Thursday, April 01, 2010

Journey/Destination; Process/Product

Yesterday, in an astounding outbreak of shakiness, I laid waste to half a dozen eggs, as well as two terracotta plant pots. I might not have felt quite so hangdog about this if I had been making scrambled eggs, say, or baking a cake. But I was making a meatloaf which required one little egg yolk.

As the family cook of over 25 years, my egg-cracking experience is substantial. Prodigious, even. And I regularly separate out the whites from the yolk by the crack and semi-sieve method. To wit: crack the egg in half, then pour the yolk back and forth, allowing the white to escape during transfer. On occasion, a yolk has been known to stray into the garbage mid-pour. A yolk. One.

But yesterday's fiasco was yolk after yolk, sliding out onto the floor, the garbage, the sink. At one point, there were four bright yellow and highly abstract splotches artfully displayed on my kitchen floor, like preschool finger painting projects. Yikes. I was determined, persevered, and ultimately was successful, but at the cost of 8 eggs in all.

Was the meatloaf worth eight eggs? I doubt it. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, apparently to little good effect, as said meatloaf does not quite measure up to the Holy Grail aka my mother-in-law's meatloaf. And, though I like a good meatloaf, I'm not sure any meatloaf is intended to be worth the expenditure of eight eggs.

For me, it is usually difficult to perform a cost/benefit analysis. It seems a bit like questioning the value of the journey. I am certain that my meatloaf was not yummy enough to actually be valued eight eggs worthy. But the exercise of cracking and slipping and failing and smiling and doubting and wondering and finishing? It was interesting. And I like interesting.

There is certainly always something interesting going on in the T-G household. Usually, something has veered from the norm. Sometimes mundanely so, other times in spectacular fashion. Does my preference for interesting translate into an explanation for why I seem to lead such a messy life?


Or am I simply messy by nature? Careless or shaky, failing or not quite adequate, moving without grace from muddle to mistake.


I'm writing this from church, where I sit beneath the bell balcony. The sanctuary is bathed in twilight colors, the windows quietly glorious. Usually I'm upstairs, ringing, but not so much right now. :-)

In an hour, my friends--the ringers--have made good progress, from muddle to adequate to music. But I enjoyed the journey of the hour--listening to them laugh, screw-up, go quiet, take apart, laugh some more--far more than the final musical destination. How convenient for me, since my life tends to be process and journey, rather than product and destination.

Maybe I'm not alone in that. :-)



Blogger Paul said...

better luck with the eggs next time.

i have to ask. is there another way to separate egg yolks (or whites) than the back-and-forth in the shell process?

i sometimes crack the egg unevenly, ending up with a 2/3 shell and an overly-shallow 1/3 shell making the back (or forth) transfer a bit dicey. especially if the egg is well endowed in the yolk department.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Paul Erickson said...

Blogging IN CHURCH! I have got to get in on this!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Liz T-G said...

Paul A: Surely you jest. In every facet of life, there are gadgets. I don't think there's an ap for egg separating, but there are definitely low-tech gadgets that do the same.

Paul E: :-)

10:02 AM  
Blogger Leeann Wille said...

I believe we actually own an egg separator (a gift at one time); but it is not nearly as interesting as the description in your blog entry.

10:22 PM  
Blogger kathrynB said...

It was the eggs' fault. (Truly, certain eggs have a different, uh, quality, in the egg whites.)

And BTW I have gadget for said procedure. I'm hooked.

2:27 AM  

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