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Eggs that taste like something

“I’ll have eggs this morning, mommy,” Thalia said.

To most moms, scrambled eggs would be a welcome break from, say, more a more work-intensive blueberry pancakes request, especially on a weekday. But, no. The thought of making eggs strikes terror in my heart knowing that one room over, snoring gently, is the culinary school-pedigreed fella who uses one of my past attempts at scrambled eggs as comedy fodder.

Evidently they weren’t seasoned. The pan wasn’t hot enough. The oil wasn’t copious enough. And okay, so the smell was pretty awful. What can I say, I generally don’t eat scrambled eggs myself. And indeed, I’ve let my cooking skills atrophy so long as there’s been someone around to do it for me.  Kind of the same way Nate has unlearned the skill that enables one to put worn boxers in the hamper and not on the hamper?

(‘Nother story.)

But this morning I was determined to do right by my daughter. I preheated the pan. I chose a good oil. I beat the eggs first. I seasoned them only with a little salt and pepper and NO HERBS as requested. I didn’t overcook them. And the smell…nonexistent. I was so proud of myself.

“So?” I asked Thalia eagerly. “How are your eggs?”

“They taste like…nothing,” she said flatly.

“What? No! They’re delicious! They taste like eggs! Yum yum yum! With just salt and pepper, as you said!”

“They taste like nothing.”

She woke her daddy up a few moments later.

“Mommy made me eggs. They taste like nothing.”

Behold! The early morning smirk of condescension! My favorite of all the early morning smirks.

“FINE,” I said defensively. “If you want me to make eggs a certain way Nate, you’re going to have to show me exactly what you do because I swear I did exactly what you told me.”

I repeated my recipe to him and he smiled.

“That’s not what I do,” he said.

And then he explained his Eggs That Taste Like Something recipe:

Olive oil. Sesame oil. Seasoned salt. Cracked pepper. Herbs (despite the prostests).

Duck fat.

Duck fat!

I give up.

Thalia was cuddling up to me as I was about to publish this post. “I’m writing about the time I made eggs that taste like nothing and daddy made you eggs that taste like something,” I explained.

“Both of those things are true,” she said.

{ 63 comments… add one }

  • Marinka 2.04.2010, 1:29 pm

    It's as though God came down from the Heavens and said to you loudly, “Liz, stayeths thou out of the kitchenth.” God, or Shakespeare. In either event, from now on Nate does all the cooking. I'll need lunch at noon. thanks.

  • justmakingourway 2.04.2010, 1:32 pm

    I know exactly where you are coming from. My chef husband always makes things better – even things that you would think would be simple. And that is why I, like you, tend to stay away!

  • the new girl 2.04.2010, 1:34 pm

    Duck Fat:
    It's what's for breakfast.

    Who knew?

    (need to proofread after/up caffeine intake before commenting, obv.)

  • toyfoto 2.04.2010, 1:40 pm

    Well … if it helps any, which it probably won't … I'd rather eat eggs that taste like nothing. And I've heard that a suspicious number of chefs, when not working, prefer Big Mac to Kobe beef.

  • The Yummy Mummy 2.04.2010, 1:46 pm

    Liz, duck fat makes EVERYTHING better. It's not even a fair fight that he was using the fat. You were doomed before you started. Seriously, you couldn't have competed with that.

    You'll have to just suck it up…lard is the new butter.

    Kim

  • BOSSY 2.04.2010, 1:47 pm

    Both of those things are true. Sweet sigh.

  • alice 2.04.2010, 1:50 pm

    Oh, man. Duck fat!

    Nate: please come here and make me eggs. Right now. Mine taste like nothing. This is true.

  • Heathen Family 2.04.2010, 1:53 pm

    Does Duck Fat come in neatly wrapped sticks?

  • madge 2.04.2010, 2:12 pm

    We have a restaurant in Portland called Duckfat. Everything that can be is cooked/fried in duck fat. And, let me tell you, those fries (with a side of duck gravy…) would break the iron-clad dietary will of Victoria Beckham.

  • Mom101 2.04.2010, 2:19 pm

    No Kelly, it comes from an entire day of someone rendering duck parts down over the stovetop and stinking up the apartment.

  • randomblogette 2.04.2010, 2:26 pm

    Wow! I just put a little Mrs. Dash in my eggs and I thought they were fancy!

