Thursday, June 13, 2013

The In/Edible Egg

My relationship with the incredible (which literally means “unbelievable”—as in, “I don’t believe it’s…”) edible egg began in those hazy days of toddlerhood, the ones that leave impressions more than memories. I DO remember the eggs, though—soft-boiled eggs in a little glass bowl. I guess the bowl had to be glass so I wouldn’t miss a single disgusting angle of the stomach-churning view. Hated them!

Really, World—soft-boiled eggs were, like the lung fish, an evolutionary phase. When the cave people discovered fire and accidentally dropped that nasty raw egg in the soup, fished it out, and realized it was better half-cooked—well, they went on to cook it longer and realize that it was MUCH better thoroughly cooked. Our cuisine has evolved! Leave that culinary lung fish behind, develop opposable thumbs, and actually cook your food already!

Besides, the English like soft-boiled eggs. I know we shouldn’t generalize, but WHAT kind of food are the English known for again? Not the good kind, am I right?

Anyway, when I was growing up, we had cereal Monday, Wednesday, Friday and eggs on Tuesday and Thursday. We were a little regimented, I admit. Anyway, after a couple of incidents where I made myself or nearly made myself throw up the soft-boiled eggs, my mom started frying them. Still hated them!

I thought one part was okay—the lacy part at the edge where the egg white was cooked past recognition and tasted more of bacon grease than anything else….

How do I know that? I know that because I HAD to eat them. At least twice a week, until I left home. Even on the mornings when I barely had time to shovel breakfast down before going to a two-hour swim team practice. Can you even wrap your mind around what it was like to burp up greasy egg taste while power swimming the length of a lovely, chlorine-scented pool?

Needless to say, when I left home I went through a long, joyful, egg-free phase. I evolved.

Then it happened. Well, I was broke after college and not eating much protein—I wanted the taste of home…. It’s not my fault! I bought eggs. I mean, c’mon—a dozen for a dollar? That was, like, six meals for me. THAT fit my budget.

Okay, so I, being evolved, made them the least egg-like eggs in history. I dry scrambled them in itty-bitty, well-cooked pieces with kielbasa in the pan. (I never eat a mouthful of eggs alone—always with breakfast meat to take away the texture and taste. Yes, I know—WHY am I eating them again?)

But it was the taste of home. And it was protein. And I’m okay with that.

I didn’t eat many eggs in our early marriage, either. You see, I had the wisdom to marry a man with good taste, a lifelong egg-hater. Then we decide to have kids. My siblings came out fifty-fifty: I hate eggs, the next two fully belong to the Dark Egg Side, then my youngest sister hasn’t had one of those culinary Death Stars since the age of ten. So I figured we had a fifty-fifty chance with each kid.

And, yes, we two egg-haters birthed an egg-hater and…an egg-lover.

S. adores eggs. She’s never had a soft-boiled egg (we’ve evolved, people!), but she picked the next most horrible form of egg to like. Well, except for sunny-side up. Oh—or poached. Yeah, and hard-boiled would be worse. Whatever. She likes a gross form of egg. But I repeat myself.

S. likes her eggs delicately scrambled, yellow and tender, cooked in…butter.


Have you smelled that $%&@??? Big A. and I literally have “dirty diaper face” from the split second the eggs hit the buttered pan to the exact moment when the dishes are done and the disposal sanitized. S. doesn’t have any idea what we’re making faces about. No idea. None.

This is love, people. We love our daughter.

I keep telling myself that S. doesn’t like very many forms of protein. This week, she’s spending six hours a day working out at circus camp (a nut-free environment where she can’t bring her other favorite form of protein—pb&j). She loves to start her day with a couple of scrambled eggs. I cook them for her.

I love her. I hate them eggs.

For the record, Little A., our egg-hater, has eaten fewer than ten bites of egg in his life.

It’s like Robin William’s character said in Dead Again, “Someone is either an egg-lover or an egg-hater. There's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are, and be that. If you're an egg-hater, you'll know.”

My apologies to everyone involved in Dead Again. What can I say? Good artists borrow; great artists steal.

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