Breakfast with the Bar Jester (Part 2)

Salt to taste and eat them with gratitude and buttered toast. Sausage patties are also a nice touch—and a pound of bacon a nicer one.

If you would increase your gratitude, mix the scrambled eggs with a serving of well-buttered and well-salted grits. Properly undercooked scrambled eggs mixed with grits prove the existence of God as much as mini-skirts and tank-tops do. You can even crumble a little bacon—Oh, bacon! Thou most perfectest of meats!—into the mix. Into the mix of grits and eggs, I mean. It won’t go particularly well with mini-skirts and tank-tops—at least not in the long run.

And at what time of the morning in particular is this concoction best consumed? All I can say is it makes a great supper on Sunday nights, especially in the winter when the kids have been out sledding and you (not caring whether Belichick can silence Ryan) have been reading fireside all afternoon.

As for the over-easy egg: again, butter the pan on medium heat. Crack your eggs and leave them be. Don’t flip until you can see the whites around their eyes. But when you can, carefully flip the eggs and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Give the eggs about one Pater Noster, maybe less, and remove them from the pan. Let them sit atop a pile of heavily buttered hash browns or American fries or maybe squarely on a piece of buttered toast or a buttered English muffin. Rupture the yolk and let the orange loveliness spill all over the place. Eat with gratitude &c.

You will notice that nowhere is margarine or spray or some other devilish unbuttery substitute permitted in the cooking. The reason: we were made to eat food, not chemical imitations thereof.

And as for the omelet: there is any number of ways to ruin this great thing, chief among them cramming in too many ingredients. The trick is to minimize the flavors. You don’t want your omelet tasting like a taco, or like salsa and chips. To satisfy your craving for tacos or salsa and chips there are tacos and salsa and chips aplenty. A good omelet will have no more than four flavors in addition to the eggs and the butter they’re cooked in.

So: lay by your preferred ingredients and scramble some eggs, as per the instructions above (eschewing milk like the very works of the devil himself). Into a buttered pan, no more than six inches in base diameter, add (for the perfect omelet) cubed ham. Toss it a bit and then add the eggs. Then add some shredded cheddar cheese. And then into the pan carefully place about a dozen capers. Place them artfully. And be sure they’re spaced such that you’ll get a couple in each bite.

Once the egg has cooked (you might have to swirl it about a bit), flip half the omelet over onto the other half so that you’ve got a half circle. Grab the pan by the handle. Move the pan away from and toward you until the whole creation moves as one living being in the pan. And then flip it. Flip it by … well, teach yourself the motion that makes this possible. A little imagination and you’ll have it.

The caper! Who would have thought it belonged in an omelet? But, O Theophilus, it does. It does.

Add salt and pepper and eat with gratitude, &c.

For the nonce I leave aside such egg-greats as Eggs Benedict, which we’ll consider when my Saw Bones increases my statin dosage from six to ten truckloads per day.

But for now there you have it.

We have departed somewhat from the usual Jester formula. There is nothing in the way of aural stimulation, and there are few promissory gestures along the lines of country matters, as the Lord Hamlet called them. That is because we have been treating of breakfast, which is a lesser thing in the culinary scheme and which, as my former treatise demonstrated, is not by any means the breaking of a fast.

And that, really, is the point, I’m afraid. A really good feast is always made better by a penitential season of fasting. Sleep is no such season.

Sleep is … well that, O Theophilus, is matter for another desperate Tuesday night. The one thing we do know about it is that there will be sleep enough in the grave.

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

5 comments on this post.
  1. Gene Callahan:

    “Butter your favorite breakfast pan over medium heat, add the eggs, scramble them, and take them out while they’re still good and runny.”

    Once Madeline Kamman’s The New Making of a Cook taught me how to make scambled eggs properly this view lost its appeal. Done exactly per her instructions, your eggs come out neither the least bit runny nor the least bit dry. I recommend looking it up.

  2. Baba:

    You must be doing it wrong yourself. I recommend trying, again, but this time get it right. It ain’t that hard.

  3. Gene Callahan:

    I must be doing it wrong because my eggs come out so nicely? I don’t quite get this.

  4. Transplanted Lawyer:

    Addeth thou three drops of water per scrambled egg, Theophilus. The water boils and steams away during cooking, and makes thine egg light and fluffy. Ornament ye eggs with a light coating of shredded cheese but only after removing yon eggs from the pan. This, when combined with bacon of which much was spoken previously, and Bailey’s Irish Creme mixed with thine coffee, shall cause a joy in the morning like unto that of the angels in heaven.

  5. Anonymous:

    Priorities! If you are going to be fussy about the quality of your eggs and toast (and I am going to) the very first concern is the quality of the BREAD. Better to have Wal-Mart eggs and well-toasted good bread than vice versa. True, it would be better to have high quality in both regards, but if you are pressed for time…

    I like some good eggs, too. But worrying about them before the bread is akin to contemplating the shapely girl in the well proportioned sweater on the basis of her choice of data plans. Ideally, you would want one who made a good choice. But other issues prevail.

Leave a comment