Thursday, September 29, 2011

eat at joe's . . . he kneads the dough!

Long ago, when I was a little child, my mom was the business administrator for our church in downtown Lawrence.  Then she became the treasurer for the childcare center that was housed in the church.  To say I spent a little time at church would be a drastic understatement.  After I went to junior high, I walked to the church every afternoon to meet her before we went home. 

When she didn't feel like cooking (which was often!), we would stop at Joe's Bakery on Ninth Street.  Joe's was a little hole-in-the-wall shop that primarily sold doughnuts.  They also had cookies and a wide variety of prepared sandwiches.  We always got the egg salad on wheat.  The bread was a little mushy from sitting in a plastic bag all day, and I loved that quality. 

Fast forward fifteen years.  You may have read where I posted about the Brewer diet before.  The premise of this diet is that a pregnant woman needs to provide her baby and body with excellent fuel full of protein, calories, and salt.  These three elements provide for a healthy expansion in blood volume and help to ward off pre-eclampsia.  Eggs are an especially important part of the diet, because they provide essential minerals and vitamins and lots of protein for the calories (6 grams in 70 calories.  I will never, ever forget those numbers!).  Women are instructed to eat two eggs daily, cooked any style.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love eggs.  I don't like raw eggs, but I'm down with eggs any other style.  But two times a day for forty weeks?  That's a lot of eggs.  And there are only so many styles:  scrambled, over hard, in sandwiches, quiche, huevos rancheros, hard-boiled.  I had a fried egg sandwich just about every other day for lunch.  And egg salad . . . boy, did I ever have egg salad.  Probably three or four times a week.  I perfected my recipe, which is simple.  Every time I ate it, it took me back to Joe's:

Egg Salad
1 hard-boiled egg
1 sweet miniature gherkin
1 T mayo (or Miracle Whip if you're so inclined)
1 t dijon mustard
1 t pickle juice from the gherkin jar

Cut the egg in half.  Pop out the yolk and put it into a bowl.  Chop up the white finely.  Chop the gherkin to the same dimensions as the egg white.  Mix the mayo, mustard, and pickle juice with the egg yolk in the bowl.  Stir in the egg white and pickle.  Serve on wheat bread, untoasted, with a few leaves of lettuce. 

I went on kind of an egg revolt after the baby was born.  I felt like I could never see an egg again and be just fine.  But I've slowly been working egg salad back into my lunch rotation, and now it takes me back to two times in my life:  eating at Joe's with Mom, and the time when I was becoming a Mom myself.

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