Column: Advice on cutting out ‘deadly’ eggs was too hard to swallow

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2002

Sometimes people give me advice. Sometimes? Always. For the most part it doesn’t bother me. I realize that it’s kindly meant and I endeavor to take it kindly. Sometimes I even follow it. It’s true that there are moments when a &uot;Would you mind if I offered you a bit of advice?&uot; almost calls for a response of, &uot;If you must.&uot;

On the other hand I often find myself asking for advice. When your friends are all smarter than you it’s a given. I confess that I’m a little touchy when it comes to my eating. My mother and my grandmother and all my maternal aunts were excellent cooks, but by present-day standards they were a bit too free with butter and eggs.

My father in particular had his own views on what he ate. In his 90s his taste ran largely to strawberry pie. He sometimes ate pork tenderloin sandwiches with his pie. The pie, though, was eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was working at the time, and my mother wasn’t up to daily pie baking so the pie was usually purchased at a restaurant.

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I was shocked one day when a regular customer in the restaurant came up and in uncompromising tones informed me that I could not, absolutely NOT, let my father eat all that pie. In my whole life I never knew my father to be an ounce overweight. As for &uot;letting,&uot; him do anything he wanted to do, forget it. He gave me much more freedom than most girls of my generation ever had, but the freedom to control his actions was not included in it.

When it came to eating I was never particularly open to advice either. I’m afraid I was never amiable about the eggs. You remember how a few years ago the public just went mad with horror at the possibility of eating an egg or two too many.

I can’t remember whether it was before or after the period when everyone was supposed to gulp down bran, lots of bran, baskets full of bran. It was the eggs, though, that brought forth the real drama. How many eggs have you eaten this week? Oh, dear! Never mind the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the gun-toting felons on the streets, or the drunken drivers speeding at you on the wrong side of the highway, danger, real danger, lay in the deadly egg.

Usually, especially in that era, I didn’t have time to cook much of a breakfast. Even now I usually empty breakfast food into a bowl with a bit of sugar and 2 percent milk and trust that it will keep me going until the next meal.

It’s a horse of a different color when I go out for breakfast. It’s always an egg then. Once in awhile I even have two eggs. This upset such of my friends as were in the toil of the egg phobia. They reasoned with me and even pointed out to me that Nancy Reagan and the president only ate three eggs a week.

I’d read the first lady’s autobiography, too. In retrospect I couldn’t remember whether they each had three eggs a week or whether they scrambled the three and divided them. Anyway, as I pointed out to those desiring to divorce me from eggs, if they were expecting me to accept Nancy as a role model it was no dice. I’d feel silly arranging my day to conform to the advice of an astrologer.

It was only recently after running across the old housekeeping book I told you about some weeks ago that I found support for my point of view. In the chapter headed &uot;The Sick Room&uot; some advice for the patient reads: &uot;Don’t take nerve stimulants; the nerves will be in a worse state afterwards. Eat twelve raw eggs a day if possible. Fresh cold raw eggs, if taken whole, are very easily digested by nearly everybody.&uot;

Love Cruikshank is an Albert Lea resident. Her column appears Thursdays.