  • Mama Cas 2.04.2010, 2:36 pm

    Duck fat?! Seriously?! Oh he SOOO wouldn't survive at my house. My eggs consist of 2 eggs, a splash of milk, salt, pepper, a hot non-stick pan, some Pam spray, and a slice of american cheese. Luckily, my kids think they're fantastic!

  • Anne 2.04.2010, 2:50 pm

    DUCK FAT?

    Can I move into your house and let him cook for me, too?

  • T with Honey 2.04.2010, 2:58 pm

    Want to one up him? Use bacon fat. Although that could just be my personal preference.

  • C (Kid Things) 2.04.2010, 3:08 pm

    If someone put duck fat in my eggs, I may have to hurt that person.

  • Susan 2.04.2010, 3:08 pm

    Does he use special free-range organic non-grocery-store eggs, too? Those are tasty eggs.

  • christina 2.04.2010, 3:13 pm

    Duck fat just sounds disgusting to me! Order yourself a jar of “skillet bacon jam” I think it's made in Seattle. http://www.skilletstreetfood.com/baconjam.htm

    It's pretty disgusting to me too, but all of the meat lovers around here think it's a gift from heaven. (And I like my eggs with a little butter and s/p, so you could cook for me anytime.

  • Mom101 2.04.2010, 3:17 pm

    To those who think duck fat sounds gross…

    if you've ever been in a French bistro and eaten the best fries of your life?

    Duck fat.

  • Average Jane 2.04.2010, 3:30 pm

    I cook mine in butter instead of oil, and that's enough flavor for me. A little ground pepper on top and voila!

  • Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com 2.04.2010, 3:45 pm

    You can't be expected to compete with duck fat. Honestly.

  • Evan 2.04.2010, 4:35 pm

    I remember the last time that I tried to make cheese omlette for my wife…

  • Kami 2.04.2010, 4:46 pm

    My husband is the chef in my house too. And he makes of of ALL my meager attempts to cook. So I have become a master dethawer, microwaver, and toaster oven user. Thank God for Dr. Praeger's spinach pancakes. My children would go hungry otherwise…

  • elaineLovesCardinalCardz 2.04.2010, 5:05 pm

    I soooo feel for you. My husband is not even a chef, just been home out of work for the past year and a half. So now Daddy does everything better than Mommy. Plus, now he has taken over so much to help, it's enabled me to become and idiot in the kitchen. I wrote about trying to make cookies for our kids on Saturday. This should make you feel much better, I called it “Mommy's broken promise” Hope it makes you laugh. Elaine
    just scoll past my feb. 3rd post and it's right under- it's my jan 31st post- I should have gone to the bakery! uggh!
    http://www.cardinalcardz.com/blog/

  • Issas Crazy World 2.04.2010, 5:53 pm

    Duck fat? How in the world could you be expected to know that. Yikes. I feel your pain though. My husband was the cook in our house. He was raised by a chef, which is almost as good as being one. Now? He's been living elsewhere a month and I've yet to make more than french toast or grilled cheese for dinner.

    Personally I think you should just tell her to wake up daddy next time she wants anything more than cereal.

  • kateypie35 2.04.2010, 5:56 pm

    You can actually purchase duck fat in a tub at a good gourmet store. Mmmm.

    You should buy a secret stash and start beating him at his own game.

  • Magpie 2.04.2010, 6:26 pm

    Two kinds of oil AND duck fat? Wow. When's lunch?

  • Staci 2.04.2010, 6:35 pm

    Duck fat makes EVERYTHING taste good – you're a lucky girl to live with a cook who knows that!

  • Magpie 2.04.2010, 6:37 pm

    PS – I sent this post to my husband who replied “I'd use goose fat instead of duck. Yum.”

  • Dyar Baby Momma 2.04.2010, 6:58 pm

    Duck fat? Wow. I thought my eggs were special when I put a touch of grill seasoning instead of just a little bit of salt/pepper…

    I think he has to be woken up to cook eggs from now on.

  • beyond 2.04.2010, 7:08 pm

    Hmmm. I thought Nate was going to say he uses bacon. I must look into this duck fat that makes everything taste better; it certainly sounds good to me.

  • RuthWells 2.04.2010, 8:50 pm

    Bwah! “Both of those things are true.”

    Priceless.

