Your guess is as good as mine!

There used to be some things that I felt very confident in doing.  Things I have done for years, like grocery shopping.  I could go into the grocery store, compare prices and find the best deal.  Now I go into the grocery store and can't even identify the grocery item, let alone figure out what is the best price.  When I saw a whole fryer chicken and they wanted $290 (pesos). . .whatever!  I was having a hard time converting dollars to pesos.  I just couldn't bring myself to spend $290 on a chicken.  Well, I settled down after Elder Fagersten told me that it was really about $7.  Although that wasn't a bargain, it was a much happier thought than spending $290!

OK, so the next shopping adventure was to buy fruit from the street vendors.  We decided we could do that since this particular vendor was a member of the church and we wanted to support him.  That worked out pretty well for us.  However, we were out of mangoes so we stopped by a local vendor and this is what we saw.  Yes, that is a cat on a watermelon and yes, there were chickens roaming in the around the fruit as well. So that sealed the deal for me.  No more fruit purchases from the street vendors.  We might get more than we bargained for.

Fresh fruit anyone?

Chickens like the leftover fruit, too.

1 comment:

  1. Gary, let me know if you would like a wireless oven thermometer. I have one for my smoker and one like it would probably do you just fine.