April 6, 2007
Easter eggs evoke much more than the fun, 'yum factor' and children’s glee if you stop for a second; a host of issues hide behind, including the dominance of factory farming in our egg supply, and the exploitation associated with chocolate. I feel cheap in ignoring these as we party, but in the spirit of not pissing people off on this festive weekend, I’ll leave the politics for another time and focus on the good stuff. I guess I am shamefully more of a hedonist than an activist, but I AM grateful, so there.
My ode to the egg
It is Easter.. Time to PAY HOMMAGE TO THE EGG, I say. That's what Easter means most to me, sorry Dad. It’s EGG APPRECIATION DAY". Afterall, there should be one measly day in the year when you stop and say, "Wow, eggs are great, and oh my God, am I ever thankful for eggs!"
Let me remind you how great eggs are. They are nice to look at and hold, even without the painted colors of the day. They are always extremely nutritious and delicious. But most of all, they are incredibly quick, useful and versatile, a cook's best friend.
They emulsify and bind, they leaven and thicken, they seal and coat, they add color and gloss. They add flavour, mouth-feel, richness or lightness to preparations, both hot and cold. Think mayonaisse, hollandaise, and the many egg based sauces like carbonara, Alfredo, avgolomo. Eggs are key in stratiatella, flans, royales, custards, cakes, quickbreads, brioche, cream puffs, ice cream, froths, foams and meringues, crispy cookies, macarons, crabcakes, stuffings, and mousses.... They are fabulous pickled - yah, that tavern favourite rocks! And we mustn’t forget about just plain (but never so plain) old scrambled eggs, the ultimate comfort food. They can also be made into the fanciest, most elegant fare when snazzed up with some wild mushroom or sea urchin. I could keep going you know.
Easter weekend is a time of rejoicing and celebrating for most of us, whatever our background. For some it’s just a long weekend, but for most it’s about rebirth in someway, and eggs symbolize that perfectly. Be it to mark the rebirth of Jesus and the break from the fasting of lent, or at the very least the advent of spring, with the longer days and the promise of new and exciting things, it’s a time for ‘la fete...’ For the kids, it’s all about chocolate. For me, it’s all about eggs. In your weekend feasts which will surely feature an egg or two at some point, take a moment to raise your glass to the glorious egg! Cheers and Happy Spring to all!