An Eggsellent Start

Oh hey, you’re here! Me too. Though I’ll admit this is kind of awkward for me. We’re like two new friends who had a fabulous brunch three months ago but haven’t seen each other since . Even though we talked about Don Draper: Season Six and All The Articles About Millenials. Even though we drank Bloody Marys (I had two), complimented each other’s nail polish, and talked about books (I liked Gone Girl; you didn’t.) But I never called you. I’m sorry. Can we start over?

The first thing I want to tell you is that I got a new job shortly after my last post. A new job is usually a “Let’s Splurge on Good Champagne!” occasion, but for me it was the answer to the question I kept putting out there in the universe: will I ever get out of this funk? My inability to maintain a healthy emotional distance from my previous job had made me deeply unhappy. It was my first and I was an assistant, which meant a lot of quality time with the late-night janitorial staff, stress-induced illnesses that I thought had been cured in the 19th-century, and narrow conversational skills outside of the workplace.

It turned out that the answer to my question was a resounding YES. I could get out of my funk. And since I’ve started my new job, I’ve been able to take up the abandoned causes that had previously given my home life some shape. Cooking got elbowed out for a bit as I struggled to remember how the half double crochet stitch goes, tore through book after book, puzzled over Ingmar Bergman (is the Scandinavian psyche the darkest?), and trawled the web for new furniture and art. 

Yet cooking remains the backbone of my home life and marriage, so I, filled with spiny ambition, tried my hand at some new dishes (bucatini with spicy anchovy sauce; ricotta gnocchi; salt-crusted sea bass; white bean, kale, and smoked ham hock soup) and fussed with some old ones (lemon tart, Sunday ragu, lemon and creme fraiche risotto.)

But perhaps the most exciting progress I’ve made is on my egg cooking technique. Though I’m good at poaching and baking, thanks to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I never learned how to properly boil and scramble, possibly because I felt snobby towards these techniques. What can a perfectly boiled egg offer me over the wobbly pleasures of a poached one? It turns out: a lot.

Once I consulted Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques , I realized that I had misunderstood boiled and scrambled eggs because I had been eating bad versions of both. (I blame a senior year homecoming date at IHOP, college dining halls, and prix-fixe brunches.) A creamy boiled egg with a just-set yolk floating in noodle soup, on top of tuna salad, or hanging out in the corner of a platter of antipasti is one of my great pleasures this summer. Soft-scrambled eggs on toast topped with smoked salmon, speck, or mashed avocado is my new go-to.

I thought I’d come back to blogging this week by focusing on a different egg technique in every post, including a tutorial and recipe. This will be old hat for some, but it might expand minds and repertoires for others.

Tonight, we’ll scramble.

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