Every Sunday morning I fix two over-easy eggs and a piece of toast for my father. When I set the plate down in front of him, his eyes light up. “Oh! Eggs!” he exclaims, clearly delighted.
For the longest time, he had been eating his cereals on a rotation. I had to remember which he had eaten the day before and correctly serve something different. Frosted Mini Wheats. Honey Bunches of Oats. Real Medleys.
For a much longer time before that, my mother had prepared breakfasts based on a schedule. Eggs were served twice a week. Hot cereal once or twice a week. Waffles were Sunday fare. My sister knew the schedule. Honestly, I hadn’t recognized the consistency of it until she wrote it down.
But there it was — this routine that was all but carved in stone.
Until it wasn’t.
Because my mother was slipping.
It devolved into an orderly cereal rotation, something he could handle on his own.
When I introduced Sunday eggs as a way of making the Sabbath special, for him it became a weekly delight.
His delight is my delight.
Then there was the time when age-10-me called from 4-H camp to ask about bringing home some chickens. My father thought I said “a chicken” so he agreed.
I brought home nineteen cute little Polish chicks. Thirteen of them turned out to be roosters, most of which mysteriously disappeared one day when my parents sent me to the movies. We also has some delicious chicken soups after that.
That was the beginning of my father’s stint as a chicken farmer. He shopped Murray McMurray for unusual chickens, ordering more than once an assortment they called “the rarest of the rare.”
He really wanted some Araucanas – the chickens that lay green eggs. I think he eventually got some but they weren’t the greatest layers.
But to answer the age-old question — for my father, the egg clearly comes first.