I’ve been thinking about comfort foods this past week after a family medical emergency. I guess most people think about casseroles or hearty winter soups as a source of nourishment in stressful times, but for me it’s eggs.
Eggs seem to lurk in strange places in my family’s north-eastern Italian cuisine: in Russian salads, alongside boiled meats and with radicchio (see earlier post on The Secret Radicchio Society). Sometimes I think the famous stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers’ film A Night at the Opera looked at this cuisine for inspiration when Groucho orders a meal from the steward – “two fried eggs; two poached eggs; two scrambled eggs; two medium boiled eggs. And “TWO HARD BOILED EGGS”. Cracks me up every time.
I’m in between hospital visits, and what do I scoff down in 30 seconds flat on the run? A coddled egg squashed between a slice of bread. Not sophisticated but filling.
It’s Easter Sunday today but I haven’t quite been able to make the hand coloured hard-boiled eggs I often produce for festive picnics. So it’s caramel-filled chocolate eggs for afternoon tea instead.
And in among the surrealism of the past week are memories of another film that always makes me smile: The Egg and I (1947) with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray as city slickers who buy a rundown old country farm. It’s a nice ‘fish out of water’ story (probably mackeral with egg mayonnaise in our case) and also a grammatical sticking point for those who like to argue that it should be ‘The Egg and Me’.
Psst- for those who like their trivia hokey, The Egg and I paved the way for the nine successful Ma and Pa Kettle films in the 1940s-50s.
Here’s the Marx Brothers’ Night at the Opera stateroom scene egg warmup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC8PAQQIoCM
Russian Salad (Insalata Russa) recipe courtesy of Italian Language Blog