My quest for the perfect eggs started in sixth grade. I had compared my mom’s and my grandma’s scrambled eggs and the scrambled eggs of my childhood friends parents, and there was something definitely different about my grandma’s. They weren’t spongy. They were fluffy. They didn’t lack flavor. They were yellow clouds of morning bliss. I wanted to make those eggs.
My grandma was a Yugoslavian-born housewife, who would wake up before the sun and go about the business of daily chores and cooking before my grandpa ever drifted out of REM sleep. When I spent the night, which was often given my propensity for good breakfast food and a desire to escape the oldest-child syndrome at home, I would beg for her to wake me up early so I could sit in the kitchen as she tucked roasts into the oven for supper and started breakfast. There was nothing I enjoyed more than a cup of coffee before daybreak in the kitchen with “Mama,” watching her cook. For those of you that are curious, I was two years old when I had my first cup of coffee.
It turns out that the perfect scrambled eggs start with your everyday scrambled egg ingredients: eggs, salt, milk, maybe some pepper if you’re adventurous. It’s the cooking method that makes them perfect. I realize that some people may believe perfect scrambled eggs are made with water. I disagree, but you are welcome to come make these eggs for me so I can taste for myself.
Then there’s this whole business of ratios. The ratio of eggs to milk to salt. Trust me, too much salt does not make for a perfect scrambled egg.
When it’s all uniformly yellow you’re ready to go, unless the pan isn’t. Then you have to wait for the pan.
I spray the pan first while it’s heating up. Why? I’ve found it helps prevent massive stickage in my stainless pans. I didn’t do this when I had nonstick. Then I’d just stick the butter in there. When the butter is bubbly and crackling your pan is hot enough.
After pouring the eggs in, scrape the bottom of the pan with your favorite spatula every 45 seconds to a minute until the eggs start to clump together. When they stick to the spatula, just continue scraping. They should fall off.
THIS is the important part. When they get to this stage, flip them once completely over to the other side.
Now they will look like this. Turn off the heat, move the pan to the back burner and walk away. Go set the table, call your kids in, take bacon out of the oven, whatever. Don’t touch the eggs.
When you’ve got everything ready with the table, kids and the other food, then come back to your perfectly cooked eggs.
My scrambled eggs usually end up at dinner now and not in the early morning, but they taste just like my grandma’s scrambled eggs did, eaten with Grandpa at the breakfast nook in the kitchen, my grandma bustling around making beds, scolding me for leaving my clothes in a pile on the floor. I still have a bad habit of leaving a pile of clothes on the floor, but I’m the one reminding myself (and the other five members of my family) to pick them up now.