This morning I am enjoying what I have always considered to be a rather grown up breakfast. Eggs over easy, whole wheat toast with jelly, and a cup of coffee. When I was a child I always pictured grown ups eating eggs for breakfast, and always some variation of the fried egg. Now that I am an adult I think I have deconstructed the reasoning behind this image.
Cereal is the breakfast of convenience. It involves no cooking and a minimal amount of assembling. Step One: Find bowl. Step two: Pour cereal. Step Three: Pour milk. Done and done. A technique beloved by cartoon watching children and hungover college students alike. Scrambled eggs is a step up from cereal, in that it does involve turning on the stove. The actual scrambling of the eggs makes this an easy prep meal. Crack eggs, move eggs around with spatula. Done. Now when one enters into the world of friend eggs things begin to get a little bit more complicated.
Fried eggs maintain an element of sophistication due to having to be careful not to break the yolk. Then when I first became aware that there was such a thing as Diner Slang, I suddenly had the notion that i had stumbled upon some bizarre grown up code of complexity. Up until that point I just thought a fried egg is a fried egg. It’s white around the edges with a yellow circle in the middle. Right? Apparently not. The fried egg can be sunny side up, over easy, over hard, over medium. In addition a myriad of fancy phrases to describe the presentation of the eggs: Adam and Eve on a raft, Deadeye, Pope Benedict, Flop Two, Killed. And so on. This is when we start to veer into the world of poached eggs, eggs Benedict and such complex preparatory fare.
I think what led me to believe that fried eggs were “grown up food” is that in my childhood mind, adults got up early. That is to say they awoke before the children did with an endless supply of energy and ambition for the day ahead. This meant that they could cook something of they wanted to, and since I knew relatively little about cooking.. the two step process of fried eggs, the delicacy involved to avoid breaking the yolks, and the complexity of timing the doneness of the egg with the readiness of the toast, painted a picture in my minds eye of myself as an adult lounging on a fancy couch, wearing a satin robe and those little slippers with the feathers accross the top, dining upon the very breakfast described above. Eggs over easy, whole wheat toast with jelly and a cup of coffee.
This morning as I sipped my beverage, I recalled this image. Of course in today’s reality, my couch is not fancy, my robe is poly-cotton or some-such, and those little feathery slippers are horribly uncomfortable and I do not own any by choice. But at least, the breakfast fits the bill.