Look at me, writing again before a hundred days have passed! I don’t know what has come over me! I think it might be that someone reminded me that I used to write endlessly about the dumb stuff I used to do. And I was all “HA! Used to?? I still do a lot of dumb stuff!”
And now—after decades of earnestly training myself to pay LESS attention to the stupid things I do—I find myself reviewing the past day or week and thinking, “Wow, I am really just not getting any smarter. How unfortunate for those around me.”
So here I am, ready to tell you a story because I believe if you can’t be a good example, you should at least serve as a terrible warning.
In order to fully set the scene and explain how this happened, I have to make a confession which pains me a bit. Intellectually I know this is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, but I’m capable of being both of those things about almost everything, plus I live with an impressive level of mental illness about money (see also: the spending of on anything which isn’t a complete necessity), so just… let me have my delicate feelings, I guess.
Okay. Here goes:
This year we hired someone to come clean the house every couple of weeks.
I have… Many Feelings about this. It seems extravagant (even though it’s not). It feels lazy of me, honestly. I work from home, and the truth is that I’m currently working maaaaaaaybe half-time, if that, and I feel like I should be able to keep the house clean. But also since having COVID my POTS is much worse—even though I’m medicated, finally—and I simply cannot physically manage some things I used to do, like mopping. (WHYYYY? I can vacuum, still. But mopping, HOOBOY, nothing shoots my heart rate into the stratosphere like a mop and a bucket.)
Anyway. We had asked a friend for a recommendation a while back, and then the person they recommended retired, and then we forgot about it for a while, and then I started, y’know, turning red and nearly passing out every time I tried to clean, so we got another recommendation, and now we have a very nice cleaning lady. Let’s call her… Swiffer.
The first time Swiffer cleaned for us, the clouds parted and the angels sang. I’m not saying we were living in squalor, or anything, but it was reaaaaaally nice for the entire house to be clean all at the same time. What’s a little guilt compared to these shiny, shiny floors? ALL GOOD!
The next time she came, we got to chatting, and it turns out she lives on a little farm. “Ooooh, do you sell eggs?” I asked. She said they do. I may have squealed a little. I told her that if she brings me a dozen eggs each time she comes, I’ll happily buy them. (Refer back to the above: I want farm-fresh eggs, but I do not want to pay $8/dozen for them at the store. Swiffer charges less than the store AND I know exactly where the money’s going, which I like.)
For a month or two, everything was lovely. Every two weeks, Swiffer showed up with a dozen eggs and my house was clean.
But after a while, as these things apparently tend to go, things changed. First she asked me one day if I’d ever had duck eggs—which I had not—and the next time she came, she brought me a dozen chicken eggs and half-a-dozen duck eggs. Which is… a lot of eggs. But guess who turns out to LOVE duck eggs? Monkey! And Monkey needs all the calories they can get, so I fed them allll the duck eggs and mentioned to Swiffer how much they enjoyed them. So I guess that’s on me.
Then at some point Swiffer canceled either the night before or the morning of her cleaning day—I can’t remember, I think she was sick—and eh, bummer, but it happens. Unfortunately because she has a lot of clients, a missed day means we don’t see her for a month (she can’t come the following week, because she has another every-two-weeks client opposite us), but again, not a huge deal. That next week, I ordered some eggs from the store when I did my grocery order.
The next time Swiffer came—apparently feeling badly about having missed—she brought me… I don’t even know, like a whole flat of eggs. Maybe 30? Some chicken, some duck. Very generous of her. And really more eggs than we needed, even accounting for all my baking and Monkey’s love of duck eggs. And here’s the thing about fresh eggs that I didn’t know until recently: they have a natural coating on them that will keep them fresh at room temperature for several weeks, as long as you don’t wash them. And I think I asked at some point if I could just go ahead and wash them and put them in the fridge, and she told me not to. I can’t remember why.
So now we had this giant flat of eggs on the counter, and a thing I ALSO recently learned is that ducks are absolutely DISGUSTING. So the duck eggs—delicious though they may be, one cleaned and cooked—are always covered with mud and probably other things I don’t want to think about. The chicken eggs are slightly cleaner. But on the whole, an enormous room-temperature collection of fresh eggs does not smell good.
I did a LOT of baking, trying to use them up quickly. I think we still ended up throwing some away. The next time Swiffer came, I joked that she needn’t bring QUITE so many eggs in the future, and she tried to explain to me about water glassing eggs and not only did that entire concept weird me out, usually the eggs she brings me are filthy, so I definitely didn’t want to try that. (If you don’t feel like falling down that particular rabbit hole, basically you don’t want to wipe the bloom off the eggs, but also you want the eggs to be clean.)
At some point shortly thereafter we entered into a weird “missed connections” situation. Swiffer would either cancel for some reason, or she’d come, but she’d forget the eggs. Each time she would offer to drop some eggs off the next time she was in our neighborhood, and each time she wouldn’t show up, but then some random day a week or two later, my phone would ping and it would be Swiffer saying “eggs on your porch!”
