How To… Scramble Eggs

It was a plain wooden table, rectangular, and filled most of the kitchen. She sat at its head, owning it with her large, meaty body. Her bulbous knees were spread apart, butting into the table’s legs, her own legs anchored by thick ankles that ended in feet solidly packed into white canvas sneakers. It would’ve been a humorous sight but for the fact that we were starving and this she-troll was ruler of the pantry, fridge, and stovetop. She yawned, stretching ham-like arms that strained against the fabric of her sleeves, and asked if we would like breakfast. It didn’t sound inviting, so my mother and I, terrified and slightly embarrassed at trespassing on this woman’s turf and morning, mumbled that we could manage on our own. Her mood changed suddenly to solicitousness (seasoned with sass) and she ordered us to sit as she’d just made a whole pot of scrambled eggs. Meek as mice we took our place at her table and waited. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her dishing out a pile of dried out yellow curds onto our plates. We swallowed hard and knew we had to comply.

Unless you find yourself forced to play the role of grateful guest (or compliant hostage), never, never, never eat a reheated egg of any sort, especially scrambled. Scrambled eggs are meant to be a moist, creamy cloud of small curds, not hard, dried out, crusty lumps of sponge.

Serves 1

2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Salt and pepper
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

– Crack eggs into medium bowl. (Note: to avoid shells falling into your eggs, tap the eggs on a flat surface rather than the edge of your bowl or sink. If a bit of shell does make it into the bowl, scoop it out with the edge of an egg shell – it’s more efficient than chasing it about with your fingers or a spoon). Season with salt and pepper and add milk. Whisk until the mixture is frothy and pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes.

– Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, pour in the eggs and start stirring in small concentric circles all around the pan with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon, making sure to scrape up and incorporate eggs on the bottom and sides of pan.

– Small curds will start to develop; keep stirring. Once most of the egg mixture is set, drop in the remaining ½ tablespoon butter and turn off heat. Keep stirring to incorporate the butter and serve. Eat immediately.