Sunday, January 11, 2015

the art of scrambling an egg

i'm kind of embarrassed about it actually.

i mean i'm 46 years old.
i've been married almost 25 years and cooking meals for much longer than that.

i should have known.

except i didn't.

it took my middle daughter -- the almost 15 year old -- to point out my opportunity for improvement. we all know 15 year olds have an uncanny knack for noticing our imperfections.

apparently, i have been making my scrambled eggs ALL WRONG MY WHOLE LIFE and it took a girl who has never once bought a carton of eggs to tell me.

i'd like to blame my culinary ignorance on my own mother, but i can't. i'm sure she shared the secret and i'm sure i was much too busy or much too rushed or much too smart to listen.

no, i can only point the finger at myself. you see, for years i've been making scrambled eggs. in the past couple of decades i've probably scrambled upwards of a few thousand eggs. heck, they are a great means of protein, always accessible and easy to make.

in our house, eggs, simply are a staple.

my kids and husband and houseguests have been happily (or so it seemed) shoveling my eggs into their mouths for years. no one has ever said anything -- (not to me at least).

but every time i would go somewhere for a real breakfast -- whether it be greasy diner or swanky brunch place -- i always would think to myself,  "my eggs are just not this good."

my in-laws make wonderful eggs. in fact, over the years my kids have made many comments on how good grammie and grandpa's eggs are. once i paid attention to the pan they used for their eggs and i went out the very next week and purchased a brand new pan. seriously, y'all, i did.

i purchased a new pan but i never stopped to ask them what they did differently.

so all these years and all these eggs later, i have been guilty of serving rubbery, dried-out, pathetic plates of breakfast. at the speed of morning light i've scrambled and scurried around the kitchen. i've added milk and cheese and more salt and still my eggs were not all that great.

until today.

until this morning, when after googling (yes, googling) an article about the best way to scramble eggs, i came upon these not-really-revolutionary hints.

1. whisk them way longer than you think necessary.
whipping your eggs creates air bubbles and (i don't really understand why) but this is good for your eggs. they'll be lighter, creamier. better. trust me.
so people, whip it and whip it good! crack that ... egg. (devo, 1980).

2. don't add anything. 
there's no need to add milk. WHAAAAT???
i grew up a child of the 70s. we added milk to everything -- something to do with "stretching" our food, i believe. but no need with these eggs. better to leave it out altogether.

3. cook them on low and cook them s l o w.
shoot! i just knew that was coming. i could have guessed this would be on the list. it always is. no matter what i'm doing -- whether painting a piece of furniture or reading with my first grader or scrambling my eggs -- i always find out, be it from google or God, that i should slow down.

and so that was it.
these three easy steps.

who knew?

well, you all probably did.
this is probably like some great-egg-conspiracy and i am probably the last 40-something-year-old woman to become egg-enlightened.
but, here's the deal, i'm wondering if, deep down, i ever really wanted to know. whenever i've scrambled eggs for my family i've always felt --- "THERE! a hot breakfast. it's gotta be better than a bowl of fruit loops." 

and taking extra time to whisk or wait for slow cooking? are you kidding me ... 
no, i've taken those eggs from carton to pan to plate in a matter of minutes.
i've probably prided myself on my expedited eggs.
i'm all about cutting corners and shaving off seconds.
heck, i'm surprised i haven't just shaken the egg raw and served it with a straw.

but we all know this isn't just about eggs.

i mean look at those lessons:
1. take time to prepare them right
2. don't add anything extra
3. go slow and keep it low

those hints aren't only for eggs, but for everything.
these aren't only culinary lessons, but life lessons.

when we take time to do things right, keep things simple and move a little more slowly things taste better, go better, ARE better.

maybe you disagree.
maybe this is only about eggs.
maybe i'm stretching it (child of the 70s).
maybe you are a little worried about  me knowing i've just devoted an entire blog post to eggs.
maybe i'm just weird.

speaking of weird, for years i've been trying to convince my husband that we need to get us some chickens. i can just see it out there in our backyard. (right next to the trampoline) ... a darling little hen house, a cocky rooster and his beautiful brood of egg layers.
i mean, can't you just picture the children right before school, each day, gathering fresh eggs in a basket with a blue and white checked cloth? -- {yeah, me neither. that part is definitely stretching it}.

but maybe now. now after my great egg epiphany. now that i've learned the art of scrambling. now my husband might be more egg-static (sorry) about us getting a few chickens! i'm going to go ask him ...
right after i finish another plate of eggs!


Simply LKJ said...

I loved this Jody. And no, you are not the only 40-something who had no clue. And yes, milk got added to everything growing up. Good luck with convincing R!!

Martha said...

My parents were not cooks but the only thing I learned to cook well was this and this is exactly how I cook them...crazy

Karen Macrina said...

Love this and all of the ways you teach/guide us thru your analogies. With regards to the eggs, I've recently learned that "pushing" them in the pan NOT stirring them makes a yummy difference.

Amy and Rob said...

We have laying hens! And I seriously send the kids out each morning to collect the eggs in our little red basket. It is so not weird. I call it practical and charming. :)

Sammy said...

LOL It must have been a good post bc I read it all and I was entertained, and I did get the point. I also could relate since my kids like to tell me what I'm doing wrong too.