Home Is Where My Story Begins - Part 2 - The Water Is Smiling and Dad's Poached Eggs

To read Home Is Where My Story Begins - Part 1 - click here

The first recipe is really just a memory.  The ten or so years following Captain Kangaroo are conspicuously void of recipes but there are a few clear memories of food.  My family was a traditional one; Dad went off to work each morning and came home every night to dinner at six o’clock in the evening.  Cooking was not part of his daily routine, but sometimes, on the weekend, he would make poached eggs.

Dad in 1965.

 A  teacher by nature, Dad never passed up an opportunity to teach us something, so I got the poached eggs lesson many times throughout my childhood.  "Fill the pan with just enough water to cover a cracked egg.  Turn on the heat to medium.  Wait for the water to 'smile'.  Crack in the eggs, wait for the water to smile again, then turn down the heat."

It was my job to watch the water and tell him when it was smiling. That meant when lots of little bubbles formed on the bottom of the pan and started rising.  But you couldn’t wait until big bubbles formed or then it was boiling.  It required careful watching and I took my job very seriously.  Every little girl longs to make her Daddy proud and I wanted high marks for my water-smiling skill.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”  - Plutarch


Dad's Poached Eggs

2 eggs, room temperature water salt pepper

Fill a nonstick pan with enough water to cover cracked eggs. Turn the heat to medium and watch carefully until the water is smiling.* Crack in the eggs. When water starts to smile again (about a minute), turn heat down to low. Without touching or moving eggs, simmer 3-6 minutes (3 minutes is runny, 6 is softly cooked through). Remove eggs carefully with a slotted spoon, letting the water drain off before placing on plate or on toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*Smiling is when lots of little bubbles have formed on the bottom of the pan and started rising to the top.  Don’t wait until large bubbles form or that is boiling.  In a 10” omelet pan, this takes about 3-5 minutes.


To read Home Is Where My Story Begins - Part 3 - click here