Martha Stewart, Gordon Ramsay, eat your hearts out.
The new champion of oven creations is Brian McKinney of Hope Cascades and Canyons Visitor Centre. He took advantage of this week’s record-breaking heat wave to try out a few fun food tricks.
First order up was the traditional “fried eggs on the sidewalk” experiment on Sunday, June 27. He put the eggs into a frying pan and left them there to fry in the sun.
Temperatures in Hope that day were 39.8 degrees Celsius. That means the asphalt temperature was about 60 C, around the right temperature for safely cooking eggs.
And the results, although not gourmet, were at least edible.
“I was able to serve up some runny ones, that’s for sure,” he said. “It didn’t sizzle up and bake like we were hoping, but people got a good kick out of it.”
And they kept the fun in the sun going on Monday, when McKinney turned his Jeep into a makeshift oven to bake some cookies. He locked it up tight and in the sun at 9 a.m. and let it “pre-heat” until about 1 p.m.
Monday hit 41.4 C in Hope, and his Jeep was registering at 176 F inside when he popped a tray of two dozen cookie dough pucks in. And by the time he pulled them back out at 3 p.m., he had to use a makeshift oven mitt (a tourism handbag). Even then, the tray was burning his hands.
“I can assure you it smells like cookies!,” he yelled excitedly. “Hot hot hot!”
The whole process was filmed and shared online on his Facebook page, and in it, he called out a challenge to both Martha Stewart and Gordon Ramsey to come visit and even invest in Hope.
He said the whole team at AdvantageHOPE had a part in making the fun videos.
“Thank you for the shares, the comments and the engagement and helping us all keep Hope, B.C. on the map,” he said in a Facebook comment. “A special toast and cheers to Riley Forman who is one of the biggest and best promoters of Hope and area who came up with the idea over a beer last night. Thank you to Chantal Ouellette for taking time out of your busy schedule today at the office and doing the hot, sweaty camera work. Thank you to AdvantageHOPE’s Shannon Jones for backing the idea and allowing me to do what I do.”
He also pointed out the dangers of such temperatures.
“If a vehicle will bake cookies imagine what this weather will do to pets, seniors, young people and those with underlying conditions.”
The extreme weather also hurts tourism activity, he told The Standard. The best weather for tourism is between 25 C and 35 C. And with Environment Canada using words like ‘dangerous,’ he says, “it’s a whole new level.”
He recalls years ago when it was so hot, a travel advisory was put in place for the Fraser Canyon, including Hell’s Gate. A couple came by on their Harley and took the tram down to the village. When they got back, the bike was sitting on its side because the kickstand melted three inches into the asphalt.
“This extreme weather has the reverse effect (on tourism),” he says, despite it becoming international news.
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