I am going to make a little confession. For the last seven years or so, I have given the same answer to that age old question man has been asking since the beginning of time, “What are you making for dinner?” My reply, and I still think it is a darn good one, has always been, “reservations.” This has lead people to believe that I don’t cook, which is just fine by me. The reality, however, is that I once cooked for a family of three until they all spread their wings and set out on their own. Not one of them was driven out into the world in search of food.
That being said, I recently found myself in the position of either picking the lint off of a couple of old Certs that had been rolling around on the bottom of my purse, or breaking down and cooking something.
The Certs were spared.
Spying a can of roast beef hash on the shelf, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to try my friend Cam’s recipe for soft-boiled eggs.
Soft-boiled eggs on top of browned roast beef hash…yum!
Cam had posted a video showing exactly how he opened the egg, scooping out perfectly cooked egg from within two perfect little half shells.
How hard could it be?
Cam, is my Canadian friend who lives in Tokyo, and he is one of my favorite kindred spirits. He uploads videos to youtube all the time, and this is the video that he shot that made soft-boiled eggs look so darn easy.
My Mr. Wonderful, using some sort of brilliant primitive intuition, hastily reminded me that he only liked scrambled eggs, and stated that he wanted to have his roast beef hash cooked the way I always cooked it, with the eggs scrambled into the hash as it browned, because that was his favorite. I fixed him his hash, and then set about replicating what Cam had shown in the video, for myself.
I brought a pot of water to a brisk boil and dropped in four eggs, two of which immediately exploded, oozing egg white into the water.
Alarmed, but undaunted, I took brief pleasure in the fact that the hardboiled egg white at the site of the crack, actually served to seal in the rest of the egg. So what if it was not perfect! The plan still seemed to be clicking right along. I set the timer for 3 3/4 minutes, and scooped the eggs out of the water when it rang.
I folded a paper towel exactly as Cam had done in the video, wrapped it around the egg, and proceeded to give the egg a whack. Rather than making a clean break as Cam’s carefully demonstrated whacking had produced, my whack completely shattered the shell where I struck the egg. I painstakingly picked off the incredibly tiny shards of egg shell, making sure that none of the bits got into my hash. Nothing taints a bite of food quite as much as biting down on egg shells.
Calm down, I thought, it is all in the whacking. Hadn’t Cam made this implicitly clear? Why even he took a few practice whacks in the air before he actually whacked the egg in the video.
I took the next victim, er..egg.. out of the bowl and set it up as before. This time, using a knife, I whacked the egg directly in the center, and managed to make a clean break. Unfortunately, the egg was too soft and runny inside, looking kind of how I imagined an oozing fetal baby chick night look. I hastily dropped it back into the water to cook for another minute.
Humm…the reason I never cooked soft-boiled eggs was beginning to come back to me.
Never mind, I told myself sternly, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, experiencing life in the NOW, creating peptides of adventure for Pete’s sake! That, and….well…. I still had two eggs to go.
The next egg, being one of the ones that had cracked as soon as it hit the water, had just enough boiling water inside the shell to burn my fingers when I opened it up, causing me to drop the egg on the floor, where it was immediately devoured by my Cha-poodle, Happy.
Steady, steady, I thought to myself. I choose my emotions–they don’t choose me. I refused to look at this and ask, “Why is this happening to ME?” There are no victims here, I reminded myself, except for, perhaps, the eggs.
The last egg opened perfectly, and except for a couple of bits of shell I ended up biting down on when I ate it, it ended up being the best of the bunch. All in all, three of the four eggs ended up on top of my hash.
I got to thinking about how could I process this little cooking adventure from the perspective of the movie, What The Bleep Do We Know Anyway, Down The Rabbit Hole.
Well, I was certainly living life in the “now.” I was clearly reminded of the feeling of being very alive when the boiling water from inside the egg made contact with my fingertips. I managed to move beyond simply “sleepwalking through life” by bravely eating my eggs in a completely different way.
I held onto a scene from movie to sustain me while participating in this eggstravaganza. I kept my eye on the other side of that philosophical river. I hit the current….it was cold…I wanted to turn back…I wanted to eat the boring scrambled egg hash. I mentally searched for outside validation. Mr. Wonderful averted his eyes, knowing, in his heart of hearts, that meeting my gaze and bursting out laughing was not in his best interests. I forged on anyway and made it out to the other side of the river. I was now a changed person. I had become a person that cooked and ate soft-boiled eggs! I created peptides of victory, with only a minimal amount of scar tissue. And, who would have thought that dogs liked soft-boiled eggs that much? All in all, everyone was fed.
I have plans on elaborating on this challenge by taking it to the next level, next week.