CRACKING UPPosted: April 22, 2014
Frankly, I am sick of eggs about now. The past month we have broken, beaten, cooked, dyed, hidden, hunted, found and eaten enough of them. And now seems we must read about this incomparable “Rosetta Stone of Cooking”, as the incredible edible has been dubbed.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, cook/author Michael Ruhlman has written an entire book about this “near perfect food”. Apparently, if you can properly cook an egg, you can whip up almost anything in the kitchen. His book, “Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient” offers basic recipes for everything from baking to frying to clarifying a consommé to shaking up a gin fizz, which makes me gag at the thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like eggs. Scrambled with cream cheese and dill is one of my favorite dishes, anytime of day. Plus they are so economical, which reminds me of a childhood antic of mine. It was a blistering hot summer day in Idaho when I decided to attempt a feat I had often contemplated. I snatched an egg from the fridge and took it outside to the front sidewalk, where I gently cracked it open, slipping the framed golden yolk onto the untouchable concrete. Maybe it is like the watched pot of water never boiling, but my egg failed to fry, or I should say, the concrete failed to fry my egg. What’s worse, I reported the botched trial to my mother, and she scolded me.
“Nanner, why did you have to waste a perfectly good egg? That was a silly idea, you numbskull!”
One cannot think of eggs in this day and age without considering that clogging culprit–cholesterol. Well, according to Dr. Marc Micozzi, eggs have taken a bad rap. You might remember him from my previous post–the “expert” who wants us all to smoke ten cigarettes a day for longevity. He believes the egg truly is the PERFECT food and highly recommends a couple a day to keep the grim reaper away. He likes to tell a great egg story about his friend the former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, who ate two (2) eggs over easy-every day of his life, washed down with a tall glass of whole milk. Dr. M. goes on to claim the wise man lived to be 97 years old–and did NOT die of a heart attack, simply old age. And perhaps boredom from the same darn breakfast every morning, I might add.
The bottom line is, can we trust Dr. Micozzi after his tobacco touting? I mean, I am sure he is a good egg (could not resist, sorry) but some of his teachings are a tad offbeat. Though I do hope he doesn’t end up with egg on his face…
Perhaps we should refer to a higher power. After all, the almighty egg is an integral part of Easter, Passover, Nowruz and Eid—as the symbol of new life. So how could it possibly kill us?
Just when I was thinking “enough about eggs!” my neighbor joined us for dinner the other night. A gourmet cook, she took it upon herself to explain to me and my guests how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg, according to some famous chef she knows. The process involves not only an egg, but a thumbtack, timer, and I forget what else. It sounded too complicated so I decided I’d stick with my method of dropping a few eggs into boiling water, going upstairs, then waiting until I smell the pan burning up on the stove to run down and fetch the eggs in their cracked, burnt shells, still edible, if not perfect.
In closing, I am thinking about the life story of Surgeon General Koop and his morning power meal. Now, that’s a whole LOT of eggs. He should have spelled his name Coop…