The Egg and I

Hail to the egg! Humpty Dumpty, Fabergé and all that.

Egg-cetera, egg-cetera.images__94322__48338.1348588670.1280.1280

For, the egg and I go way back. When anybody asks me, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  I always have to say, the egg.

Which is why I must say a word about this much-maligned oval object.

It’s bad for you. It’s good for you. Some people collect the jeweled kind. The real version can give you salmonella, or e-coli if left out of the fridge too long. It’s “on notice” for vegetarians and verboten for vegans, and I’m not sure where lactose intolerant folks stand when it comes to the egg.

But, as for me, I love it. In fact, in some circles I’m known to be a good egg. Just don’t egg me on or I might crack up.

Yet, when I reflect on the egg, it hearkens me back to a simpler time. Queens, circa, way back when.

My first memory of the egg, are the hard-boiled kind my mother would bring when we’d spend the day at the beach.  She’d find a spot for us beneath the boardwalk of Coney Island, where it was cool and shady. There, she’d spread out our worn-out, black woolen scratchy blanket. My brothers and I would kick off our flip-flops and venture out to the ocean. They would dive right in, and I would saunter in slowly, bracing myself for the icy cold water. We had a grand old time, and before you knew it, my mother would shout at us that it was time for lunch.

Sitting under the boardwalk, listening to the footsteps of the people walking above us, she’d always serve us the same meal: A hard boiled egg with our very own miniature container of Morton’s Salt, a cup of cold, refreshing orange juice from the enormous red thermos she’d bring along, and deviled ham sandwiches on white bread. My favorite part of the meal, of course, was the egg, and I didn’t mind the grains of sand that I’d swallow while eating my egg. Cracking the shell, peeling it off with my sandy fingers, and sprinkling the salt. To this day, I can’t eat a hard-boiled egg without a glass of refreshingly cold orange juice to go with it.

At home, my mother would serve us soft boiled eggs, in a cup, with torn bits of white bread stirred in. Sopa de Gato, she’d call it. (Don’t ask me why.)

Eggs are ingrained in our culture. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

Best Egg Tale:  I love stories about eggs. Think Green Eggs and Ham.

Ah! Chocolate Easter eggs. A child's delight!

Ah! Chocolate eggs. A child’s delight!

Best Egg Characters: Humpty Dumpty and the Easter Bunny, who is not an egg, but loves hiding them.

Best Movie Featuring an Egg: The Egg and I. Based on a book, the 1947 comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, is the story of a newlywed couple who move to a chicken farm. An abandoned chicken farm, to be exact.

Ickiest Scene with an Egg: I can think of two and I’m not sure which has the higher queasy factor. Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in the first Rocky film, cracking a raw egg into a glass and drinking it, or Paul Newman as Cool Hand Luke swallowing 50 eggs as part of a bet.

Favorite Way to Eat Eggs when Dining Out:  Eggs Benedict. If you ask me, Eggs Benedict seem hard—nay, impossible—to make. Or, at the very least, too much trouble. So when I’m enjoying breakfast out, that’s what I like to order.

free-vintage-kids-valentines-cards-two-fried-eggs-in-panAt the Hash House in San Diego, you can get your Eggs Benedict served the traditional way, with Canadian Bacon (Canada’s best invention!) or you can substitute it for pork tenderloin, smoked bacon, roasted chicken, smoked salmon with fresh asparagus and sundried tomatoes, or fried chicken with spinach, mozzarella and chipotle cream. But, why would you?? Guess I’m a purist.

Best Use of Eggs:  Eggs come in handy when baking cookies or making custards.  Scrambled or over easy, they make a quick meal when there’s no time to cook or if you’re too tired after a long day in the office. I’ve never liked the texture of omelets but I have been known to make a dinner of eggs scrambled with mushrooms, green peppers and cheddar cheese.  And, let us not forget the many variations of candy eggs at Easter. Did someone say chocolate?

All in all, I’ve never met a bad egg, though sometimes I’ve been known to be a rotten egg when I’m the last one to jump in the pool.

So, my dear Egg Heads, where do you stand on the subject of, ahem, eggs?

43 thoughts on “The Egg and I

  1. Monica, I love eggs! And what I loved most about this post is the anecdote of when you were a child! But then you know this is the type of writing I like most! I could literally see you peeling your egg, with grains of sand on it, eating it whilst sitting on that scratchy blanket! Wonderful imagery that really placed me in the scene along you and your brothers! The power of the egg, perhaps? Methinks you’re a great egg! 🙂

    • Bella, I was thinking of you when writing that memory, because I knew you’d appreciate it. It’s not the kind of thing that nowadays people would bring to the beach. Instead of orange juice, perhaps soda and beer. Instead of deviled ham sandwiches on white bread, turkey or tuna. And, forget the eggs; too much trouble and everyone worries about salmonella, anyway. It’s almost quaint. And, girl, you should have seen my bathing suits! Actually, they weren’t bad, but somehow I always looked goofy no matter what I wore. 😉 And dahling, you’re a good egg, too. It’s a shame we don’t use that expression much anymore, don’t you think?

  2. I never gave a hoot or thought the egg was so important until now. I do, however, recall us kids calling each other egg heads. I’ve always kinda felt sorry for the egg though, never getting the chance to be hatched and all.

