Mom cooks. And she appreciates good food, but I not certain she shares Dad’s passion for being in the kitchen. As I reflected on her homemaking career I realized my parents had 5 children under the age of 7. Their “4th” was twins, a surprise on the day they were born seven minutes (“wait… I think I hear another hear beat”!) apart. We got some help: the first au-pair, Antije, a pretty blond from Germany, wore her hair in a “French Twist” and lasted… 6? months. Our last, beloved Cay from County Cork, shrugged when one of us suggested how long it might take her to succumb to our antics. She was with us for 2 years and remains a member of the family. There might have been 4 “mothers-helpers” in between.
Even with another pair of hands, Mom understood the value of organization. The weekly breakfast menu at “1651” for almost 17 years was:
Monday: Boiled eggs, toast, fruit, and milk. Tuesday: hot cereal with milk, fruit, and juice. Wednesday: scrambled eggs with cheese, toast, fruit, and milk, sometimes bacon or sausage. Thursday: dry cereal with milk, fruit, and juice. Friday: fried eggs with bacon, English Muffins or scones, fruit and juice. Saturday: dry cereal. And Sunday: something special by Dad – pancakes, french toast, or puffy omelettes, and bacon, fruit and juice. Whoever was awake first would set the table and start what was on dock. Favorite mornings were Wednesdays and Sundays.
Good scrambled eggs are a test for every kitchen. Growing up we must have made them 700-800 times, sometimes experimenting. A couple of years ago I had a batch at Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro, http://beaconhillhotel.com/, so memorable that we’ve been back twice just for breakfast! Though the eggs haven’t met expectations, fresh OJ, good coffee, crispy bacon, house-made yogurt and granola were tasty, so we remain fans.
Cooking scrambled eggs isn’t difficult; you probably have a favorite recipe or method. Doing it consistently well is the challenge. This looked promising: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/eggsdairy/r/scrambled.htm. Alton Brown’s pretty savy, so: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/scrambled-eggs-unscrambled-recipe/index.html
I’m batting 1000 with the following recipe, even when I use 1 yolk plus 2 whites to cut down on the cholesterol. And if you’re thrown off by the secret ingredient, remember Julia Child’s credo: “everything in moderation.” I treat myself to delicious scrambled eggs – most mornings it’s miso soup and a veggie-fruit smoothie!
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
4 large organic eggs (or 2 yolk plus 4 whites.)
2 tablespoons Creme Fraiche – Vermont Creamery makes a beautiful product: http://www.vermontcreamery.com/cr%C3%A9me-fra%C3%AEche-1. Remember, extra can be used with scones in lieu of butter or clotted cream, or on strawberries!
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste
2 teaspoons high quality olive oil
Optional, but highly recommended: 4-6 tablespoons grated cheese: cheddar, jack, crumbled or creamy goat, feta…
Fresh cut chives are nice
1. Heat a small skillet over a medium heat. (Stainless steel please: http://thegoodhuman.com/2007/07/31/what-teflon-is-and-why-you-should-avoid-it/.)
2. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper using a fork
3. With the fork whisk in the creme fraiche. Let it retain small discreet pieces, these will melt whilst the eggs cook.
4. If it’s taken you more than a couple of minutes since you turned the heat on the pan, remove it from the heat to bring down the temperature slightly. The olive oil will smoke and the eggs will burn quickly if the pan is too hot.
5. Heat the olive oil in the pan, swirling to coat. Add the eggs, prepared to stir with a wooden spoon or flat wooden spatula. Cook until just a moment before you think they’re done – they’ll finish setting up on the plate.
5. Sprinkle the cheese and chives on top while the eggs are hot. (The alternative is to incorporate the cheese 15 – 20 seconds after you’ve started cooking the eggs.
Enjoy them with smoked salmon, bacon and toast, asparagus: Heaven! And a happy reminder of Wednesday mornings at “1651.”