Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Good Egg

Eggs are really good for you.

Fact: Eggs are a good source of nutrients. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and some healthful unsaturated fats. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss. (Harvard Publications)

Those sillies who started the egg scare didn't know that it's saturated fat that makes your body produce high cholesterol --not foods that are high cholesterol. And this quote is from Web MD, but I believe they are correct with their data:

One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.
The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. And brain development and memory may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs.
I've always known that eggs are good for you because my Papa told me when I was a child. And he ate eggs every day as long as I knew him. He lived to be 86, had a mind like a steel trap, and proved it by quoting Cubs stats to anyone who would listen as he lay dying of pneumonia. My dad's egg dishes were created in a variety of ways - all of them containing several globs of butter. He and my mother taught me to make over-easies, sunny-side up, and, my favorite to make, basted. I loved watching pretty little skin form on top as I splished the hot butter over the yolks. But best of all, papa taught me how to scramble an egg, and this recipe was a popular hit at Cafe Cody. My dad said, "You don't add milk to an egg and pre-mix it, that's a coddled egg." He said this with a pinched face, and as a child I understood that people who coddle their eggs were not, in his judgment, quite right.

Plenty of our cafe customers commented on our scrambled eggs. One elderly woman had to come back to the kitchen and tell me that "those" eggs were just like the ones of her childhood. "You can still see the yellow, and the white, and that's how a scrambled egg's supposed to  be," she said crankily. I liked her. So here's how you scramble a proper egg...

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. (My dad did not call them saute pans, they were "frying" pans.) Plop in a Tablespoon of butter and let it sizzle down--do not let it brown. As soon as it's done melting add your eggs. (2 from free range chickens) Now you might say, "I'll get eggshell in my eggs." Not so if you crack correctly, not on the side of something like the pan or counter, but crack on a flat surface. Let your eggs sit there a few seconds as the albumen begins turning white. Not too long, just long enough. Add plenty of salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Then take a wooden spoon and gently fold the eggs about, wait a few seconds, do it again, and a couple more times without turning them into a homogenized lump of jaundiced "fowlness" that would be an insult to poultry everywhere. They should be slightly shiny, with streaks of white and plenty of sunny yellow. At the cafe, a #1 was egg and homemade bread toast, #2 was eggs, bacon or ham, and homemade toast, #3 was eggs, toast, and our mashed potato pancakes, and #4 was a combo of 2 and 3.

My dad would throw anything into a scrambled egg...salami, bologna, fried potatoes, onion... That's probably why I started making "scramlettes." We served a variety of these at the cafe with ingredients like: Sauteed red pepper, onion, mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese and other cheeses, fried potatoes, chorizo, on and on. Just scramble 2 or three eggs and when they are almost done, throw what you like right in. This has always been one of my favorite dinners, and I relish the fact that I can step outside, get eggs from my girls, and in summer, gather good greens, tomatoes and whatever from my garden, and make a complete, healthy meal.

Are you wondering about those eggs pictured up top? In order from left to right they were laid by:
Swizzlestick, Marigold, Etta, Carmella, Etta, Bijoux,
Hattie, Imogene, Hattie, Etta, Acorn, and Florence

Swizzlestick, Carmella, Bijoux, Florence and Imogene came from a breeding program. I truthfully have no idea what these guys are thinking when trying to outdo other programs with egg size. When these girls arrived, they were all laying "nuclear eggs." I've never seen eggs so big. One measured 8 inches in circumference longways! Are they creating "Frankenchickens?" Poor things, I don't know how they pass the eggs. Gradually I am seeing their egg size decrease a little, but not so with poor Carmella, who laid the big blue egg. I wish my dad could see these girls running about the back yard, while marveling at their eggs as he scrambled some - the right way!

p.s. I'm following this blog that I like very much. Check it out!  TILLY'S NEST

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