Blessed Eggs

Today is the epitome of nine-to-five joy–the near-dead middle of the holiday weekend, the glorious, happy Sunday when you have a day of freedom still spread out before you. I could stay up till midnight trying to finish the dreadful sudoko puzzle that is currently taxing the limits of my feeble powers, but I think I’ll choose to spend my time focusing on an actual triumph from yesterday: the eggs.

Among the things we picked up during our excursion to the Raleigh Farmers’ Market last week were some beautiful eggs from Bee Blessed Apiary in Candler, NC. They had dirt on the outside, and came in a variety of sizes, and weren’t quite uniform in color. They reminded me of the eggs I used to pluck from hens’ nests, in terror, as a child. My pappaw always claimed that these eggs were far better than what you found in the store. He said they were fresher and had a better flavor. Of course, I thought he was nuts.

Now, I’m not so sure. I had always heard that fresh eggs were darker and that the yolk was firmer than store-bought. A very unscientific comparison of a Harris Teeter egg cracked into a white coffee cup and a Bee Blessed egg cracked into a slightly beige coffee cup did not bear out this theory. But the flavor–well, those Blessed eggs had been sitting in the fridge for a week and they actually tasted like something. It’s hard to describe without using the word “gamey,” which has unfortunate connotations of deer meat gone bad. It’s just that I could almost taste in them the picture of a fat, happy hen raised in the warm sun on fresh grass. And at $3.50 a dozen, they were what I’ve come to call reasonable in the ludicrously expensive food market of the Triangle.

Some luscious spring onions and fine 2-year-old cheddar helped too. Here’s how we cooked them.

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Spring Onion

Makes 2 large servings

3 tbsp. butter
6 small spring onions or scallions, sliced (include about 2″ of green part)
1 cup grated New York sharp cheddar
6 eggs
2 – 4 tbsp. milk or half and half
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Beat eggs with fork until thoroughly blended. Add milk or half and half and continue beating eggs until they are just frothy. Pour into skillet, add salt and pepper, and scrape bottom with spatula constantly until eggs are just cooked. Transfer to plates. Add half of cheese and onions to each plate and stir. Serve immediately.

So much for planning . . . .

The Return of the Fred has put a crimp in my “cooking school” plans, as we prepare to move the remainder from our worldly goods from the ATL to the RTP. However, in the midst of our turmoil I did come across one of the most, um, interesting recipes I’ve seen in a long time.

The recipe is called “Egg and Coffee Combo” and it comes from a family cookbook that a friend sent me recently. It was submitted by “Uncle Furman”:

Egg and Coffee Combo

1 cup
1 egg
Instant coffee
Hot stove

Put desired amount of instant coffee in a cup. Fill the pot 3/4 with water. Put pot on hot stove with an egg it it and let water boil for several minutes or more, depending on how you want your egg. Remove the pot. Take out egg. Pour hot water in pot into coffee cup. Stir. Run cold water over egg and strike tenderly and gently with prongs of fork, and disrobe it. You are ready.

I’ve grown to like Uncle Furman. Although he seems thrifty (not typically a quality I appreciate), he indulges in some linguistic extravagances that are quite appealing. I love the image of tenderly and gently disrobing an egg. And I suspect the reference to the “pot” in the list of ingredients is a deliberate double entendre. Maybe that’s the special ingredient that allows Uncle Furman to forget exactly where his egg had been before it went to the store and ended up in the water he used for his coffee.

A Sign?

As I was making some salad dresssing recently, this appeared:

Comforting? Terrifying? You decide.

And now, to answer Hulga’s question about when egg whites are “stiff but not dry”: First, how you find time to make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast on a weekday morning is beyond me, but who am I to judge?

But getting to the point: The egg white should form a peak and hold it, without falling over, when you lift the beater out of it. I advise you to turn the beater to the “off” position before trying that.

Hope that helps!