  • Busymomsteph 2.04.2010, 9:00 pm

    Ahh if I only had a chef in my house I would eat eggs with duck fat. I would be so nice to not be the one behind the stove. Enjoy it and remember when eggs are on the menu, you're off the hook!

  • Amber 2.04.2010, 10:17 pm

    Duck fat? I don't think I would ever make scrambled eggs again. Where does one even FIND duck fat? This is Nate's calling, don't deprive him of it.

  • Motherhood Uncensored 2.04.2010, 11:44 pm

    I love that you actually have duck fat in your house.

    We just have ass fat around here. And that does NOT generally taste great with eggs.

  • Mom101 2.05.2010, 12:16 am

    Motherhood Uncensored, we also have ass fat around here. A direct result of the scrambled eggs in duck fat, no doubt.

  • Amy Jo 2.05.2010, 12:57 am

    Me and the hubby were cracking up at this one. After discovering ther joys of duck fat, I have to say that Thalia probably has a point. Good luck, Liz!

  • sugaredharpy 2.05.2010, 2:11 am

    I say, use butter. No oil. I always think eggs cooked with oil taste like nothing. Butter is yum.

    And man, you got a raw deal having a chef partner.

  • Lady Mama 2.05.2010, 2:37 am

    Sesame oil, duck fat and herbs? Seriously? No wonder those eggs tasted like “something” – they were seasoned to within an inch of their lives! Sounds tasty though.

  • Nil Zed 2.05.2010, 6:48 am

    I am a chef, and I must say, now that I'm a mom at home, I'm having to relearn everything! I used to be a good home cook, but can't seem to get into the swing of day in and day out family cooking. Nor do I have the time, or the money to cook restaurant style stuff. Except for eggs, I have time for them. I just don't like them.

    My toddler is happy to live on p-butter toast, occaisionally breaking out and having crmcheesebagel. He recently accepted a few spoonfuls of cereal from his dad, we were overjoyed! also, marmowade toast stolen from daddy's plate is acceptable.

    Both duck and goose fat are available in regular grocery stores in Britain. As are ready to roll puff pastry and fondant (you know, the flat frosting sheets for cakes). I miss these things.

  • Stacia 2.05.2010, 7:01 am

    Egg-scrambler-extraordinaire, yes, but he still doesn't put his boxers in the hamper. Both of these things are true, too. And you win!

  • Evan 2.05.2010, 3:18 pm

    What's wierd about duck fat is that simple fact that ducks aren't fat. lol.

  • Lisse 2.05.2010, 9:03 pm

    Oh sure. We all have duck fat in the back of our fridge.

    I have my kids wake my husband up if they want pancakes or waffles.

  • countryfriedmama 2.06.2010, 12:17 am

    I always forget the damn duck fat.

    Wonder if that would improve my blueberry pancake recipe?

  • nate 2.06.2010, 12:46 am

    Well… a couple of things…

    First of all, duck fat is delicious, that's true, it's also as good for you as olive oil… so there's that.

    Second, it's a lot harder to make bad eggs than it is to make even just okay ones, so let's give Liz credit for doing it not once, but twice… I'm very proud of you honey. It's really hard to make something that horrible…

    And finally, for the record. I never knew how to put my boxers in a closed hamper. I always have, and continue to, chuck them like a basketball from across the room (I'm a pretty good shot) and the stupid “fancy” lid keeps them from going in, how is that my fault?

    And for anyone who needs further proof of how awesome our kids are, as I'm writing this, they are both singing a song from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! I'll take that over all the duck fat in the world…

    obviously that's not true, and for those who are wondering, I have about a gallon and a half of it in my freezer… just enough to get me through the rest of my (albeit shortened) life…

  • J at www.jellyjules.com 2.06.2010, 3:52 am

    1. 45 comments? You rock star.
    2. Duck fat? Give up now. Make oatmeal, and tell her she has to wait for Daddy if she wants eggs.

  • Uh huh. Duck fat. Right. Once a week my former-resto-cook of a husband makes dinner and it is delicious but there is no dishwasher following him around the kitchen sweeping and cleaning and there is very little regard paid to nutritional requirements and if I cooked with, say, duck fat or gorgonzola or escargot on a regular basis there would be no money left for tomorrow's cereal.
    Still, the kids like it. Sigh.

  • Mom101 2.06.2010, 11:40 am

    Oh, THANK YOU Rebecca.

    For you understand. Truly you do.

