Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Childhood Foods

I was thinking of stuff I ate as a kid that I haven't eaten in decades, things like bologna, frank and beans casserole, and hole in the bread fried egg sandwiches. Bologna seems obvious to forego, as it is definitely on the lower rungs of the cold cut ladder. Even as a kid, I used to fry slices to eat it, and not to be a snob, but once you eat the good stuff (prosciutto, soppresatta, etc) why would you eat bologna? Franks and beans I'd probably still eat, but for whatever reason, just never make for myself. The fried egg sandwich I've thought a lot about. Seems every mom served their family some variation of this, which was basically a slice of bread with a hole cut in the center and an egg fried in it. I loved these as a kid, and never attempted to make one on my own. I keep thinking there must've been more to the recipe, but when I ask my mom, she tells me no, it was just bread with an egg. Yet everyone I've asked seemed to have been served this as a child. Don't know if there is an official name for this dish, you never see it offered in diners and such, but there must be some source for its origin. It's just one of those childhood mysteries.
I confess that one cold cut I miss is the chicken roll. It didn't look like chicken, it didn't really taste like chicken, and I fear to think how it was actually made, but I was quite fond of it. It no longer exists, because the company that made it (Weaver) is gone, and I guess nobody else picked up the slack.
Although I was raised on homemade breads and cakes, I would eat junk, and I remember being fond of Twinkies that had been frozen. I stopped eating Twinkies when I heard the filling was essentially lard, and I've never gone back. Don't really know if this is true, but I'm sure whatever the filling is, it's not of this earth.


whaleshaman said...

my mom called the egg in a bread hole: gas house eggs

go here to find out more about this great...gosh, it can hardly be called a recipe, more a construction.

check this out for breakfast!

Gorilla Bob said...

Thanks for the link about the eggs, I"ve wondered for years about that dish. It's inspiring me to want to make it for myself again.

Anonymous said...

I believe they are known as "birds in the nest," playing on the notion that an egg is a bird and it is nested in a piece of bread. Duh. I make them by gently browning one side of the (holed) bread in an outlandish quantity of sweet butter in a nonstick pan over slightly below medium heat, then flipping it over and dropping the egg (pre-broken into a bowl, because you don't want the yolk ruptured) into the center. Any white that spills over the sides of the bread into the pan I remove because I read somewhere it's carcinogenic (probably bull) but it definitely turns rubbery. The art is in knowing when to flip and in doing so gently. I think birds in the nest work better sunny side down, the white cooked and the top of the yolk solidified. If the yolk breaks, it's not that big a deal as long as you can keep it from cooking much... the point is to have a lot of little yolk soaking into the bread. Needless to say, this is a dish that uses very little in the way of ingredients, so the better your pan, butter, egg, and bread, the better it will taste. My young daughters aren't into pepper, but I am generous with it. I also sprinkle on a tiny bit of coarse sea salt--the very faint crunch adding a nice bit of texture.