Breakfast

It has come up quite frequently in conversation that my wife does all the cooking around our house. I don’t know exactly how it keeps coming up, but I always must protest: It’s not my fault! I’m not exactly an overbearing ogre. (I mean, look at me. Is [this](http://neumatikos.org/gallery/v/Baby+Face/) intimidating?) The truth is, she won’t *let* me cook. Cooking is both a spontaneous thing for me and a highly regimented one. I cook with about 15 minutes notice, and I use a recipie. If the recipie doesn’t turn out, I either adjust or eliinate the recipie. Unfortunately, by the time I start giving 15 minutes notice, Valerie has already planned next week’s menu.

I used to take perfectly good care of myself before I was married. I have about 43 different kinds of pasta I can produce, and such manly entrées as chili, and beans, and Gold Coast Stew.

Also I fry eggs.

Valerie doesn’t like fried eggs for some reason. She only likes scrambled. With no cheese. But I like fried eggs. Over easy. You might say I’m a connoisseur. Ok. You’d probably say I was picky. I’ve given up on getting an over easy egg anywhere in the country. I even describe it to the waitress, but to no avail: white solid, yolk runny. You have to have something to lap up with the toast. But no. Either I get white runny, or yolk solid. So I decided that if I was going to get an egg fried right, I was going to have to do it myself.

Except I forgot how. Eggs are generally considered a breakfast food. And for the last decade or so, I haven’t really been doing breakfast. It started with college. (It always starts with college…) Dorm life is such that nobody is allowed, under any circumstances, to go to bed before midnight. You can sleep in till noon, and people who play their stereos at 10:00 am are subject to censure. But you may not, you *must* not go to bed at a decent hour. All early birds must acquiesce to this pattern of life or they must find an apartment off campus.

I acquiesced. I should have moved off campus.

The second part of dorm life is that you are required to pay an insane amount of money to have a fully catered meal available every meal of the day. For those of you who haven’t experienced these glamours, imagine your parents suddenly abdicated the kitchen and took you to [Shoney’s](http://www.shoneys.com/) every single meal of the year for four continuous years. Breakfast very quickly becomes disadvantageous.

My entire life schedule slowly shifted forward four hours. Then employment came and sadly, where getting up at 6:00 or even 5:30 had been a normal part of my life, crawling out of my bed a minute before 6:45 became an excruciating agony. I continued skipping breakfast. A 10:00 dinner became the largest and most festive meal of the day.

I have been told this is unhealthy.

Now married life has set in. Waking up in the morning is suddenly quite a joy. I am also back in school, but because Valerie’s school is insane, we’ve scheduled all our classes (save one of mine) for afternoon and evening. Slowly breakfast is becoming a more appetizing encounter.

Which brings me back to eggs. I’ve forgotten how to cook them. And thanks to my dad, who is not only a connoisseur but a… (how you say, “skillful producer of wonderful food” —in French?)… great cook, I know exactly what my eggs ought to do. And they don’t.

I know for a fact that I’m cooking too hot. I’m convinced that my frying pan is too big. I’m confident that my butter is insufficiently distributed, but I compensate with an excellent spatula. I also know that no matter how many times I describe to the waitress how a proper fried egg is supposed to be (solid white, liquid yolk), this stupid chef can’t seem to produce!

Eggs are a big item on our grocery list right now. (Fortunately, eggs are uncommonly cheap.) I plan to fry them every morning when I get hungry until I’ve mastered this darn thing.

And this Christmas, when we go to visit my family, my parents are going to get really *really* tired of eggs.

10 thoughts on “Breakfast”

  1. Come to my house. Half the time I’m tired of eggs. Actually, the other day I asked Jason to make some eggs (I get them folded) and he told me to eat cereal. Normally I almost only eat cereal if left to myself (for any meal) but I actually completely forgot about it.. Jason cooks eggs right.

    I’ve finally learned how to salt my eggs right. One Mississippi per egg is enough, there’s no need for two.

    My cooking menu is limited to: macaroni & cheese (boxed only), Tuna Helper, spaghetti, and stroganoff (never never never boxed), and rice. I’m perfectly content to let Jason do the cooking. HE can make the ravioli soup and chicken pot pies (although sometimes I have to point out that he’s not doing it RIGHT or teach him how to use the food processor), and he recently learned how to make macaroni & cheese. My directions to him were simple: the instructions are on the box. Asked what the ingredients in the chicken pot pie are: they’re on the recipe. I know HOW to cook, I just.. can’t. The whole knowledge vs experience thing. My cooking also takes 3x longer than it should if I’m making an attempt at something new, because I want to make sure I get it right. And then I burn it anyway.

    I’m lucky not to burn my cereal. My cold cereal.

    I don’t go to bed at a decent hour AND I play the (computer) stereo at 10 am. I’ve never lived on campus, though. My colleges don’t really have that capability, anyway..

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  2. Sorry. I have a goofy program running that makes formatting easier. It turns words with underscores into italicised words with no underscores. Apparently they forgot to make an exception for url links.

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  3. Yeah. That’s not helping much. The biggest problem, really, that I have is that the dial on our stove is *really* tiny. The distance between 2-inch flames and 1/8th inch flames is about an inch on the dial. Usually I accidentally turn it off instead of down.

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  4. Christie and I are the “cook to eat” type of kitchener. We have long wanted to be the “cook to enjoy” kind of kitchener, but we lack a lot of skills. People say read a recipie, but lets face it, recipies are guides and with all the variables that change from kitchen to kitchen, the recipies born out of Betty Crocker’s food chemist’s kitchens never seem to work for me. That’s why Christie and I have become overjoyed to discover a TV show called Good Eats. Yeah, we tried watching cooking shows, but watching someone run around throwing something together with minimal explanation became as frustrating as working with a recipie card. What we like about Alton Brown (Good Eats host) is he is a food chemist (and a mad scientist at that with some zanny dramatism mixed in) who explains not only the recipies, but why they work, why they fail, and how to deal with all those pesky variables. Don’t know if you have cable, but Food Network has become a thrill for 30 min in the evenings, and an hour on Thursdays. What’s even crazier is we’ve actually been able to reproduce what we’ve seen on the show!
    [url=”http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ea”]Good Eats Website[/url]

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