The egg is the perfect physical embodiment of the concept of transformation in one, neat package of potential. Back in my farm days I never tired of tending an incubator full of eggs, monitoring temperature and humidity, tracking every time I turned the eggs (2-4 times per day) on a spreadsheet, counting down the days until the hatch began. The eggs didn’t change in appearance, but inside, miracles were occurring.
After 3-4 weeks (exactly how long depends on what kind of poultry I was hatching), the eggs began to twitch and vibrate as the inhabitants started plotting their escapes. Soon, muffled peeping began to emanate from the incubator. Using a knobby bit on the tops of their beaks (called an egg tooth), the hatchlings hammered upward, piercing the shells and not stopping until tiny cracks and holes formed a ring around the fatter end of the shell. The following two videos show the final step in this process when the little one would crack off the lid of the egg and splurt out (these are turkey poults).
During the days of rapid growth and change during incubation, the yolk provided all the energy needed to transform the fertilized egg into a fully formed creature capable of escaping from a claustrophobic prison. After a short rest during which they dried off and fluffed up, they were ready to eat, drink, and run about with surprising enthusiasm.
It’s hardly surprising that eggs, being of a particularly satisfying shape and containing, as they do, the cosmically mysterious beginnings of life have made many appearances in art.
They are also a familiar sight in most kitchens. Every morning I make gluten free muffin-esque bun thingies, each of which contains an egg. They are substantial enough that having one with cheese or nut butter sustains me through a morning of writing. Here’s the recipe:
Nikki’s Gluten Free Breakfast Bun Thingies
1 T olive oil
1/2 mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 T ground flax seed
1 T almond flour
1/2 T coconut flour
1 T shredded coconut (optional)
1 T finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Mix together the egg, oil and banana. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spray a 2 c-size ramekin with olive oil-based cooking spray (I’ve also used olive oil to grease the ramekin, but don’t find that works quite as well).
Pour the mix into the ramekin and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
You can either eat these hot and soft or cut in half (or thirds, if yours rises a lot – this varies a bit) and toast before serving with your choice of butter, cheese, nut butter, honey, or jam.
What’s your favourite way to prepare eggs? I like them pretty much any way they can be served except, weirdly enough, Eggs Benedict. Keep that in mind should you ever have me over for brunch…