“I now understand the decadent roaring twenties, which followed the swine flu of 1918. When COVID times are over I’m buying a flapper dress with the heaviest beading, swingiest fringe and deepest cleavage. The party will be huge with the liveliest band. We’ll bring in the sunrise.

“In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to make it through. I look to times of great comfort in my life and replicate the parts I can. Memories end up being culinary because they are often wedded to the food we ate. I just bought a set of exquisite porcelain egg cups in shades from pale aqua to cobalt blue — and the funniest plunger/poker that neatly cuts the top off of a three-minute egg.

“The memory? When I was a teenager I’d hitchhike to concerts with my best friend Susan. Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead. Taj Mahal. Allman Brothers. Bonnie Raitt and Freebo. We’d stumble in, usually right before dawn, to either my house or hers, whichever we could mooch a ride to. Her house was the best. We’d pull out the living room couch and flop onto it, still in our clothes. Even if it was a school day, her parents let us sleep.

“We stirred to the smell of toast. We waited patiently at the Formica kitchen table. Her mother brewed tea in an English pot and served us in delicate cups with saucers embellished with scrolling flowers. When we were ready she slipped eggs into the waiting boiling water. My first experience with soft-cooked eggs was in that kitchen. The tiny spoon glided along the inside of the thin shell. So silky and rich. Yellow yolk mopped up with toast served from a toast stand.

“At my house, when Susan and I woke, our welcome was a bit different. We hid in my room and tried to sneak out for the day before anyone saw us.

“The memories conjured — the closeness of a teenage best friend, the music, the wild times at concerts, the moist warmth of Sue’s mother’s kitchen, its white starched curtains. But oh, those eggs.” — JUDE MALONEY, Brunswick


Tell us what you’re cooking

Mainers, what are you cooking this spring while you continue to wait out this virus? A favorite family recipe for comfort and consolation? Have you joined the sourdough brigade? Or has pandemic fatigue set in so you’re making the fastest, simplest meal you can devise?

Send us your recipe and a simple snapshot of the dish. Let us know where the recipe came from and why you chose to make it now. Send recipes and photos to [email protected] for possible publication and the chance to share dinner virtually until we can get back to sharing it actually.


Three-Minute Egg

Place an egg from the fridge in a pot of boiling water for 4 minutes. (If the egg is at room temperature, allow just 3 minutes.

Scoop the egg out of the pot with a slotted ladle, and place it in an egg cup. Cut the top off, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and flaky sea salt to taste. Serve alongside hearty toasted bread.

Disclaimer: I know there’s danger in uncooked eggs but in my long life I’ve never gotten sick from eggs. I always let the kids lick the bowl when I baked. They never got sick either. (If my kids ever hitchhiked or accepted rides from strangers they would have been grounded into the next century.)


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