How Not To Cook a Pizza

For those of you who remember we ran out of gas last week… we finally managed to get more. Tea and hot meals for everyone!

Among the few things we bought in our first month here is our “Top Gas” oven. It’s a small oven, and has proven very interesting to lean how to use. Things cook much faster on a gas burner. I can’t leave the kitchen, not for anything. The soup will burn, the sandwiches will burn, the rice or pasta will dry out, and the kettle will steam away all the water if left on the burner too long (yes, all of these things have happened). Forget about preheating; we leave that thing on a few minutes and our house gains 10 degrees.

To make matters more complicated, the oven setting does not use temperatures. It has a single, unmarked dial that, with much trial and error, we discovered can be set on High, Med, and Low. “Cook at 350 degrees?” Hmmm. We’ll use Low, just to be safe. Brownies are still done in literally half the time they took in the States.

I was given several silicone pans before we moved; they are easy to store, took up little room or weight in our bags, and are fun and easy to use. We’ve used them without a complaint until today. Today we made pizza. We don’t own a cookie sheet (our oven is too small to hold a regular sized cookie sheet) so we put each personal pizza on one of our silicone pans and put them in the oven, set on Low.

The silicone pans are advertised to be heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The result made me a little terrified to know what temperature our oven has actually been reaching. Taking one of the pans out of the oven (the one closest to the flames), we discovered the bottom had been burnt and one edge melted, so that when we lifted it, it tore down the side.

500 degrees, my foot.

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