Consider the egg. It can be poached, mixed, scotched, simmered, hard-bubbled. It can be made into a bigger entire like an frittata, an omelet, a serving of mixed greens with potatoes, bacon, cheddar, green peppers, Tabasco, paprika, salt, and pepper.
But apart from the fact that eggs are good sources of protein, eggs can be used for the following things.
It is a cure for the common hangover.
It is called a Prairie Oyster: one raw egg mixed with one teaspoon Worcestershire, some hot sauce, salt and pepper, and two dashes of Tabasco. No, we agree, it isn’t quite as appealing as a little hair of the dog.
It is a vehicle of opinion.
When thrown at someone, particularly if it’s rotten, the egg is a potent expression of disapproval.
It is an important vehicle for pigment.
Painters used eggs as binders for applying pigments. The pigment color was produced by ground-up materials found in nature—everything from lapis lazuli to the tiny bodies of scale insects was crushed, then mixed with egg yolk (which dries clear) to produce egg tempera. (Watch Girl With a Pearl Earring to review the process with Colin Firth “Vermeer” as your teacher.)
It is a garden aid
Cleaned eggshells are useful in the garden. Broken up and placed around tender shoots, they deter slugs and other pests that have soft undersides. Crushed eggshells add calcium to the soil and are an especially useful addition to tomato plants (helping to prevent blossom end rot). They can also be added to compost bins, where they supply calcium to the soil being built.
It is a good little kitchen helper.
Apart from the simple pleasure of eating them in all their righteous glory, eggs cannot be beat (ha-ha) for certain kitchen tasks: among other things, they act as leaven in cakes, they clarify broth that has boiled, and they hold meatloaf together.
It can teach you science.
You can have all kinds of fun with eggs and call it science. Try this at home: the naked bouncing egg trick. Put an egg in a glass and cover it with vinegar, changing the vinegar after the first
24 hours. One week later the shell will have completely dissolved, leaving a thick, pliable skin
covering the now-visible, still-raw yolk inside. What’s left is a bounce-able egg.