  • Twin Mommy 2.06.2010, 5:27 pm

    Try ketchup! My kids will eat anything with ketchup on it. In fact, they will eat the ketchup by itself – gross!

  • The Lady's Lounge 2.06.2010, 5:36 pm

    Critics at my house, who are 5 years old or over, get cooking lessons.

    Sounds like it's almost time to teach Thalia how to make her own eggs… pass her the duck fat.

    http://www.theladyslounge.com

  • Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels 2.06.2010, 9:49 pm

    olive oil, sesame oil and duck fat? That's just surreal. But now I kind of want to come over to your house for breakfast.

  • Sarah 2.07.2010, 5:27 am

    Daddy in our house makes 2 meals a week. Sat and Sun breakfast (since those are generally the only days he is in town) and pancakes for both.

    And it's the only damn thing my kids ask for.

    And I suck at making them. I burn them every time.

    I gave it a whirl on a bland Tues night, even tried to make the letter of the first names with the batter. The J looked like a shy U and the D like a lopsided O.

    Pancakes are now only for weekend breakfast.

  • Evan 2.08.2010, 3:21 pm

    There was this one weird occasion where I tried ice cream and ketchup- now I remembered why I tried to forget the whole incident.

  • Adventures In Babywearing 2.08.2010, 7:13 pm

    I am sure I would love your eggs. Duck Fat? No thank you. (Also, I actually typed Dick Fat and ohmygod so glad I caught that typo.)

    Steph

  • Elaine A. 2.08.2010, 9:44 pm

    Yeah, you TOTALLY lost me at “duck fat.” Kinda rather have my eggs taste like nothing, thankyouverymuch!

  • Meagan Francis 2.09.2010, 3:07 am

    HA! This is hilarious! Well, my kids like eggs precisely BECAUSE they taste like nothing. They think Daddy's eggs are entirely too flavorful! (not that he uses DUCK FAT, though…)

  • D's mama 2.09.2010, 3:52 am

    you could always sprinkle them with mini m&m's. it's been my little mans breakfast for over a week (at least he's getting his protein) thou maybe I need to try duck fat…

  • ChickenFreak 2.09.2010, 8:34 am

    Oh. My. Duck fat?

    I make grilled cheese with sesame oil and chives, along with an excess of butter. (I know that nobody asked about grilled cheese, but the sesame oil reminded me.)

    I must now add duck fat. Immediately.

    Where's a duck?

  • red pen mama 2.09.2010, 3:11 pm

    Wow. We would never use duck fat in my house (we are vegetarian) but somehow Daddy's eggs are excellent and mine fall flat. Which is ironic, because I do almost all of the cooking; he does brunch (pancakes, eggs, etc.) on Sunday mornings.

    I love Sunday mornings.

  • Angela 2.09.2010, 3:26 pm

    Go with it my dear! My husband is a great cook, and so I have learned to capitalize on this and insist that I can't cook edible food (except when under extreme duress, and then I refer to it as “mom food”) so of course he must cook for me!

    I'm hoping to keep this going for the next 50 odd years or so. shhhh

  • tattooedmomof3 2.10.2010, 2:41 am

    My husband is the culinary expert in our house as well, having graduated from culinary school. Everything he cooks turns out amazing and my stuff is just mediocre. We share the cooking responsibilites and I have learned to make a lot of his recipes, but I still suck at making scrambled eggs and he has to make them. However, he sucks at pancakes and mine are awesome, at least I still have that!!

  • Scat 2.10.2010, 2:42 am

    Hmmm…so exactly where is the duck fat store?

  • NikiN 2.16.2010, 6:53 am

    Wait…what? Wow, you have high standards for scrambled eggs in your house. Must come from having a trained chef as daddy.

    My family adores (and scarfs down) my scrambled eggs (“cheesy eggs”). All I do is a)throw some butter in the pan, b) get a good heat (too high and the protein will denature, too low and it just doesn't cook right, c) mix the eggs with a fork, d) add a small dash of pepper and salt, and e) grate a boatload of cheddar cheese onto the eggs just as they're finishing. The cheese adds all the extra flavor and fat you could ever need. That is, if you don't have duckfat hanging around.

  • Ryan Shaughnessy 2.17.2013, 8:27 pm

    Just rendered a batch of duck fat after cooking duck on rotisserie… it is amazing… and yes… eggs, potatoes and even pancakes taste better.

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