Post-second shot, I’ve given myself a couple of days off from watching the news and retreated into an old Daphne du Maurier novel. We all find comfort where we can.
Airy, soft pillowy eggs
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
Each morning, I wake to the joy and perfection of mother nature: the sunrise, the owl family with its new baby, the golden orchids that just opened. And then I read the paper filled with all the angst that is present in our world: fractured politics, increased threats of violence, the ongoing fight to stop a raging virus. When I finish reading or put the paper down in disgust, I look for something to comfort and nourish me.
Scrambled eggs have always been a comfort food. Sometimes breakfast and sometimes dinner. I have eaten them, cooked them and ordered them for 73 years. I never thought there was a right way or a wrong way to make them. I never read a recipe and just followed my Mom’s instructions.
As a child, I liked them cooked hard and made a ‘yuck’ face when my mother brought her soft-cooked eggs to the table (or maybe that was because she put ketchup on them?). Over the years, my ‘recipe’ was to put a splash of water into the eggs, whip them into a froth, and cook them in a pat of butter. As I aged, I found I no longer enjoyed the eggs hard, but even when I cooked them less, while they were better, I would not call them perfect eggs. I wanted airy, soft pillowy eggs. The kind one might be served at an elegant restaurant or, in our neighborhood, at Joan’s, where they serve the best omelets and scrambled eggs.
A few years back my son, who is adept in the kitchen, shared with me something he had learned about shaking the pan when you pour the eggs into it. If I remember correctly, he gave credit to Julia Child for that bit of lore. That provided the airiness I was looking for.
Last week, I came upon an article on how to make perfect scrambled eggs in The New York Times. (Reading recipes sure beats following the political mess in our country.) It talked about the science of cooking an egg and the need to break down the protein properly (adding salt before cooking helps with that.). One suggestion was to add small pieces of butter to the egg mixture before cooking. Sounds delicious but not exactly a healthy alternative. The second suggestion was to make a slurry with corn starch and water and add it to the egg mixture with a dash of salt. I tried it, and much to my delight, it produced airy, soft pillowy eggs.
There are many things we can turn to when the news cycle, or our own personal world, is grim and filled with pain. Think about what brings you peace and comfort. Meditation or a nature walk? Perhaps you have a favorite food from your childhood, too. I have, at last, mastered the technique for perfect scrambled eggs. Want to come for breakfast? I promise I won’t talk politics over the breakfast table.