Saturday, January 19, 2013


Every time I buy eggs, I panic. It's only minor panic in the grand scheme of panic, but there it is.  I pick up a carton, open the lid, inspect the eggs, and think, Will these eggs be any good?  Will the whites hold firm?  How dark will the yolks be?  In short, How fresh are these eggs?  This is a sort of advanced egg worry.  I do not concern myself about the freshness of an egg I am about to buy because I am worried about becoming sick from the egg.  I concern myself over the freshness of an egg because, when I crack an egg into a pan and watch the white spread out like a loose blob, it disappoints me.  The white should remain firm and hold its shape.  It should not be amorphous.  There are so many problems in this world.  Why can't my eggs be nice?  

A few years ago I was home for Christmas at my parents' house in Illinois, and I lost my shit over an old egg.  We're talking giant adult tantrum here.  I cracked an egg into the frying pan and the white didn't even pretend to have integrity.  It ran everywhere.  It was like I had cracked an egg and milk had come out.  I found the situation completely intolerable.  It may be curmudgeonly to poo-poo a place because access to fresh eggs is limited, but that is what I did.  My total condemnation of the suburb where my parents raised me came down to one loose egg.  "Piece of shit supermarket eggs," I said.  "I cannot wait to go home."  I'd had it.  Life was hard enough as it was.  That egg pushed me over the edge.          

I've grown up a bit since then, and I've learned not to get so frustrated by eggs that are beyond my control.  If I could collect all the energy I've spent in frustration over loose egg whites, well, actually, it wouldn't amount to a ton of energy.  I was about to say that it wasn't worth it, that all my frustration was a waste, but it wasn't a waste.  I am vigilant about my eggs now.  If I were to move to a place where I could not find fresh eggs, I would consider leaving.  We can't have everything in this life—so much of it is beyond our control—but we can make a few piddly demands.  We can draw the line somewhere.  I draw the line at eggs.  Eggs and a gas range.  I would NEVER live in a place with an electric range.  Runny egg whites on an electric stove top would kill me.


Unknown said...

This made me laugh at least a dozen times.

gspot said...

This county where I write beside the lake: there are no cage-free hens here. The crates for the eggs, they are only made of styrofoam. The sizes of the eggs, only large. No medium. The yolks are that pale, over-yellow. No deep orange of a happy hen, fed on grass. I'm so depressed about the eggs. Thank you for your post. It helps.

Unami Queen said...

Welcome back, Egg-Man.