Egg On My Face

What could be more delicious or simple than a fried egg? There is so much about the egg that I could say (the history of eggs, uses in different cultures, health benefits, recipes, etc.) but won’t. There are tons of websites devoted to the creation of the perfect fried egg including debates on cast iron versus non-stick skillets. There are sites encouraging the incorporation of the fried egg into everything from bowls of rice and/or veggies to plopping it down on top of ciabatta bread and tomatoes then sprinkling with feta cheese and arugula, thus elevating the humble fried egg to a snazzy dinner item. And don’t get me started on the various methods of frying with absurd names like “animal style” and “press down.” One ill-informed person even suggested that the perfect fried egg wouldn’t have crispy brown edges. Seriously? That’s the best part.

I guess I’m old school and harken back to the days when the toughest decision one had to make about fried eggs was whether or not you wanted the yolk hard or soft. This simplicity of thought is where my mind drifted as I wrote the scene in my novel, The Secrets of Dr. John Welles, when midwife Collie Mercer makes a celebratory breakfast for the Welles family in honor of the new baby she has just delivered.

The Welleses lived on a farm, so naturally eggs were part of their diet in some fashion on a daily basis. I imagine nothing fancier than scrambled or fried eggs ever appeared on the Welles children’s plates, not even an omelet. But I also know that the eggs were prepared with love. And while a wide variety of foods may not have been an option, no boxes of colorful cereal or flaky croissants, the children were no doubt raised with an appreciation for an abundance of good food prepared simply.

There isn’t an exact recipe involved with this post. In many ways, the preparation of a great fried egg is a combination of common knowledge and simple logic with a dash of familial preference for good measure.

The Perfect Fried Egg

Fresh eggs – we obtain ours from a neighbor down the street

Butter

Salt & pepper

Cast Iron Skillet – our preference at the Gibson household

Pre-heat a cast iron skillet on the stove. Melt about ½ T of butter in the pan per egg until it bubbles. Don’t brown or burn the butter. Crack your eggs directly into the skillet, spacing evenly around the circumference depending on the quantity of eggs and size of the skillet.

Break the yolks at this point if you want them hard. Allow the underside to set up before flipping them to continue cooking on the other side. They are done when the yolk it set and the edges reach desired crispness.

Or, when the underside of the white turns opaque, you can pour a little water in the pan and cover to steam your eggs to doneness. This is usually done for a soft yolk. No flipping required.

Season the cooked eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and enjoy!

6 responses

  1. Your blog made me hungry for a fried egg sandwich. Got out my old ring mold,threw a pat of butter in a skillet,tossed in the mold and waited for the butter to melt. Then I plopped a fresh egg into the center and waited. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I toasted an English muffin to just the proper shade of brown. Edges slightly darker than the middle. I layered on cream cheese with chive, a crisp leaf of iceberg lettuce and a 1/4″ thick slice of tomato 🍅 (beefsteak, they’re the best). S & P to taste. I returned to the skillet to release the perfectly fried circular egg from its mold. Curses, I’d forgotten to oil the mold. Needless to say the egg stuck fast. I secured a small paring knife to release the edges, ran the knife around in a circle. Walah!(sp?) the egg released and slid gently into the waiting arms of the skillet. A quick flip to set the top side and I headed to the muffin, properly dressed and ready for my egg. Just let me say at this point, don’t ever use a cheap plastic spatula to move a hot fried egg. I watched, in slow motion, as my beautiful egg gracefully floated to the kitchen floor. For a moment I contemplated the 5 second rule but quickly changed my mind when Moondog, my cat, flew to “assist” with the egg rescue effort. Bloody hell and a few other choice expletives ran thru my mind. I flopped a slice of cold bologna onto the muffin and pitied myself for half an hour. It was then my sainted mothers voice rang true in my ears, “no good deed ever goes unpunished”. Guess you were right all along, ma.👵

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

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    • Okay, this is laugh-out-loud funny! First of all, your experience with cooking the egg painted quite a picture, but what really got me was your cat. Who names a cat Moondog? The part on your chosen expletives and settling for bologna were also snort-worthy. You should seriously consider picking up where Melissa McCarthy left off in Mike & Molly.

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  2. I love eggs! I almost have them scrambled with salsa thrown into the mix first! Now I am hungry! Thanks for the tasty treat.
    Priscilla, it is spelled voila, pronounced walah (close enough for non-europeans)

    Liked by 1 person

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