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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Cooking Life: An Unquiet Egg


If you ever wondered about the goings on of a couple of eggs in the patisserie department of a large hotel kitchen? Here's a short little parody I did on on another book called An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. 

AN UNQUIET EGG: A MEMOIR OF MOUSSE, MERINGUE, AND MAYO

It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon and when you're feeling firm yet somewhat fried, even the kitchen of the once great Savoy Hotel in London has a certain appeal.
        The patisserie, normally a cool unclotted collection of chocolate, coconut, and custards of all sorts became for me, that hot summer afternoon, a focus for my fortutitiously whipped and puffy inner being.
        With my yolk yellowing, and my white billowing I was fast and furiously on the run. Darting back and forth between the beaters of the huge Hobart, I was but a manic mess of mixed up eggergy slowly turning into nothing short of meringue.
        The grade A jumbo friend I was with, a colleague from cooking school, knew me and the difference between my upswings with POACHED EGGS, WHITE TRUFFLES AND HOLLANDAISE  and my low ebb of simple DEVILED EGGS WITH PICKLE RELISH AND PAPRIKA.
        He had reached the limit of his own madcap moussings and was now at ovenrest on a parchment lined pan dusted with a crystal kaleidescope of sugar. Farewell fellow food.
        To a more mellifluous mind this was not surprising, the usual distinction between poachings and puddings had long since dissappeared and separated the two of us.  We should have been oeufs not omelettes, souffles not soft-boiled, bernaise not blinis; spinning into high falutin' desserts no one could walk away from or tempered into rich cream sauces that would leave the wildest of mushrooms in a state of unrest.

Rich Creme Caramel

        Suddenly the pastry chef pulled out the largest angel food cake pan I'd ever seen.  Even in my less than controlled state I could see her hand was on the wire wisk ready to incorporate me into a huge bowl of sifted flour, bittersweet cocoa, and orange shavings, when suddenly she shouted out, "Don't you let me down, not when I have a hundred more cakes to make!" A not unreasonable request. Another seemingly average egg white, who was obviously more together than I, spoke up and managed to explain in simple cooking terms.  "Please Mademoiselle, we're both in need of a pinch of salt and a little cream of tartar."
        Being a really good egg explained almost everything.

Pizza Royale with Ham, Egg, and Creme Sauce

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