First Plates Extra Helpings: The Incredible Edible

Eggs are all they're cracked up to be and then some

Jus' sayin'… (photo by Andrea Kinneson)

“I am very good at poaching eggs.” That’s a stand-alone line in my Tinder profile. I don’t really know why I put it there. It’s… kind of funny? Intriguing? Strange? It was an impulse addition, something to add a little character and, yes, convey my very real love of eggs. It’s also a damn fine conversation starter.

“I’m terrible at poaching eggs.” “Well, a good egg poacher is a must.” “What’s your secret to poaching eggs?” “How dare you illegally hunt eggs!” (Terrible.)

Thankfully there have been no weirdly sexual poached eggs jokes, which you have to admit is kind of unexpected for Tinder.

It seems eggs have a universal appeal, and with good reason. What food is so versatile as an egg? Don’t answer; I know there are multitudes. But eggs are my personal favorite staple, the ingredient that adds an extra bit of flavor and fulfillment to most of my day-to-day meals. I have three cartons of eggs in my fridge right now. (I go through about four or five a week.) They make the perfect breakfast food (scrambled with Cholula), midday snack (boiled), lunch optimizer (egg and tuna salad) and insta-sauce for dinner (poached over almost anything).

Aside from being a hellish mess to clean out of a pan, eggs are easy. They're almost lazy. Eggs aren’t so flavorful that you’ll get sick of the taste day after day, yet not so bland that you feel like you’ve eaten something mediocre. They’re not exciting, but they’re steadfast: the Honda Civics of the culinary world. (I also drive a Honda Civic.) They can be transformed into a responsible breakfast or an artery-stopping dessert. Eggs are everywhere, and with good reason: they’re fantastically adaptable. (And delicious.)

photo by Andrea Kinneson

Some people get baby fever in their mid-20s, but recently I’ve been afflicted with a serious case of chicken fever. It’s almost a rite of passage in Austin: couple dates, couple gets house, couple gets chicken coop. And even though I may be single, I want in. I have several friends who are graced with fresh eggs on a daily basis, and my eyes shine with envy when I see their harvests: cute vintage bowls sitting on counter tops, brimming with speckled vessels of gold. The fact that I don’t own chickens to provide me with this daily sustenance is a grave life oversight. (All I have is a cat who sometimes leaves dead birds in the yard, which really doesn’t count.) I don’t know if my raging egg habit would get better or worse with chickens; all I know is that as soon as I make the adult decision to buy a house, a chicken coop (complete with a daily egg bounty) won’t be far behind.

I’m not here to extol or analyze the health benefits of these wonderful nuggets of sustenance. I know that eggs are loaded with cholesterol, though supposedly it’s of the “good” variety. This is of little consequence to me. My diet is the embodiment of egg devotion, and there’s nothing that can change that. (OK, a stern doctor’s warning might, but I’ve yet to receive one.) Some people have a sweet tooth, others can’t go a day without meat. I’m the type of person who, on her first day in LA, insisted on dining at a restaurant called “Eggslut.” It’s a moniker I would happily adopt.

Read more Extra Helpings at The Austin Chronicle’s First Plates food issue hits stands Thursday, February 5.

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First Plates 2015, Eggs, Eggslut, Egg Lady, Tinder, poached, chicken coop, baby fever

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