Recall that I initially requested one dozen eggs every two weeks. And that I also pointed out when we definitely had too many. But at this point Swiffer went full rogue, and I’ll never pretend to understand what the thought process was. Sometimes she’d drop off the requested dozen a week after she was supposed to be here; sometimes two dozen eggs would show up on my porch, unbidden. It was always a surprise. And I always buy them, even if I don’t need or want them, because…? Because she brought them; because I do like having fresh eggs; because she runs a small farm and cleans houses and her car is always breaking down, so she clearly needs the money. Because I’m a sucker. IT DOESN’T MATTER, OKAY?
During this Era Of Unexpected Eggs, Swiffer canceled on her appointed day, and then I canceled on her, the following month, because I was sick. This meant we didn’t see her for two full months. I’m sure some eggs showed up during that, probably, but when it was finally cleaning day again, I was super excited to get eggs.
She forgot to bring any. And—of course—offered to drop some off the next day. I thanked her, she cleaned, and I paid her for the cleaning and a dozen eggs. And the eggs never showed up. Which was not entirely surprising, I guess, but whatever.
The next time I went to put in an order for grocery pickup, the app gave me a “best customer bonus” coupon for… a free dozen eggs. As we were more than a week out from the promised (but MIA) egg delivery, I went ahead and applied the coupon and added a dozen eggs to my cart.
The next day, I picked up my order, only to discover that the store was apparently out of dozen cartons, so my picker had thoughtfully subbed an 18-egg carton for me without asking. Well, okay. I guess we have plenty of eggs!
You know what happened next, right?
Two days later, Swiffer texted me to say there were eggs on my porch. And because there were already 18 eggs in my fridge, she had of course dropped off… an entire flat of 30 more.
(I have now typed the word “eggs” so many times in this post, it has ceased to look like a real word.)
I baked! I topped every food imaginable with a soft egg! But c’mon, man. That is way too many eggs for three people. It’s EVEN too many eggs for three people and two small dogs who have never, ever, in their entire lives, been fed. Ask me how I know.
Back to the Internet I went, looking for information on freezing eggs. My research was fruitful; apparently a great way to store an excess of eggs is to crack them into muffin tins, scramble with a bit of salt (this helps to either stabilize the yolk or “keep the yolk from becoming rubbery” depending on who you read), cover with wrap and freeze. Once frozen, “pop the egg discs out and store in a large Ziploc bag. Defrost as needed.”
Simple enough. I started with the store eggs, reasoning that I’m likely to use frozen eggs for baking rather than “I want to eat an egg”-ing, and the fresh eggs taste better. Fine. I got out my muffin tins. I cracked, salted, and whisked. I still had space, so I washed a bunch of the fresh eggs and did those, too. I carefully covered the pans with Saran wrap and placed 24 beautiful eggs into our big freezer.
The next morning, I grabbed a couple of gallon Ziploc bags and labeled them and set them aside while I retrieved the muffin pans from the garage. My little egg-pucks were frozen solid and ready to be popped out.
“Popped out.” I consulted no fewer than four sets of directions on the “right” way to do this, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM said once the eggs are frozen, they can be “popped out” and stored in a bag.
Reader, there was no popping. There was no outing. What there was, was a lot of banging and cursing. I flexed the tins. I banged the bottoms on the counter, and when that didn’t work, I flipped the entire tin over and dropped it onto the Saran wrap from a foot up. I tried to work a knife, a spoon, and a skewer into various peripheries in an attempt to loosen my frozen eggs. They refused to budge.
I filled a shallow jelly roll pan with very hot water, dumping half of said water on myself and the floor in the process, and then dipped the bottoms of the muffin tins into that and then flipped the tins again. At this point the pucks began to melt a little (hot water does that), and so on that first pan, I had extracted maybe half the egg pucks, while half remained trapped, but also there were multiple trails and strings of raw egg criss-crossing my counter from every fling-bang-flip of the tin.
One pan finally emptied, I cleaned up the counter and reasoned that SURELY I had learned from this experience and the second tin would go more smoothly.
The issue, I thought, was that I needed to dip the tin for less time (so as to create enough melting to release, but not make such a mess), but then also exert more force on the bottom of the cups (so as to pop—ha!—out each egg in a single shot, instead of banging and banging while everything melts). In my infinite wisdom, I decided the way to do this would be with a rolling pin.
I dipped the tin, then inverted it on the counter, on top of the Saran wrap. I gave the bottom of the tin a few good whacks with the rolling pin, and then a few more, and all of the egg pucks fell out. I bagged them up and put them back in the freezer. I came back into the kitchen to clean the muffin tins and discovered that I had absolutely trashed the one I hit with the rolling pin.
Anyway, it all worked out, because now I have two dozen frozen eggs and also I ordered two of these muffin tins because mine were gross anyway and $6.70/tin is stupidly cheap for Farberware.
But, uh, that reminds me that I need to text Swiffer and ask her NOT to bring any eggs this week.