Think about this for a moment: out of all your favorite comfort foods in the world, which is the only one you can be 95% confident you’ve always got the ingredients for?
Yes, that’s right. Scrambled eggs. They’re delicious. They’re high-protein. They’re relatively low fat (as long as you do a three whites / one yolk ratio). And as long as you’ve got eggs and something else — or, screw it, nothing else — in your fridge, you can make them.
Furthermore, scrambled eggs are one of very few foods that are completely foolproof. I do not know how it could be possible to make scrambled eggs badly. Crack, stir, heat, eat.
Last night I made scrambled eggs for Susan and me — currently, Susan really likes soft warm food (lots of stew). Here’s what went into it:
- Sauteed onion and green peppers
- 4 eggs plus an additional 4 egg whites
- An avocado
- Provolone cheese
- 1 Roma tomato
- Sea salt (I only very recently started using sea salt, having until now thought it was a gimmick. Turns out I was wrong. It actually is discernibly tastier)
- Black pepper
- Cholula (but only on my part of the eggs)
- A little bit of skim milk
Guess how much of it was just sitting in the fridge (or in the pantry)? All of it.
And it was so delicious. The onion, peppers, tomatoes and — especially — avocado made it extra-good.
My wife said I’m a terrific cook, which, while true, was not demonstrated last night. I just combined and heated ingredients until the eggs turned semi-solid.
But you know what? If we had had nothing but eggs and cheese, they still wouldn’t have been half bad.
The Best of All Possible Scrambled Eggs
My Grandma was an excellent cook. And I don’t just say that because all grandsons love the way their grandmas cook. My Grandma was known for her cooking throughout Raleigh, NC, which is home to some seriously good comfort cooks.
One of the things my Grandma was particularly known for — by her grandkids, anyway — was her scrambled eggs. When visiting, we’d always ask for them. And we assumed that her eggs — like everything she made — were good because of some special artist’s touch she had.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I asked her if I could watch how she made scrambled eggs. Of course I could, she said.
To my surprise, she made them exactly the way I did, with one exception: she added a big hunk of Velveeta cheese.
My sisters, who until then had also loved my Grandma’s scrambled eggs, were horrified when I told them this. Unwittingly, we had been tricked into having Velveeta be the magic ingredient in one of our favorite foods.
To people who use "Velveeta" as a food punchline roughly equivalent to "Spam," it was one hell of a revelation.
But it makes sense, really. Like Velveeta, scrambled eggs get no respect. Too lowbrow. But you know that if scrambled eggs had a fancy name and demanded dozens of ingredients, formal training, and required skillful measuring and a watchful eye — and then tasted just like they do now — they’d be regarded as a culinary masterpiece.
So I say, it’s time we give scrambled eggs the respect they deserve:
Scrambled eggs, in all your elegant simplicity, I adore you.
PS: Susan tells me, "You make it sound like I eat nothing but stew. ‘Stew’ is a gross word, and that’s not all I eat." So, to be clear: My wife does not eat just stew. She also eats gruel.
PPS: Even though I love my Grandma’s scrambled eggs, I never buy Velveeta "cheese," for three reasons: I’ve seen the nutritional information, I’d be embarrassed to be seen with it at the supermarket, and Velveeta was always the kind of cheese my Dad bought to use as fish bait — it shapes so easily around the fish hooks — resulting in my inability to think of Velveeta as anything but fish bait. I’m pretty sure that contributed to my shock at finding my Grandma used Velveeta in her scrambled eggs: "You mean people can eat Velveeta, too?!"
PPPS: Is Velveeta even available outside the United States? I have a hard time imagining, for example, that you could easily buy Velveeta in Italy. And it would be kind of sad if you could.
PPPPS: I plan to start my 100 Miles of Going Nowhere tonight around 9pm, after I get the twins in bed. I should finish around 2:30am or so. Which means I’ll sleep in on Saturday and therefore wake up about the same time everyone else in the family does (my wife and children are, apparently, vampires).