Sunday, March 30, 2008

Eggs - Never Over, Never Easy

Hello Friends:

The whole 'buying tickets' thing this morning was tough, not to mention the generally very stressful last weeks, so we gave ourselves a treat of champagne brunch at a swank new joint. And now that I deal better with some of my food contamination issues, there are several items that have made it back onto my personal menu. Like crab and hollandaise sauce. Two big fat no-no's up until just about 18 months ago. But now I'm eating them on an occasional basis.

And so you'd think that Crab Eggs Benedict would be an amazing feast - yes, but in spite of the other ingredients being AOK, runny egg yolks are not. I still can't do that and I don't think I need to. Not just gross but gross tasting. But one does not have to have the eggs poached, of course, one can order them over-hard. Which is what I did.

The yummies show up to the table, and it is obvious my eggs are poached. I cut into one to be sure, and immediately tell the wide-eyed and very young server that I can't eat these eggs, they were ordered over-hard. He is apologetic and takes the plate away.

There was a time that would have been completely impossible for me. I used to experience so much anxiety about my food issues that I wouldn't bother trying to go out to eat. I knew something in the food or the environment would be too threatening, and I'd be spending the time terrified and trying to hide it, of course. But I've finally realized that I really do deserve to get what I ordered. And that restaurants *want* to bring you what you ordered. One plate of food makes no difference to them, and avoiding panic attacks all day from having eaten goopy eggs means everything to me. Took years to make the progress on these self esteem issues - the ones where you have to express your needs and respect your own boundaries, but I can finally send a plate back to the kitchen.

And then things get funny.

Because a new plate is brought. And the eggs are poached. Again. Now this, this is a challenge. The server is aghast as I tell him the eggs are not over-hard, and that I can't eat them this way. I repeat the performance of cutting into the egg. It was a good show last time, so why not? It's difficult and takes some real guts, but I request another new plate with COOKED eggs. And like in any good restaurant, the plate is taken away with yet more apologies and they commence with try number three.

But it is really driving me nuts at this point, without that nice glass of brunch champagne in my system, I probably would have been pretty bent. Not with them, because people make mistakes and they are trying to fix it, but because this is all a result of my not being able to take the chance of eating runny egg yolks when I'm already stressed out. Nothing is worth suddenly thinking you've poisoned yourself and having attacks all day long. This is one of the reasons restaurants are such a freaking challenge. And I'm now more worked up, but repeating to myself that this is no big deal, I have a right to do this, and I'm not going to hyperventilate over it.

And the third try is finally the charm. And free, since this is in fact a good place to eat and they realize they are really blowing it here. So I use this as an excuse for another glass of champagne. :)

And the luxury of patting myself on the back for actually doing something so mind-bogglingly difficult as think I am a person worthy of getting what I ordered.

Your Hostess With Neuroses


gregor said...

thank you so much for the link and for visiting my place. i shall return the favor, with pleasure...

Your Hostess With Neuroses said...

Welcome indeed!

amy said...

My husband hates runny eggs, and he is a neurosis-free guy. He just thinks they're gross. I think not wanting to eat runny eggs (which, after all, are not fully cooked) might fall into the normal range.

I, on the other hand, long to dip my buttered and jammed toast into an over-easy egg, but I've developed an allergy to egg yolks. Just one of the reasons I doubt a merciful god exists.

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