The egg and I

There must be someone at Google with the job title of ‘Doodle Topic Researcher’ and if they ever move on from that job to something more lucrative I would like to apply. That’s because the job does not seem to entail much more than finding out what person, place or thing is having an anniversary on a particular day. You don’t even need to do it every day! And even easier, the anniversary does not need to end in a zero or five. This is why the world now knows that this week was the 166th anniversary of the birth of Peter Carl Faberge, he of the eponymous egg. I do not have a Faberge egg, nor do I aspire to have one, but thank you Google for giving me the inspiration for a few hundred words about eggs.

For many years eggs were not my friends. In my view, there was something grotesque about the yolk oozing out of the middle of a fried egg, or even worse a soft boiled egg with barely congealed albumen. Hard boiled eggs somewhat redeemed themselves with their lack of liquid, but failed to clear the culinary bar due to the typical grey ring around the yolk and sulphurous aroma. Then there was the problem with omelettes: everything takes on the taste of the yolk. There was just no form or function of eggs that met with my approval.

In the manner of many things, that all changed due to a set of circumstances I could never have predicted. You may recall that I spent some time working at a construction site. Unless you brought your own, the lunch option was the lunch truck that rolled into the parking lot at noon each day, chock full of cellophane sandwiches, dubious submarines, coffee, and some kind of soup of the day that never had a name (and probably, they just threw more random stuff in the caldron as the liquid line moved south). Anyhow, on this particular day I had not brought my lunch. By the time I got to the truck all that was left were a few sandwiches. I chose one that I was pretty sure was tuna salad.

In fact it was egg salad. My choice was to eat the sandwich or go hungry. With a bravado that would have taken me to the top of Mount Everest and back, I took a bite. Maybe it was because I was starving or that the generous amount of mayonnaise masked anything I had previously objected to about eggs, but it actually tasted pretty good. Just to see if it was a one-time event, I got another egg salad sandwich the next day and pretty soon, every day I was eating an egg salad sandwich.

Like any gateway drug, the sandwich soon led to experiments with devilled eggs, soufflés, frittatas and even omelettes. I discovered the key was to make sure the egg was adulterated with enough other ingredients to disguise its essential egginess. Even though the idea of eggs with egg sauce would once have made me gag, eggs Benedict (or actually, Florentine or with smoked salmon) is one of my favourite things to eat – as long as the yolks are well done so that I can remove them.

The moral of the story is to always reserve the right to change your mind about anything and when it happens do not apologize for your previous aversion. I am pretty sure I will never decide to start liking Rush, but watch out peas – you may be next on the list.