Frying An Egg On The Sidewalk

Frying An Egg On The Sidewalk Illustration - Doodlewash

For our prompt of “Sizzling” today, my mind went to the hottest parts of the summer here in Kansas City where I live. There’s usually a couple of weeks where it’s dangerously hot to be outdoors. So hot, in fact, that people would say you could actually “fry an egg on the sidewalk.” This was only an expression I heard growing up, but I of course wanted to know if it were actually possible. As it turns out, Bill Nye the Science Guy, found the minimum temperature to be 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes approximately 20 minutes. The problem comes in with most light-colored sidewalks that reflect the heat away, so most people on YouTube have chosen metal manhole covers for their urban culinary experiments. It turns out those can get quite hot indeed and will cook an egg much more quickly. While, it’s interesting to know that this saying is indeed true in some cases, I still find it highly improbably that anyone would actually eat a fried egg off of a sidewalk, so it’s still not an optimal cooking surface to be sure. So, I’ll stick with just painting a freshly cracked fried egg instead to avoid any potential health risks.

The truth is, in some parts of the world it gets much hotter during certain months. I remember reading an article where someone slow-baked cookies in her car, using it as an oven. Another thing that’s indeed possible that one might not actually think to do. Things like this are so weirdly fascinating to me because it’s exactly the kind of thing a little kid would find interesting. I thrill to these silly obscure facts and now with the Internet, I no longer have to wonder. If I have a question I can simply ask it and there’s a 100% chance that someone out there had the same question and decided to answer it for me. Though this is certainly convenient and fun, I think I miss those days when I was just left to wonder. So many great ideas can come from sitting and wondering about something. Just thinking about a mystery that has no easy solution, was a joy when I was a kid. In lieu of the actual answer, I would invent my own answers instead. Sometimes wild and fanciful answers and sometimes ones that were likely quite close to the truth. But, I wasn’t after the facts, I was simply chasing a question. My sincere hope in this world of one-click answers is that we all retain the ability to provide our own answers.

In my youth, it was primarily the calculator that was something questionable and making people think less than they should. Today, we have an endless array of options ready to think for us and help us make that next decision, often with just a few spoken words. Convenient to be sure, but equally intriguing to think about what happens to all of those brain cells that are no longer needed. This is indeed why I’m so passionate about supporting the arts and encouraging people to make a little something each and every day. For my own part, I’m still just learning a little tiny bit each day during my little tiny bit of time I have to sketch. I haven’t painted enough fried eggs to paint one from memory yet, so I used three photo references. I’m rather sure if I spent an entire month painting fried eggs, I would become quite excellent at doing so, but that doesn’t sound fun at all. Instead, I’m completely happy with my slow and steady progress. Each day, there’s something new to sketch, something new to ponder, and something new to learn in the process. And it’s strangely comforting to know that someday, if I wanted to, I could actually make my own attempt at frying an egg on the sidewalk.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 3 - Frying An Egg On The Sidewalk Illustration_IG
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
26 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Fantastic work on the egg. It’s hard to understand how a place that gets so cold in the winter, like the Midwest, could also be terribly hot in the summer. We have a mush less dramatic temperature range here.

    • Lovey Art 3 months ago

      Beautiful

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, it’s all about extremes here, and sometimes I like, “enough already!” while other times I sort of appreciate it! hehe

  2. Lisa 3 months ago

    I watched an artist talk about his still-life challenge. He set up a still life and painted it over and over with different things as his guiding principles, like color,and or shape, or background. It was fascinating. Each painting was so different than the others. He claimed to have learned a lot from the exercise. The student he was working with was bored, and quit after 25 tries.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe… I would totally be that student! 😊While at the same time perfectly appreciating the approach and knowing in my heart it’s the best one! So… I do what I can and what comes naturally to me instead. 😉

  3. Karen Fortier 3 months ago

    Great egg Charlie but I wouldn’t want to eat it off the sidewalk either. We generally don’t get that hot up here in New England.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, I couldn’t eat one off a sidewalk for sure… hehe… BUT, that wouldn’t stop me from attempting the experiment just to see. 😉

  4. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Oh, I LOVE your fried eggs. I’d eat those even if they were fried on the sidewalk! My brother who lives in Florida has a solar oven that he uses to cook during the summer. We tried it once here in Oregon, but that didn’t work well at all, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yeah, I agree, Sandra! 😃💕 Fried eggs are awesome. It’s likely why I haven’t tried the experiment… I don’t think I’d actually eat one off of a sidewalk, but I don’t want to test it! A solar oven sounds magical! I want to try one!

  5. Jodi 3 months ago

    this is an awesome doodlewash! you are amazing!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Jodi! 😃💕You’re so sweet! I always wish I had more time… this is only the 3rd attempt or so at a fried egg! hehe

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    This was a challenge to paint, Charlie, such elusive textures like trying to hold a cloud in your hands. You did a wonderful job of rendering fried eggs.

    Of course, if we want to imagine the improbable, we have only to go outside at night and look at the Milky Way swirling around us. At least, that’s what the astronomers claim – I know it’s really a vast blue dome pricked with a pin to let in the light of distant campfires.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I tried to really observe this time and capture some of those crazy textures. And adore that description of the Milky Way… it’s exactly that!

  7. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    82° at 7 a.m. this morning. Looks like it could be one of those egg frying on the sidewalk kind of days today. Definitely wouldn’t be as pretty as the one you painted though.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yikes… that’s already too warm for morning… our weather has been more erratic, but we’re destined for the “hot all the time” temps this summer. I’ve got my egg ready!

  8. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    Nice egg! I too have thought about the fried egg on the sidewalk thing. My wonders mostly when I clean house, but occasionally something sneaks in. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, if it gets hot enough this year, I think I’m going to try this experiment! lol Truly cleaning house is something only just on my list! hehe

  9. Sharon Mann 3 months ago

    I’m not crazy about fried eggs, but your painting is awesome.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… as a kid I wanted the yolks cooked like scrambled eggs… actually, I preferred scrambled in general.

  10. Fatima Chamkha 3 months ago

    Great doodle you made Charlie love you fried egg!!

  11. memadtwo 3 months ago

    I remember all those expressions adults used and wanting to find out if they were true. Much more fun to consider the options than to just look it up on the internet! In the meantime, it makes me want to fry some of my own eggs in a pan for lunch! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! I know right? 😃💕 It’s way more fun to imagine your own ending to a story! And yeah… I’m totally going to do some food experiments when the real heat hits this summer! lol

  12. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 months ago

    Wonderful art as always my friend. I love to see what you come up with. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying my daily offerings! That makes me so happy!

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