ANN BAILEY: An egg-onizing discoveryI usually feel kind of bad about not having two or three dozen eggs in my fridge. But after what happened on a recent Sunday, it seems like a good time to take a break from eggs.
In the early fall, the number of eggs we get from my mom’s chickens dwindles and by this time of year they stop laying. When that happens, the supply of eggs in my fridge is greatly diminished because I buy on an as-needed basis from the grocery store. I usually feel kind of bad about not having two or three dozen on hand.
But after what happened on a recent Sunday, it seems like a good time to take a break from eggs.
My disillusionment with eggs is the result of a Sunday brunch. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I invited my brother Mike, from Bloomington, Minn., and my brother, Terry and sister-in-law, Marie, who live down the road from us, to brunch. Mike planned to head back home about noon, so I asked him and Terry and Marie if they could be at our house at 10 a.m.
Sunday morning, I mixed up a batch of blueberry muffins from scratch and got them in the oven by 9 a.m. so they would be done before brunch. About 9:45 a.m., my husband, Brian, started forming sausage patties to fry on the griddle and I began cracking eggs into a bowl. When I hit egg No. 5 against the bowl, the yolk exploded all over the interior of the bowl and a horrible smell arose from it.
The egg was rotten and I had to throw it and the rest of the eggs in the bowl into the trash.
We didn’t have enough eggs left to serve eight people, so Brian went into town and bought another dozen. This time I cracked each egg individually into a small bowl before dumping it into the large bowl. There were no bad eggs in the carton this time, so I added some milk to them and poured them into the frying pan to cook.
By this time it was well past 10 a.m. and our guests had arrived, so I apologized to my brothers and sister-in-law, explaining the reason for the delay. They were understanding and said they weren’t in any hurry.
While Brian was in town buying the eggs, I had cooked the sausage, so the only thing left to do when he returned was cook the eggs. I resisted the urge to turn the heat up, instead, cooking them slowly and stirring them frequently so they wouldn’t burn.
The eggs were just about done when I noticed some black specks in them. At first, I thought they might be pieces of Teflon from the bottom of the pan. But when I took one out and examined it more closely, I realized it was something much worse — a mouse dropping.
After a similar mouse dropping episode last year, that time with chicken sesame stir-fry, I had been vigilant for months about checking the pans before using them. Because I hadn’t found any signs of mice recently, I was lulled into complacency and hadn’t checked before I cooked the eggs.
D-egg nab it
Because everyone was gathered and waiting to eat, I had to break the news to them that we wouldn’t be having eggs for brunch and then explain why. They assured me that it was OK, and that there would be plenty to eat without the eggs
Although I was disappointed about being stymied in my egg making twice, I figured that on the bright side, we hadn’t gotten halfway through eating the eggs before I discovered the mouse dropping.
As it is, I have a feeling that I won’t be eating eggs for quite awhile. If I had eaten some before making the discovery, I may not have ever been able to look at one again. That would be a shame because come spring my mom’s chickens will be busy laying and we’ll have a big enough supply in our fridge to them not only for brunch, but for supper, too.
Reach Bailey at email@example.com or (218) 779-8093.