Meet me at the Rockpile Eggs on Toast
Sometimes you gotta just wreck you eggs. Sometimes, you gotta take a gentle touch to them. Without further ado, you know how much I loathe ado’s, here we go.
1991. I had just gotten out of Navy bootcamp. I was close to a titan on earth – invincible, manly. I threw mountains at mortals. I ate hydras for breakfast, each head as they grew back until I was sated. King of the world.
And just so wrong.
I talked to a lot girls. Sailors had a reputation with the ladies. I certainly didn’t know that was something that I needed grow into. Well, there I was in Chatham, IL. I don’t remember the girls name. I do remember that I didn’t really speak to her ever. I’m not sure how the word came around that I had, but it was out. And I was in trouble for it.
Think of the best teenage angst fight cliché you can think of. I lived it. I woke up one fine Illinois morning to find an anonymous note on my 19 year old sailor 1966 Mustang (more chrome than the Sun knew what to do with, more V8 horsepower than I should have been allowed to control).
The note, “Meet me at the rock pile at Noon.” Elegantly simple, implied violence, an unknown sailorly adventure. Women, fights, booze, tattoos. There was a time when that was all ok for a sailor. Seriously, it was even Ms. Manners approved. (see NYT article, June 15, 1953 (totally made up)). The rock pile was near the railroad tracks not far from my house. We all knew where it was. It was a place of teenage drinking and secret kisses. That day, it was meant for pummeling. High noon – Gary Cooper I was not and will never be.
I show up, sinewy from 1000 boot camp grinder push-ups and forced marches. I was 140 pounds of hubris. There was Sean Lyles with some teenage dream blonde girl. It possible that I had talked to her. She made no impression upon me. Sean had once been a friend though. Puzzled was I. Didn’t’ matter, a fight was a fight.
There was no need for small talk. The girl grinned. “Let’s go,” said Sean. He threw a queasy easy first punch – gentlemanly, I’ll give him that. It was to let me know the fight had begun – like touching gloves. Immediately after, it was a flurry of kicks and bruised limbs as we threw each other around the stones.
It was a quick, violent, S.E. Hinton kinda fight.
''A fair fight isn't rough,'' Two-Bit said. ''Blades are rough. So are chains and heaters and pool sticks and rumbles. Skin fighting isn't rough. It blows off steam better than anything.''
I knee to my face, ended the brawl. Down I went, broken, whupped. Away went Sean, his prize the girl I never knew that I wanted. He left, girl in arm, bruised and victorious. I stayed a few minutes, bloodied and unknowing about why and how I just got my butt beaten so soundly.
What’s my point? Sometimes, even I don’t recall. Oh…
Mostly eggs are something I have around for a quick and easy meal. It’s always at the ready for a batch of pancakes or a quick toad in the hole.
(self-referential author: https://www.theloathiest.com/post/valentine-s-day-toad-in-the-hole)
For breakfast burritos, I completely pummel my scrambled eggs. I cook them on medium high heat, looking for big curds that will stand up to a burrito and the tots contained within. I don’t want them soggy. I want my eggs solid, large curds, hammered eggs to compliment to the salsa and sour cream.
But mostly, I like my scrambled eggs low and slow – like making love to a gentle soul. Soft and warm I like to cook my scrambled eggs mostly with tender, soft care. Everyone has their favorite way, it mostly comes down to the application of heat.
This was a long way to go to get to the recipe. Ingredients: you know, eggs, water, butter, salt, pepper, toast.
On a medium low pan, I melt a tablespoon of butter. In the meantime, I place my eggs in my rocket blender with a tablespoon of water for each egg. I pulse until mixed. If you don’t have a rocket blender, just whisk until they are all mixed up, no whites. No milk. Nothing fancy. I pour the eggs into the pan and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan constantly. Break up any large curds. Usually this takes about ten minutes.
I do have the worlds slowest toaster. So, I start my eggs and toast at the same time.
Convenient I suppose.
When the eggs are almost done, with a beautiful custardy consistency, I salt to taste. You have to taste. It’s a must. Start with a little salt and adjust accordingly. Still almost done, I add another pat of butter and let that melt in.
Take out toast from the world’s slowest toaster. Pour over eggs. Top with fresh ground pepper. Real chefs add fresh herbs on top. I don’t keep fresh herbs around. If you do, you’re a better cook than I am. (If you don’t, odds are, you’re a better cook than I am.)
These aren’t rock pile eggs. They are gentle Sunday morning love. Enjoy.
Sean and the mystery girl, I’m not sure if I should thank you. Just so you know, the realization of my mortality probably helped me going to war. This wasn’t the last fight over a girl in my life. It was the worst and most unnecessary. Don't look for life lessons in fights at the rock pile. In eggs, I don't know, maybe. I learned more about how to be a man from cooking than I ever did from bar fights.
Thank you world? My ego recovered long ago. I suppose the lesson stayed with me. Heck, my eggs thank you at the least.
“Dear Sean, thank you,” signed my eggs.