  3. Actually, when your post hit my inbox I immediately thought of the movie, The Egg and I. Loved it. Eggs and I have an odd relationship, sometimes I covet them, love ’em, and other times I’d rather rather eat air. I don’t know that is, assume it means I am a craving based eater – eat what I have an hankering for. I never thought about that until writing my comment. As a warrior kitchen chef, I like the egg. It can save the day. Try them, sunny side up, sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheeses, all atop roasted asparagus. Divine. Oh, and don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.

    • Wow Brenda, I’m impressed that you’re familiar with the Egg and I movie. To me the ’30s and ’40s were really the Golden Age of the Silver Screen. Next time I made eggs will definitely try them with parmesan. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I love eggs. In fact, Sara made some for breakfast this morning.

    My most memorable were ones Sara and I still talk about–the eggs Benedict we had on the beach in Vietnam–never had better before or since. I mean, they were to die for!

    And when we move to Ecuador, by the way, Sara wants to get chickens, so we can have our own, fresh each morning. Don’t think I want chickens, myself.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Really, Kathy? My great aunts kept chickens in their home in Caracas. I used to go into the back with my Madrina and she taught me how to pick the eggs in the morning. I used to love the cacophony of the clucking hens, and their rooster who woke us up at 3 am. Oh, you’re gonna love it! 😉

  5. You take me right back to my childhood summer days at Manhattan Beach — my mother, my aunt, my cousins. (Coney Island was for late-in-the-day amusement park excursions.) Sandwiches in a cooler (alas, no eggs). I must say, though, Maggie (like Henry) could gobble up eggs (hard-boiled, scrambled, you name it). I daresay you’ve chosen an eggcellent subject for a post 😉

  6. I love that eggs can be the perfect addition to tuna salad, chicken salad, ham salad…you name it to spread on crackers or make a sandwich. With soup, I feel I’ve had the perfect winter time lunch.

  7. Eggs make my morning. I get annoyed when people say they’re unhealthy…they’re delicious and full of protein! Let’s go get eggs when I come visit you next month lol. Know of any good egg places?

  8. I am with you, love eggs! You will never convince me eggs aren’t good for me. I have those little cup stands so you can eat soft boiled eggs properly. Love, love, love deviled eggs.

    But my favorite egg? Cadbury Eggs….only available this time of year 😉

  9. Oh Monica what you can do with a simple egg… I love it. You are fabulous, not to mention so incredibly skilled.
    I like to call myself an ovo- vegetarian, although I am a pescatarian too 🙂 I am an egg person -from egg sandwiches to hard boiled ones, from sunny side up to a rather fluffy omelette .. I will take an egg anyday, well, um, as long as it is cage free and vegetarian fed. I grew up reading books like ‘The Famous Five’ – a group of cousins solving mysteries, written by Enid Blyton and in those books the kids constantly ate hard boiled eggs with salami and sandwiches, along with gingerbeer ( no alcohol) to drink.. Growing up with the same food, I would pretend I was going to solve a mystery, pack a picnic lunch with – you guessed it – a hard boiled egg, ginger beer, bread and butter, sit in my garden and write down clues 🙂 love eggs.

    • MM, see my response above to Kim (My Inner Chick) and let me know if you think I’m up for the challenge. I think I am most fond of the hard boiled egg. It’s so portable and eaten best at room temperature for maximum flavor. Oh and by the way, I only buy organic and cage-free eggs. They’re the best! Love your description of “The Famous Five.” Will have to look for it.

  10. Never met an egg I didn’t like! And you’re quite right, eggs benedict is the pinnacle of egg art. I can make hollandaise, but it’s way too much like hard work when you can get a chef to make it for you! It also, if memory serves, contains eggs. Which means you are getting eggs with a side order of eggs. Heaven!

    • Imelda, you’re cracking me up with the line, “eggs with a side order of eggs.” Heh-heh. But actually there is one type of egg I really don’t care for: deviled eggs. They seem so fiendish, wouldn’t you agree? 😉

  11. Dearest, Monica,
    how can you make a simple “EGG” interesting? YOU DO!

    I love love love eggs: scrambled, poached, the English way in little cups….& I ADORE omelets SO much!

    How about CHOCOLATE eggs?

    Mmmmm.

    you are utterly cool and oh-sooo-intriguing! XXXXxxxxooo

  12. I was one of those kids who are allergic to eggs. Thankfully, I grew out of it! Today, I make a mean scrambled egg, but my favorite eggs are the chocolate kind. There’s something immensely satisfying about chomping into a yummy chocolate-shaped oval!

  13. I love eggs, but my farm boy husband doesn’t. I think he had to clean out the hen house one too many times. In a few weeks, though, we’ll try something new. A neighbor is getting a small flock of ducks and she’s promised to share the eggs with me. Does anyone know if duck eggs taste like chicken eggs?

  14. I am swimming in them. I have 8 chickens who produce much more that my family can eat. My friends love their free eggs though! I wish my craving for sweetness lessen with age like Robert!

  15. I love eggs, and most likely eat too many.

    Years ago one morning my mother did me egg sandwiches for lunch at work and on the bus they shall we say emitted a strong odour, and to my continued shame I kicked them under the seat and got off at the next stop to get the bus behind!!

    Personally I reckon they are the most versatile food item we have.

    Not a fan of Easter eggs though and as I am getting older I like less and less in the way of sweet things.

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