Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Heat and Gravy!

Ok, so I am sure there are some very scientific reasons for this, and I am sure I will probably sound a little bit dense when I say this, but I do find it amazing so here goes:

I went to visit a friend of mine at the weekend, and this friend happens to be an all round brilliant hostess. She cooked a roast dinner for us on Sunday, which was delicious – but feeling bad leaving her in the kitchen on her own for that long I decided to see if I could help out. I was given the task of stirring the gravy – (a very important job I’ll have you know – who likes lumpy gravy?!). For a long time I was just stirring away, until gradually I began to notice the gravy getting thicker. Now I know that this is because of the effect of heat on the flour, but I just suddenly realised how amazing that was. How brilliant that heat can change the properties of something!

But it doesn’t only happen with gravy! Oh no! Heat makes cakes rise, and turn from a thick liquid type substance into beautifully fluffy sponge, it turns a bunch of fatty but delicious ingredients into caramel, and so much more!

I am all for science teaching us the reasons how this happens, but what science can’t tell me is why! It can tell me something about how molecules move around, or join or whatever it is they do, but it doesn’t tell us who told heat to do that to things, it doesn’t tell us why heat decided to move those molecules – just that it did. Why did heat end up with the ability to do this? What made flour have these properties? I know it’s a very little thing, but I find it a little bit mind blowing! It speaks to me so clearly of a designer. Someone who thought all that out and knew that heat would be useful for cooking and baking and making really nice things. How did he think in such minute detail? Isn’t it incredible?!

2 comments:

Mel said...

Now Kirsty, i can completely identify with your post. I too find that concept completely mind-boggling. Now here's another thing: how do we see?!! (hahaha). Like you mentioned, science can explain it but the whole matter of it all is just comepltely amazing. You cant just grab an eyeball and look through it and see things. There is so much too it and did you know, that if you wore glasses that made the world look upside down for long enough, when you took them off, your eyes would have got used to it and you'd still see things upside down!! Amazing!! Another interesting fact is the way in which our bodies co-ordinate: for example, im sitting here typing, and for the most part, looking at the screen rather than my fingers. The amazing thing is that my fingers know exactly what my brain wants them to do. WHats more (you've got me started now!!), i find it fascinating that sentences can be formulated so quickly in our minds that we barely have time to think about what we're saying before we say them!! So amazing!!! Phew! Thats enough for one day!!!!!

Kirst said...

Wow! Yeah - tons of them. I know - the whole 'how do we see' thing came up quite often for us didn't it!