I hate eggs. Just the thought of eating eggs makes me a little sick. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman. Who could eat another woman’s eggs – even if they are a Chicken? It just doesn’t seem right to me. Of course, I do love caviar. But that’s different, somehow. Those are fish eggs. I like fish. I can eat fish. I love eating fish. But I don’t like eating chicken.
I can eat chicken breasts but not chicken legs. Maybe because I was a dancer. I just can’t see eating anyone else’s legs. Makes me shudder. I can eat chicken breasts. Maybe because I am somewhat flat-chested. I don’t know. I like chicken wings but those make me shudder, too. Technically, they are chicken arms. It’s a problem for me.
So I like both chicken breasts and chicken wings and chicken eggs to be heavily disguised. That means some kind of sauce. A lot of sauce.
Which is why today I am going to make Chorizo and Eggs.
My cousin in Australia, Richard Benfatto, recently asked me if I had made Sausage and Peppers that I was bringing to a New Years Eve Eve Party with Chorizo.
He must have been drunk. I understand they drink quite a bit in Australia. Or maybe I just am remembering those larger than life Foster’s Beer Cans from those tv commercials.
Anyway, I just don’t understand how he could think I would make traditional Italian Sausage & Peppers with Chorizo sausages. Here in Los Angeles, Chorizo is Mexican. Richard claims they are also Argentinian. We have a lot of relative who live in Argentina. And by live, I meant they escaped there shortly after World War Two. And by escape I mean they ran there to hide.
But that’s a different story and it has very little to do with Chorizo and Eggs. I do worry about Richard. I’m not sure Italians should be living in Australia. I think living in an upside down country might have affected him. Last Thanksgiving he threw a Turkey on the Bar-B. But the Sausage thing really worries me. The only thing that should be in Italian Sausage and Peppers is Italian Sausage. Quite frankly the only kind of sausage is Italian sausage. God knows what’s in the rest of those casings.
Which leads me back to Chorizo and Eggs.
This is not the first time I am attempting Chorizo and Eggs. I tried it once before.
I usually eat them out in a restaurant, and by restaurant I mean some hole-in-the-wall place in my neighborhood. In NY we have dinners. Diners are wonderful.. They really do not have Diners here in Los Angeles. Or Deli’s. Not real ones. I don’t know why. Maybe because there is so little in Los Angeles that is real.
When I first tried to make Chorizo and Eggs, I went to the supermarket to buy some Chorizo and Eggs. I don’t keep eggs in the house because, as I have said, I don’t like them. They make me sad every time I open the refrigerator door.
I once lived in a lovely town called Creamton Corners, in Honesdale PA, not far from Scranton. Unless it snowed. Then it took 4 days to get there.
Anyway, my neighbors were Dairy Farmers and in exchange for plowing my 500 foot driveway in the winter with their John Deere, I would collect the chicken eggs from their chickens. I would collect the eggs in those great wire baskets that are actually used for collecting eggs and not just to use as a home decoration you can buy at Home Goods, which is where I first saw one, bought it and used it to hold my mail.
So after collecting the chicken eggs and washing them off and putting them in the cartons, I would go home and cry. I am not anti-abortion buy any stretch, but for a moment, I think I felt how the anti-abortionists feel. Although quite frankly, I never saw any of those people on those protest lines ever step up with offers of adoption. Or at least taking up a collection to pay for future college educations. And I bet they have no problem eating some Chicken’s eggs.
So I bought the Chorizo and I bought the eggs and I also bought a box of Brownie Mix, which needs eggs and since I love Brownies more than eggs, I don’t mind cracking a couple into the box of Betty Crocker.
I got home and hit my first stumbling block.
I spent an incredible amount of time trying to figure out how to open the package of Chorizo.
With Italian sausages, you open them one of two ways. The first and most preferred way is to unwrap the brown butcher paper enclosing the sausages.
This means you have bought Italian Sausages from an Italian Market, like Razanno’s in Glen Cove. The kind with real Italians behind the counter. So many generations of Italians they all look the same, only the height (short and shorter) and perhaps the hair color (brown, balding, brown with some gray, gray with some brown, gray, gray with some white, white, bald) might be different. All of the men and boys are called some derivation of Vincent or Frank (after Saint Francis). All the women and girls are called Mary or Maria (for a similar reason). But if you’ve been going to that market for a long, long time, you know who is who and who belongs to who and who married who and who is whose son or daughter or cousin, or first cousin once or twice removed. You point into a glass counter, they grab the sausage and wrap them up in brown butcher paper. Sometimes white. When you get home, you unwrap them.
The second, more American way, is to pierce the plastic wrap to expose the supermarket Italian Sausages. Americans love everything covered in plastic. For a long time, in her effort to become more American, my Grandmother covered almost every piece of furniture in her house in plastic. My older male relatives also like to cover things in plastic. And by plastic I mean Tarps. And by things I mean Dead Bodies.
But there are no Italian Markets close to me. There’s one in Burbank called Pinnochio. It’s pretty good, or it was. Last time I was there a saw a whole bunch of Mexicans in the kitchen. It gave me pause. That’s not a racist remark. Ok, maybe it is but I would feel the same way if I heard heavy Irish brogues emanating from the kitchen at Joselito’s. And I bet those Mexicans would feel the same.
Of course, I could probably have used a Mexican in my kitchen, because when I figured out how to open the incredibly thick plastic encasing the Chorizo, to my complete surprise, there was no sausage there. Just sausage meat – no casings, which was confusing. Very confusing. The very definition of sausage as I know it, is meat encased in some kind of casing that is made out of something would immediately go on my Do Not Eat list.
A Mexican in my kitchen could have explained things to me, before I made a mistake that would cost me Chorizo and Eggs for breakfast for many years to come.
I was stumped. I didn’t know what to do with it. Do you just push it out of the package into a pan and then cook it? How long do you cook it? Do you cook it and then add the eggs? Do you add the eggs and cook the whole mess?
So I looked on the thick plastic package for cooking instructions.
Which was a mistake.
A big mistake.
A very, very big mistake.
Because on that package, thanks to our Government, was a list of ingredients that comprised Chorizo sausage.
Some things are better left unknown and the ingredients of Chorizo Sausages are one of those things.
So I threw away the sausage, which really just isn’t sausage at all, not by any definition. It’s barely meat. I cracked two eggs, threw them into the box of Betty Crocker Brownie Mix, baked some brownies, had them for breakfast and called it a day. I, like so many of my fellow Americans, blame the Government for that one.
But still, I ate Chorizo and Eggs when I went to the hole-in-the-wall in my neighborhood. They cost $11. 00 for something I can make at home. If I just got courageous enough.
So here I am again, with a carton of eggs, a box of kleenex for my tears, and thick plastic package of Chorizo and a pan.
But this time, instead of a Mexican in my kitchen, I have YouTube.
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END Of PART ONE