The baker's egg mentioned in my first chapter is in granules about the size of coarse sand. It is prepared for use by first soaking about two hours in cold or one hour in lukewarm water. Hot water must not be used. Solution can be quickened by occasional stirring. The proportion is one tablespoonful of egg to two of water, which is about the equivalent of one fresh egg. Use just like fresh eggs in baking, etc., and for scrambled eggs or omelets. Of course, the desiccated powder cannot be fried, boiled, or poached.
Have the frying-pan scrupulously clean. Put in it just enough butter, dripping, or other fat, to prevent the eggs sticking. Break eggs separately in a cup, and drop them, one at a time, into the pan when it is hot. The fire should be moderate. As the eggs fry, raise their edges and ladle a little of the grease over the yolk. In two or three minutes they will be done. Eggs fried longer than this, or on both sides, are leathery and unwholesome.
Put into a well-greased pan as many eggs as it will hold separately, each yolk being whole. When the whites have begun to set, stir from bottom of pan until done (buttery, not leathery). Add a piece of butter, pepper, and salt. Another way is to beat the eggs with a spoon. To eight eggs add one-third teaspoonful salt. Heat two tablespoonfuls butter in the frying-pan. Stir in the eggs, and continue stirring until eggs set. Before they toughen, turn them out promptly into a warm dish.
It is better to make two or three small omelets than to attempt one large one. £ crape the pan and wipe it dry after each omelet is made. Use little salt: it keeps the eggs from rising. Heat the fat in the pan very gradually, but get it hot almost to the browning point.
Beat four eggs just enough to break them well. Add one-half teaspoonful of salt. Put two heaped teaspoonfuls of butter in the pan and heat as above. Pour egg into pan, and tilt the pan forward so that the egg flows to the far side. As soon as the egg begins to set, draw it up to the raised side of the pan with a knife. Beginning then at the left hand, turn the egg over in small folds until the lower part of the pan is reached, and the omelet has been rolled into a complete fold. Let the omelet rest a few seconds, and then turn out into a hot dish. Work rapidly throughout, so that the omelet is creamy instead of tough. It should be of a rich yellow color.
Cut raw ham into dice. Fry. Turn the beaten eggs over it and cook as above. Bacon can be used instead of ham.
Take tender meat, game, fish, or vegetable, hash it fine, heat it in white sauce (see page 87), and spread this over the omelet before you begin to fold it; or they can be put in with the eggs. Jam, jelly, or preserved fruit may be used in a similar way.
Beat three eggs, add a very small pinch of salt, a teaspoonful of powdered sugar, a slice of butter, and a tablespoonful of rum. Fry as described above. Lay the omelet on a hot dish, pour around it one-half tumblerful of rum that has been warmed in a pan, light it, and serve with its blue flame rising round it.
Put a pint of water in the frying pan, with one-half teaspoonful of salt. If you have vinegar, add two teaspoonfuls to the water: it keeps the whites from running too much. Bring the water to a gentle boil. Break the eggs separately into a saucer and slide them into the water. Let the water simmer not longer than three minutes, meantime ladling spoonfuls of it over the yolks. Have toast already buttered on a very hot plate. Lay eggs carefully on it. Eat at once. This may be varied by moistening the toast with hot milk.
Eggs are boiled soft in two and one-half to three minutes, depending upon size and freshness. If wanted hard boiled, put them in cold water, bring to a boil, and keep it up for twenty minutes. The yolk will then- be mealy and wholesome. Eggs boiled between these extremes are either clammy or tough, and indigestible.