How the humble egg has been instrumental in framing my life's philosophy.
I love cooking. For me its therapeutic, it’s stress relieving, and well, I am just damn good at it!
But the very first time that I entered the kitchen to make something (I was being taught by my friend, Chandani) I cracked the egg on the kitchen platform and as I was about to drop it into a bowl, it “slithered” off to the ground and on my foot. Ewwwww!
For someone who was force fed half-boiled (read raw) eggs every morning before school, I should basically have given up on this humble ingredient altogether! But but even though in my school days I’d run away from it, today I cannot … wait for it … “see my life without eggs in it” … (satisfactory sigh)
Now to me eggs are eggs. If its oval-ish in shape, white (or brown) shelled, wiggles inside when raw, then that’s fine. I don’t know why a quail, a chicken, an ostrich egg should vary, except in size, but as long as my scrambled with cheese, salt and pepper turn out fine I approve of the bird it came from! (Ok! yes I know how they differ, don’t kill me, just get the sentiment).
Now to the Eggilicious part of this post!
I am A Parsi!
Why is this statement crucial to mention here? Because we love our eggs 🥚🥚🥚
I know only a handful of others who can eat eggs for Breakfast, mid-morning snack, Lunch, evening snack, Dinner and midnight snack. (Side Bar: ever wondered why its “evening” not mid-afternoon? 🤨) When I did a super basic search for egg preparations it said there are over 1000 ways for EACH of these meals!!!! Insane! And this is only the ways in which you can COOK eggs, there were another 1000+ ways in which you can use them for non-cooking purposes.
Today though I only am going to talk about how this little friend of mine lives in my house always, surrenders itself to my every whip and splat, and still has the cutest, happiest face when I eat it!
When it comes to cooking, you must know this about me. I love experimenting with new recipes, new cooking hacks, etc. but I prefer eating simple, known dishes. When I say experimenting, it’s usually on others (read mostly on my husband Rohan). Fortunately, till date, I haven’t had a plate of food sent back to my kitchen. So my Instagram feed and Facebook timeline is practically Food Network on drugs. I am scrolling through posts of people making food, people eating weird food, ingredients dancing up and down or swaying in a pan or bowl … 24x7. Funnily, before I wrote this post, I actually realized how EGGS were a very central part of all of the above! Everyone seemed to be using eggs in anything and everything. Let me give you some examples,
They are your standard breakfast item, so scrambled, omelet, fried (we were told fried not sunny-side up) etc.
Then you have the Parsi favourites: Akoori (a heavily spiced and hearty scramble of eggs, onions, tomato and herbs) and the ‘Par Edu’ (similar to a Spanish omelet or Frittata, but diverse in its base; its basically breaking eggs on top of any leftovers, but usually potatoes)
Eggs used in coating meat for that frilly crispy texture
In cakes and bakes
Used for Mayo and other dressings, dips, sauces.
As hair conditioner (OK. not cooking but I had to make my point; plus it just popped up in my head)
You see, this tiny little ‘imp’ makes everything taste better! Some of us don’t even realize that eggs are present in a dish till much later (unless you’re allergic). How some people don’t like eggs is beyond my comprehension.
When I was planning for this post, and I was planning for a couple of weeks, I thought it was going to be about egg preps, egg dishes, like a mini recipe card for eggs. But then I switched tracks. I had this ‘aha’ moment about how Eggs have taught me so many ‘life lessons’ which have really grounded me to see life for what it is.
One of favourite caterers+podcasters+bloggers, Perzen Patel, did an article on how she wanted her sons to eat and learn from the different egg preparations made in her household. (Read her article, 10 Life lessons from Eggs if you’re slightly more curious)
Inspired by this, I, too, have my own list of ‘Life Lessons from the humble Egg’ which is short but essential. They’ve shaped my values in a certain way and might just do the same for you! So whether you’re an ardent fan of eggs or detest them like I did at one point in time, I think you’ll find this an interesting read.
Eggs: different shapes and sizes but ever so humble
You have ostrich eggs, quail eggs, brown eggs, white eggs. Eggs come in every shape and size, every colour and price, and yet we don’t see THEM boasting or competing with one another!
Lesson: Everyone is different and unique, even though we’re of the same species. I’m not racist if I call you black, dark-skinned, whitish, or if I call you fat, thin, ugly. Appearance is only ONE way to look at a person, but its only once you get to know them that you have any right to make an opinion about them. (Yes, you have a right to an opinion, NOT to push it on others)
Eggs: different preps lead to different results
Fried, boiled, poached, scrambled. When an egg goes through a different cooking process, it is bound to taste different, feel different, even smell different. Then, when you add other external ingredients to it, more changes and variations take place.
Lesson: Everyone is born in a different environment, is raised differently, and goes through different experiences in their lives. It is THIS condition that will make or break them, that will define who they are and how they lead their lives. For my book lovers, think Kane & Able. For others, think twins separated at birth!
Eggs: always turn out slightly differently from another
I have tried, but no matter how precisely I make my eggs, they will always have some difference in taste from the other. Either a bit over runny or a bit more gooey. A bit too fluffy or won’t rise at all. This ‘boils’ down to situation, environment and conditions
Lesson: The same person CAN be happy go lucky and stubborn angry all in one. Don’t judge them by just 1-2 interactions/experiences. Get to know them, and more importantly allow for them to change as and when situations change. Don’t be quick to generalize who is who. Don’t be quick to dissuade their feelings. Don’t THINK of them as Robots.
Eggs: some get cooked, some land up in my hair
Yes, it’s true. I use eggs as hair conditioner and moisturizer, and it is undoubtedly effective. I also use egg shells to ward off lizards and as fertilizer in my plant compost. They are so versatile.
Lesson: Every person has a different, unique purpose in life. Some become scientists, some artists, some will write blogs and some will cook eggs! Diversity is the spice of Life. You cannot run an army with just the cavalry now can you? Every person has a role to lay on earth and it is an important one.
My eggsperiences have taught me a lot and the above is just the tip of the iceberg. But one thing is for sure, I appreciate my eggs (pun intended) and value their presence in my life.
Go ahead and share your thoughts with me, while I go enjoy my Fried Eggs on toast for dinner. 🍳