Woodworking: Fried egg, omelet, egg sandwich… oh, for the love of eggsA few weeks back, I noticed a sign in front of Dick’s Fresh Market that advertised “MEDIUM EGGS 69 CENTS.”
By: Dave Wood, columnist, River Falls Journal
A few weeks back, I noticed a sign in front of Dick’s Fresh Market that advertised “MEDIUM EGGS 69 CENTS.”
I raced in and bought me a dozen. When I put them on the counter at home, my beautiful wife who bakes chastised me. Why on earth, would I buy medium eggs, she wondered.
“Because it reminds me of the old days,” I explained to her bafflement.
I’m not alone being a great admirer of eggs.
When asked his favorite design in the history of the world, renowned designer Raymond Loewy didn’t say, “My 1950 Studebaker, of course.” He simply said, “The egg.”
He went on to rhapsodize about its beauty, its packaging mechanism and all the other stuff designers are interested in.
Finally, he asked his interviewer, “If the egg had been square, how would you like to be a chicken?”
Loewy’s my kind of guy.
I grew up around eggs on a farm a mile out of Blair that billed itself back then as the “Egg Capitol of Wisconsin.”
We ate more than our share of them and those we didn’t eat we threw against Milo Torud’s machine shed wall whenever we went to his daughter Marlys’ birthday party.
Later I lived with my Aunt Wylis, who ran the egg station in Whitehall and processed millions of eggs in mineral oil for government purchase so G.I.s in far-off Borneo could have one sunny side up if they chose.
In college I worked at the Hotel Eau Claire, where the chefs taught me to cook them properly. Just barely, unlike my mother who scrambled them until they smelled like chicken feathers.
That knowledge came in handy when I went off to graduate school at Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1959.
Our assistantship stipends paid $1,200 per year, which was not quite enough to put me facing a porterhouse steak every night.
But — and this is where the good old days comes in — back then, you could buy a dozen eggs at Centre Foods on Main Street for seventeen cents.
This inevitably led to a rash of cholesterol-inducing recipes among the junior fellows in Bowling Green’s English Department.
My friend Dave Goldsmith and I developed lots of concoctions when we tired of the plain old fried egg easy over.
Goldsmith’s wife got careless once and bought a whole pound of pink bologna (39 cents!).
Rather than spank her Dave developed what we came to call “The Pig Bladder Omelet.”
Beat up some eggs, dice up a few slices of bologna, sauté in bacon grease rendered from Centre Foods’ all fat bacon chunks (29 cents!). Don’t overcook.
Another popular scrambler we’d wolf down after pouring over Coventry Patmore and Charles Brockden Brown bibliographies and other worthwhile activities was what Judy Baker invented.
She called it “The Western.” Heat up the bacon grease. For every beaten egg chop up one whole yellow onion. Sauté the onions until translucent, pour in the eggs and Presto! You’ve got The Western, which doesn’t even taste like eggs.
A large portion costs about five cents to prepare. Of course egg eating, even in Bowling Green, wasn’t all peaches and cream.
My roommate, Clyde Clifford Clements (no kidding), came back to school from his home in Pittsburgh after Easter with a suitcase full of Easter eggs his mother had prepared.
Nothing like a hardboiled egg and a beer to tide one over.
So I cracked one open, took a bite and yolk spattered all over me. “These are soft-boiled eggs” I yelped. “And they’re cold.” “That’s how we like them in Pittsburgh,” he replied.
My relationship with eggs doesn’t end there.
When I married my beautiful wife she rhapsodized about an egg sandwich that was popular at a diner near her undergraduate school, Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.
It was called an “Egg-Cheese.”
The counterman dropped an egg on a grill until it set, added a slice of cheese and lowered it into the deep fryer, slapped it on a hamburger bun and that was it.
We don’t have a deep fryer, but when I wish to ingratiate myself to B.W., I combine the Egg-Cheese with Judy Baker’s “The Western.”
I sauté a slice of Bermuda onion in a fry pan with lots of butter. When the onion is translucent, I drop an egg it.
When the egg sets, I place a slice of cheese on the egg. When it melts, I place it between two slices of whole wheat toast.
Understand that B.W. is very health conscious and refuses to eat white bread. So bring on those 69 cents a dozen eggs, Dick.
Dave would like to hear from you. Phone him at 715-426-9554.