I was scrambling an egg for my son this morning and I told him I often thought of my Spanish grandmother, my Abuela, when scrambling eggs because she’s the one who taught me how. She demonstrated while whisking an egg in a little scallop-edged bowl in her tiny kitchen. I was maybe 8 or 9.
That took me back to an earlier egg memory. A memory of my Spanish grandfather, my Abuelo. I was 3 or 4 years old. It was winter. He asked me if I wanted to help him get some eggs from the hen house in the backyard. I said Yes! and grabbed Abuela’s dust pan to carry them in. The first thing I could find.
I followed him outside and as soon as he saw the dust pan he explained that it wouldn’t work. “They’ll just fall out,” he said. But I was determined. I’d be very careful. Let me explain something. My Abuelo was a very laid back kind of guy. He didn’t fight me. In fact, he was probably smiling to himself. He was my no-nonsense, sharp-tongued Abuela’s polar opposite, and boy, did I love this affable, whiskery, cigar-smoking old man.
Sure enough, after I’d gathered my three eggs and laid them carefully in my dust pan and started wobbling slowly back to the house, all three rolled out. And broke of course. All three.
You know, I don’t remember tears or guilt or anything. I don’t remember him saying, “I told you so,” or “Well, now you know,” or anything at all. No scolding, no fussing. I just learned that a dust pan didn’t work with eggs.