Wednesday, April 04, 2007

an unfinished egg description from last week

With ten days to go until Easter, I pop open the luxurious carton of Jumbo White Eggs. Have I ever seen eggs so large? It’s been awhile. I snip open the new egg-blower from the school store and quickly pierce four tiny holes in the large ends of four eggs. With only fifteen minutes until Scott and Brendan leave for school, I’m forgetting the learning curve with new technology. The squeeze bulb is not gentle enough—the egg bursts and the shell is as valuable as any other broken eggshell. Into the compost pile, and I purposely crack two other eggs into the bowl with the other raw egg, with a dollop of milk. The butter is already sizzling in the pan.

When the school boys are out the door, Madeleine joins me examining the new egg blower and I pull out the box with the very-tired-old egg blower. She is home with a slight fever for another day, but she loves German and she giggles as I give a dramatic reading from the back of the box. “Sprecht und hygenisch!” reads the label. Bohren, Pumpen, und some multi-syllabic word for rinse that is just too cruel to print. The “old” Blas-Fix blower is yellow plastic, with a long hypodermic needle on the end. It has a tiny “bellows” that fills with air, and blows slowly and evenly into the tiny opening in the egg. The eggwhite streams fairly easily out of the egg, but the yolk is tricky. After a few pumps, I look closely at the opening to find out why the egg doesn’t flow more easily, and just as I turn the end in my direction a stream of egg yolk releases in a spray across my pajamas and onto the floor. Oh yeah, I forgot that sometimes happens!

After pumping out the egg contents, the old German egg-blower fills with water to rinse the inside of the egg, and this is when the bellows leaks streams of water in four directions. That’s why we replaced it. Unfortunately, the new egg-blower is not nearly as controllable or effective. But it looks indestructible, as it blows a side off of one, two, three eggs in a row. (They are fun, though, and we will find other uses for these unconventionally-broken eggs. One is shaped like a baby bassinet, another like two boats, a third has a flap, like a submarine hatch that opens and shuts.)

Three eggs for scrambled boy breakfast. Three broken, and six whole eggshells, blown and rinsed. One dozen jumbo white eggs.

My children love Ukrainian egg-dying and we will get started tonight, dying one egg after dinner each night in a series of colors until the whole range is visible on the egg. It calms them and focuses their energy before bed, and it’s good for me, as well. Hopefully they will blow their own eggs free from the scrambled innards, soon, but it’s best if I get a good headstart.

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