By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
the Times 

Egg & I

 


Thank you for letting me whine about my cold. Monday I woke up feeling much better, my energy is back, along with my appetite! So after my workout at the Y, I treated myself to breakfast at Bacon & Eggs in Walla Walla.

I am convinced that spring is on the way, I see daffodils blooming, shades of green driving through the wheat fields and the sun is shining. Phooey on you Mr. Shakespeare, bring on the Ides of March.

There are two big spring holidays (although not until April), that celebrate one of my favorite foods—the egg, (hence my choice of breakfast restaurants). Easter is a big egg holiday. Dying, hiding, hunting and eating the eggs, deviled, and of course, the chocolate ones.

The other holiday is Passover. Like most Jewish holidays, food is an important part of the celebration, and Passover is very much about the food we eat or don’t eat. During the eight days of Passover, we do not eat any leavened food. In place of bread we eat matzoh. Unleavened flour & water, which is akin to eating cardboard. But, spread with peanut butter, immediate improvement.


The egg has great meaning in the Passover Seder (meal). It signifies the beginning of life, the round/oval shape has no beginning and no end, also symbolizing the continuation of life.

So let’s welcome spring and celebrate the egg. In my opinion, the egg is one of the most perfect foods. They are an inexpensive, compact bundle of nutrition and provide infinite possibilities for meals any time of day. Lucky for me, Daniel will be here next week, and I have filled the refrigerator with two dozen eggs. He is the best omelet maker I know.

Eggs for breakfast are an obvious choice. But, egg dishes make great dinners, too. Besides being delicious, they can be prepared quickly. A frittata is so versatile, you can go vegetarian by sautéing any vegetables you like (onions, peppers, mushrooms, scallions), then add the beaten, seasoned eggs, cook until it starts to set, top with the grated cheese of your choice, pop in the oven and voila’ dinner! Or, for more substance, add meat like sausage or bacon.

In Spain, the same basic dish is called a Tortilla, which is similar to a frittata, but usually with the addition of either sliced or cubed potatoes. Frequently served at tapas bars, good for alcohol absorption.

Shakshuka, a typical middle eastern dish, has a special place in my heart. It’s the first dish Daniel made for me on his initial trip to Waitsburg. It was in July, so we made great use of the peppers, onions and tomatoes I had in the garden. Easy to make, just cook the vegetables in a deep sauté pan, when soft, make dents in the mixture, break eggs into the dents, and put in the oven to finish.


When we were kids, my mom used to make us a jelly roll omelet to cheer us up. I’m pretty sure it was her own invention, or possibly a recipe she found in Good Housekeeping Magazine. But, simple and sweet, a flat omelet that she spread jam on, rolled up; comforting and delicious.

Eggs are also the base for custards, used in quiches, savory or sweet bread puddings, and of course hard boil them to make egg salad or curried deviled eggs.

As often as I eat eggs, I can’t eat hard-boiled yolks, I’m sure it’s the texture; and probably too many overcooked green rimmed yolks. I’m not a fan of single use kitchen equipment, but I do have the rapid egg cooker (Marshall’s $10), it makes perfect hard-boiled eggs, not a green rim, ever! They look great, but looks aren’t everything, I still can’t eat the dry powdery yolk of a hard boiled egg.

 

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