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Scrambled eggs.

I am not welcome in the kitchen, which is a shame, because there are few people as capable as I am of offering advice to the cook. It is a funny thing, but cooks, when considered as a class, are among the most reluctant people to accept advice that I have ever met. Take any normal cheerful woman, one that is willing to be taught the ways and means of fishing, content to be shown how to bait a hook, agreeably curious about the right method of sharpening an axe, or happy to be shown how to hold a gun; take such a woman and place her near a stove and bingo, she cannot be told the most simple things without returning a stare that can bore a hole though an oak plank. I am certain that the real inspiration behind the story of Medusa, whose glance could turn a fellow to stone, was the wife of a well meaning bard who suggested a little less cheese in the omelette.

I am a good cook, although my experience is largely limited to cooking over an open fire. For example, a big mistake that people often make when cooking eggs is to cook them in butter, the right way is to cook them in bacon grease. This is where the advantages of an open fire become apparent. First, you cook the bacon in a cast iron frying pan, and then, moving the bacon to one side, pour the extra grease into the fire making sure to stand back as it flares up. There is quite a commotion at this point, and the effect of pouring bacon grease on an open fire has been compared favourably by some experts (my camping buddies) to that wrought in French cuisine by setting brandy alight.

After the fire subsides, there should be about a Vi inch remaining in the pan. Set the frying pan on a stone so that only part of it is over the fire and pull the bacon to the side to keep warm. Then break several eggs and drop them into the grease.

The next step is extremely important, for the entire dish can be ruined if it is not done right. Just as the eggs are beginning to turn white, but before they finish cooking, stir the eggs with a sharp stick to produce a marbled effect of white and yellow scrambled eggs. Then, call everyone over and place the scrambled eggs and bacon onto their plates.

For a nice change from bacon and eggs simply substitute kippers. The key here is to hold the tin of kippers on a flat surface before pulling the lid off. Fried kippers, with the eggs cooked in the grease following the method outlined above makes an excellent change in the menu.

I cannot stress enough the damage that can be done by washing the frying pan with soap. Soap must never be allowed to touch the frying pan or a soapy taste will come through. The correct method is to simply dip it in the lake and let it dry. There are few flavours more distinctive as food from a well used frying pan which has been kept free from the harmful effects of soap.

I am always surprised at how few women understand the importance of waiting for the eggs to partially cook before scrambling them. One such person is a lady who was at our house for lunch one Sunday after Mass. She had volunteered to cook the eggs, claiming that she was "an expert". I was sitting the living room chatting, and I heard her break the eggs. I pausing in my conversation to await the tell-tale sizzle, and to my horror, there came instead the sound of a fork vigorously clinking against a glass bowl.

I leap from my chair and shouted at her to stop before the eggs were completely ruined, and began explaining the process to her: "It is really very simple, first get a cast iron pan, that one you have there will not work, it is aluminum. You need cast iron. Then, cook up a bit of bacon and drop in the eggs into the grease one by one ..."

My novice student was unreceptive and, although my wife says she did not hear it, I am certain the lady called me a rude name. Then she looked through the back of my head and let the bowl of eggs drop onto the floor, and slowly walked out of the kitchen.

Like I said before, I know the real origins of the Medusa story.
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Author:Beresford, David
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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