Sometimes I'm so incredibly stupid that I surprise even my own self. (Which you would think would be hard to do because, you know, I've lived with myself so long that by now I should already know the depths to which my idiocy can go.)
And since I like nothing more than to humiliate myself on the interwebz (and who doesn't?), I just have to tell you the dumb thing that I did.
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Somewhere on my blog (I'm way too lazy to go and find it) I've talked before about how eggs in China are different than eggs in the United States. Which isn't surprising, because honestly bananas in China are also different than bananas in the United States, and the same thing with potatoes, ETCETERA. They all may look the same, but they don't necessarily taste the same or behave the same when cooking.
Eggs in China are different on the outside and on the inside. On the inside they're different because the eggs here won't fry like the eggs in the US. Don't know if it's my cooking or my pan or the eggs or what, but I can't make sunny-side-up eggs here with Chinese eggs. They, like, disintegrate during cooking or something frustrating and hard to describe like that.
But then there's the OUTSIDE of Chinese eggs.
Look, people, when my Dad was young he grew up on a farm in Indiana, so I'm technically the daughter of an Indiana farmer, so I know where eggs come from and it's not The Egg Fairy.
Eggs come from the backside of chickens, not to put too fine a point on it, and the backside of a chicken isn't always squeaky clean. I'm down with that and I understand the concept, but it is a bit - how to put this - of an "expat moment" when you go to use an egg you've bought from the store and it's all:
Which, really, the feathers don't bother me and I actually think they're cute. The problem actually is when the eggs have, um, how to put this... GOOKY BROWN STREAKS all over them, which we all know isn't really the way eggs are sold to us in the United States.
In the United States, grocery store eggs are perfectly sparkling clean. They are free of feathers and free of gooky brown streaks and free of anything that reminds you that said egg just recently slid out the back door of a live chicken. When you reach into the American egg carton to pull an American egg out for your pancake batter, you don't sort of STARE at the egg and wonder if you should don a rubber dish glove during the grabbing/cracking process in order to lessen your chances of contracting Megadeath Ebola Asian SARS Bird Flu IV or whatever is out there now that they cull chicken flocks for sometimes here in the Asia-ish region.
I have no idea how eggs in the U.S. get so darned clean.
So one morning I was in the process of making something (probably pancakes) that required the use of eggs, and I was, as usual, sort of staring at the streaked eggs trying to figure out if I should be reaching for the dish gloves when James came into the kitchen, looked at the eggs, and said something that can be condensed down to the word "Ick."
And since James is always my reality test, I knew that I was then justified in thinking that my streaked eggs could use some spiffing up. If not for aesthetics, well then for health reasons.
The next day I had bought some fruit from an outdoor market and was in the process of bleaching it (which entails filling up the sink, putting in the fruit, adding in bleach, and letting it all soak) when THE MOST BRILLIANT THOUGHT *EVER* IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, YOU GUYS, popped into my mind. I was all Wait a minute... if I bleach all of my fruits and vegetables, then why don't I just bleach my chicken poo eggs?!
And I got all happy and I grabbed those gunky eggs and I put them in the bleach water along with the fruit and I bleached the ever-living hell out of those things, while simultaneously patting myself on the back over my sheer creativity and ingenuity and problem solving prowess, and I was all:
Except the overseas version, which is far more potent.
And those eggs floated in their bleach bath and then I pulled them out and rinsed them off and rubbed them with a dish towel and gosh darn did those bad boys SPARKLE.
They looked like American eggs! All clean! And attractive! With a spic-and-span feeling!
And I hummed around the kitchen all Betty Crocker meets Julia Child meets Laura Ingalls Wilder and basically felt sorry for all expat wives who aren't as bright as I am and who were still using ugly, unsanitary eggs caked in chicken poo.
But as we all know, pride goeth before a fall.
So a few days later, when I was trying to make something for my children (brownies?) that required (remember the REQUIRED part) eggs, I pulled my gorgeous, clean eggs out of the fridge and cracked one into the mixing bowl. The mixing bowl that already held a box of precious brownie mix out of our consumables stash.
The egg plopped into the brownie mix. And I stared down at it and was HORRIFIED.
It was, like, milky and greenish and brownish and nasty and congealed and smelled like bleach. And I was mildly perturbed because it couldn't be fished out, so I had to throw the whole contents of the mixing bowl into the trash and start over, which meant that I had just lost a precious box of brownie mix from our consumables over a gross, spoiled egg. DARNIT.
So then, I started over and broke open another egg and it was just the same: disgusting, spoiled, rotten, unusable.
And when I sniffed the inside of the cracked egg shell, it REEKED of bleach.
And then I started thinking. Which I don't do very often. OBVIOUSLY.
And being as that at one point in college I was a Chemistry major, and being as that I have taken a lot of science classes, actually, I pondered the eggs. The eggs that would obviously have to be at least semi-permeable. Because in order for baby chicks to grow inside them, they would have to be semi-permeable in order to exchange gases (you know, oxygen and such) with the outside world. DUH, ME, DID MY COLLEGE TUITION BUY ME NOTHING??!?!
So then I was left with nothing in my kitchen but a bunch of ruined eggs that smelled like bleach when you cracked their rotten insides open. Which meant that I had to throw all of my (sparkly! clean!) eggs away. Which meant that I had no eggs.
Which meant that I couldn't make brownies.
That was a little while ago. And so now the (new) eggs in my kitchen are all fashionably sporting dark brown streaks and feathers. And evidently that's the way it's gonna be.