Doc Yale

The Egg - Part I
The Prairie Oyster

“Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.” Italian Proverb

The above Italian proverb which seems to mirror the Latin ‘bird in hand…” proverb at least  takes us away from the stupid musings of philosophers as to which came first.  Biologists, of which Doc Yale is one, do not fret about such trivialities.  But he does have strong opinions about eggs and chickens.  And this site will have a lot more about both. But first we should shed a little larded opinion on the eating of both. 

Doc Yale is an omnivore like most all of his ancestors.  And while he respects those who choose to be vegetarians, vegans, ovo-lacto vegetarians, or eaters of kosher or halal food, he wishes that they would be as tolerant of his dietary choices as he is of theirs.

And he understands and sympathizes with those who object to the commodification of animals as it occurs in factory chicken farms or cattle feedlots.  However, he is hard pressed to understand how keeping a small flock of chickens in the back yard and stealing eggs from them on a regular basis is either hard on the earth or cruel to animals.

So in this and future posts we will explore the variety of ways in which eggs (and chickens) enrich our lives—from raw eggs to omelets and all inbetween.  But it makes sense to start with the raw egg.  My wife’s grandfather was reputed to start every day with a raw egg and a shot of cognac.  Only on reading up on this subject did I learn that it is a noted cure for hangover right up there with menudo. And as he had a  reputation as a serious imbiber it also makes sense.  

The gastronomic saint MFK Fisher refers to this  concoction as a “prairie oyster” and writes: “The combinantion of one fresh raw unbeaten egg, one douse of Worcestershire sauce, one souse of whiskey or brandy, and one optional dibble of Tabasco-or-Evangeline-or salsa-piquante… represents to many a jaded rounder the next morning’s Las Resort.  Not so to me.  I often make one for myself before I must do something I dislike: go the dentist say…”   

So this holiday season if you wake up with a case of binders on your head and realize that there is no menudo at hand, try a Prairie Oyster.  Or if you must go to the mall with your spouse for that dreadful Christmas shopping—fortify  yourself with one (or two). 


[1] The Art of Eating by MFK Fisher, Vintage Books, 1976. P239