Friday, October 29, 2010

I Don’t Do Fancy Eggs

Growing up our parents always made a hot breakfast for us before school, with few exceptions.  (And if we did not have enough time to eat it before the school bus arrived, we missed the bus.  No exceptions.)  Most of the time this hot breakfast consisted of an egg.  Sometimes they threw in a homemade hot cereal of some kind.  A favorite was Dad’s grits with butter & honey.  Sometimes Mom made a rice or bulgur cereal, which sounds kind of nasty but I always liked them.  Instant oatmeal was on hand as well.  And rarely – so rarely – we were allowed to have cereal.  But only non-sugar cereal like Rice Krispies.  The good stuff was saved for weekends, though even that was limited to Frosted Flakes & Fruit Loops, never Lucky Charms or Cocoa Puffs.  (Marshmallows and chocolate are apparently not breakfast approved, though that has drastically changed in my home.  But let’s be real – is there more sugar in those than Frosted Flakes?!  Nope.  In fact, I recently discovered that there are more calories in Honey Nut Cheerios than in Lucky Charms.  Let that sink in for a bit.)

Back to the egg bit.  I grew up on eggs.  I like eggs.  Most of the time we had a fried egg, where the yolk is broken too.  And usually the eggs were dusted with Lowry’s Seasoned Salt.  Delicious.  (But if you sprinkle too much it's quite nasty.)  My younger brother had a habit at an early age of topping his eggs with mustard.  Gross.  He’s since seen the error of those ways, but somehow passed that weird gene onto our 10-year-old nephew.  I’m confident that someday he too will denounce that food faux pas. 

Anyway, I can make decent scrambled eggs.  I always “scramble” mine with a whisk in a large bowl before adding them to the pan, usually adding a bit of milk or water (yes, water – my mom did this to make her eggs lighter & fluffier, though it sounds nasty & when my husband was diagnosed as possibly lactose intolerant I went the water route myself, to great success; no one’s ever suspected).  I don’t love when people scramble the eggs in the pan, since you end up with bits of white and bits of yolk.  (I do believe professional chefs tell you that you shouldn’t have bits of white in scrambled eggs.  But my husband professes to prefer that.)  I love to add some cottage cheese to the mix before I pour it into the pan, but of course that doesn’t suit Jake too well.  The cottage cheese melts into the eggs when you cook it, so you wouldn’t be able to see it, but you can taste an added creaminess and rich tanginess that’s just great.  A lot of times I add cut up ham into the mix as well.  And Lowry’s Seasoned Salt.  I guess it’s because I grew up on it, but it’s the perfect compliment to eggs.

I can also make a great fried egg, as described above.  However, I do NOT make sunny side up, over easy or over medium eggs.  I do not make eggs where the yolk is not broken but has to be flipped.  I have not, will not, “can not” do this.  (I probably could, but don’t want to learn how.)  Jake can, though.  This is one of the few areas where Jake is less fearful in the kitchen than me.  He is normally very unsure of himself.  (He was very nervous the other night when I asked him to cut up the chicken breasts before I got home so I’d have time to put dinner together when I got there.  He did such a good job, though, that I asked him to do it again.  He told me he shouldn’t have done such a good job.) 

It’s not that I don’t like those kinds of eggs.  I enjoy a good runny yolk as much as anyone, though I would rarely dip a piece of toast into it like a lot of people do.  I just spread it around like gravy for the rest of the egg to dip into. 

In any case, now you know who does the fancy egg cooking.  And it ain’t me.

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