Eggs are still on my mind.
I have made some underwhelming scrambled eggs in my day, wholly unaware of how much better they could be. Indeed, before I knew better, I took a certain pride in even being able to make scrambled eggs at all. Look! I can cook a breakfast! And I’d whisk a few cold supermarket eggs in with some milk and throw them into a hot pan with some butter and cook them up in a minute flat.
The resulting eggs were often dry AND somewhat burnt; either over-seasoned or too bland, depending on factors ranging from my mood to my level of caffeination to the depth of my hangover.
But eggs and how to best make them keep popping up lately. So lately I’ve been trying to make better scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs as they should be.
You shake your head perhaps. But it’s not as easy as it sounds! Not if you’re me.
Eggs and how to prepare them have been popping up everywhere lately. On Facebook, where various friends are debating whether eggs count as “dairy” or not (I say no). To cooking magazines, where I read something about how you can tell a lot about a cook’s skills by the way he or she makes a simple omelet.
I’ve always liked that idea – that there are several very basic, very simple meals every home cook should be able to do well. Scrambled eggs are one of them.
I’ve been reading Adam Gopnik’s The Table Comes First (which pretty much nails the case for my being an official foodie) and he writes about making his son scrambled eggs in the French manner, cooked very slowly with lots of butter.
I decided to try this. I scrambled some eggs in lots of butter, cooking them more slowly than usual, and throwing down a nob of butter right before they’re done. They looked good to me. I served them to the boy, who asked me not to cook his morning eggs in so much butter next time.
“But this is the French way,” I told him.
The Drama Teen didn’t like them either. The next morning both kids asked for scrambled eggs followed quickly with the request that I not make “French eggs.”
So that backfired.
I kept trying.
I found this totally great post on how to make the best scrambled eggs by one Mr. Breakfast. He acknowledges the varied scholarship out there. But in the end, it just left me more confused.
Here is the excellent Kitchn post I followed to try and make the kind of custardy deliciousness I was going for. I tried — twice — and both times my eggs cooked far more quickly than the 15 minutes she says it should take.
During the first attempt, my lovely ex showed up that afternoon with coffee, ringing the doorbell just as I threw the eggs into the pan. He followed me back into the kitchen to watch. I explained the idea behind slow cooking.
“Oh, that’s how I make my eggs.”
“Yeah, ask the boy how I make my eggs. He loves them.”
I thought about the boy’s reaction to my French eggs and scowled.
“How come I didn’t know this? You never made me eggs like that.”
“Yes I did. You just don’t remember.”
“So but what you’re saying is you know how to make excellent scrambled eggs.”
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying. Not like yours.”
Just throw that gauntlet down, right there on the kitchen floor, mothaf%$#@!
I stirred the eggs. Luke watched over my shoulder. “Are you going to let that middle bit get thick? Stir it!”
After five minutes and some deep, cleansing breaths, the eggs were looking pretty fluffy and done, so I took them off the heat.
These were decidedly better eggs than I usually make, but they weren’t the custardy lovelies I was going for. Also, I forgot to season them. How typical. Luke gave them one thumbs up. Feh.
The next day I tried again. This time with a different pan that was not an iron skillet. Perhaps an iron skillet gets too hot too quickly?
Once again, however, they cooked up in just about five minutes, and were once again the fluffy-not-custardy texture.
At least I remembered to season them this time.
Now I’m annoyed. If everyone else can make these why can’t I? I’m not done eating eggs. Not by a long shot.
And my final question: Are chives and the green part of a spring onion the same thing?