Well, the day has come.  My eight-inch nonstick skillet was finally delivered… which means it’s time for me to step up to the plate… or… the oven.  Am I ready though?  Deep down, I was telling myself this utensil is more than a slick new pan, it also brings forth shining hope for me to be able to complete something as seemingly simple as eggs.  But alas, I keep forgetting how truly technical eggs can be.  Ahhh… There’s only so much time one can procrastinate so, with my new skillet in hand and Alton’s cookbook tucked under my arm, I set for the kitchen without looking back.

For those that don’t remember (and gee, how I would love to forget), I’m on Egg’s Over Easy.  Now, while my “taste” for the food hasn’t exactly risen, I was more excited and anxious to see how this second approach would go.  James, as usual, helped me gather all ingredients, and when finished, I set to work… following Alton’s instructions… kind of.  I say kind of because I tweaked his application some.  I can hear my mom telling me years ago, “With every recipe you cook, you’ll have to make slight tweaks… based on how your oven works, how your pots and pans heat up, the amount of ingredients you like or don’t like.”  So, with those words in mind, I tried to make this approach work for me…

You’ll remember, my last Eggs Over Easy attempt had five flaws:
A) The size of my skillet…
B) Butter foam…
C) Temperatures of the burner…
D) Egg’s setting…
E) Flipping the dang slimy egg…

So with the first problem fixed (my new skillet has now met my oven), I’m moving on to the second.  James and I both still could not distinguish what it means for butter to “stop foaming.”  Truly, if someone reads my blog, this is the first question I want answered — What does “foam” from heated butter look like?  And when does “foam” finish “foaming?”  As before, James and I have no answers… so after the butter melted, we crossed our fingers and cracked the eggs.

My second attempt at Eggs Over Easy… Here goes nothing…

Another problem: The heat.  The egg never seemed to cook before because Alton suggested the temperature stay on low.  Well Alton, I’m here to tell you (again) low does not cook an egg.  I mean, maybe… but not on my burners.  With mine, low heat did nothing… literally.  I’ve never used this cliché before, but it suits here — Watching the eggs cook on low heat before was like watching paint dry.  So, because James’ dad apparently fixes eggs over easy often, he called him for advice… and the suggestion — crank the heat.  I turned the knob to medium and this time, gave the eggs a chance to cook before flipping.  That was my biggest darned problem before… I think at least.

Down to Problem Four: Setting of the egg.  Again, I have no idea what it means to have a “fully set” egg.  In fact — Here.  This is what’s going on right now in my head:
To me, “fully set” means “cooked”… because if something is “fully” anything that means there can be no more; it has reached capacity or become full.  Now in cooking, something only reaches capacity when it is cooked.  Therefore, I think it is a fair assumption to say “fully set” means “cooked.”  However, Alton says to “examine the white [of the fully set egg] for opaqueness.”  Here’s where it gets tricky.  “Opaque” means transmitting a little amount of light… which means some light is transmitted.  Now if an egg is “cooked” (AKA “fully set”) then there is no light… or opaqueness.  Confused?  So am I!  How can someone get a “fully set” egg… that has “opaqueness?”  No idea.  I guessed… again… and basically cooked the egg “half way” — so that the section of the egg touching the pan became “white”… and the section above was still ooey-gooey.

Does this look like “fully set” eggs?

Now to problem five: Flipping.  Ah.  How I dread flipping.  It wasn’t that I was nervous… I mainly felt so extremely defeated from the last approach that frankly, I didn’t want to feel that way again.  In fact, I was about to take the easy route and grab a spatula and flip it that way… until I realized, I’m trying to become a cook — a real true cook… and genuine cooks don’t flip their dang eggs with a spatula because they are unable to flip in a pan.  So, I’ll admit it — Before I fixed my eggs, I practiced with a piece of bread in the pan.  After many attempts… and many minutes… I felt I had earned an A in bread-flipping.  Even with flipping practice though, I was still unsure of myself… and whenever I’m unsure, I become sure of one thing — my boyfriend.  James amped me up, restored my self-confidence and told me — straight in the eyes, “You. can. do. this.”  …Then, “When you think you’re ready, you h-a-v-e to commit.  You can’t back out.”  So… deep breath in… feet apart… shoulders back… pan in hand… I went for it…  Looking back, I think I closed my eyes, which doesn’t seem to be the smartest move now, but when I opened them I saw my two eggs — one, broken and leaking under my other egg… which was… perfect.  I was (and still am) elated.  I think I screamed — a happy scream, of course.  I know for sure I grabbed James and jumped on him, forcing him to pick me up.  He too was overjoyed at my success, saying, “I knew you could do it; I knew it!”  We later discussed the reason why one “popped”… James thinks (and I agree) it wasn’t because I followed up the flip… bringing the pan to meet the egg… one of Alton’s best hints (which I forgot in the heat of the moment.)

Ah! So dang close! I almost flipped successfully…

Now while I was celebrating, what I didn’t think about was my eggs… which were cooking… slowly, but surely on the heat.  I’m not saying I burnt them — don’t get ahead of yourself and hey, give me more credit.  All I’m saying is that after I finished smiling and discussing my achievement, I remembered my eggs… and rapidly removed them to the plate.

So now… the one and only test: Are my eggs Eggs Over Easy?  James and I cut… and… nothing spilt forth.  (Depressed sigh)  Another failed attempt?  …Not quite.  We examined the eggs closer and the yolk was… what’s the word… “soft,” we’ll say.  In fact, I squeezed the egg and the yellow yolk squeezed out.

Alas, no “Over Easy”… but I didn’t fail completely…

In the end, as James put it, I made Eggs Over Medium… which isn’t that bad because I conquered my problems… and, let’s be honest, there were quite a few for a two simple eggs.  Not only that, but I ate — let me repeat — ate an egg served over medium.  The verdict?  It wasn’t that bad.  I don’t know if I’d order eggs over-anything… but James likes eggs cooked that way so, heck, I think I may sample them again.  PS-Again being the keyword… because while I plan to make these eggs in the future… but I am moving on in my cookbook.  As I rationalize — I didn’t fail… and I learned from all of my problems.  So, while this dish wasn’t 100% successful… it also wasn’t a 100% failure that needs to be redone.

With orange juice in hand, Alton, I cheers to you.  I’m astonished at how far I’ve come — in only weeks with your help.  I ate steak… and now this… an egg… not scrambled… but with a yoke still “soft.”  I don’t know how you bewitched, Alton, but ya did… I know our journey together is only getting started, and I cannot wait for more.

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