Just Like Frying an Egg

So this morning I woke up and decided to learn something that I didn’t know how to do: fry an egg.  I love eating fried eggs, so it was motivating for me to learn how to do so myself.  On a morning such as this.  When my husband is out shopping and not here to fry an egg for me.

Sigh.

What I Know or Think I Know about Fried Eggs:

list

or I could have done it like this:

web

Experiment 1:

Heat up butter in pan.
Crack eggs in pan carefully as as not to break yolk.
Keep eggshells out of pan.

Wait.

Still waiting.

Observations while waiting: Outer white looks cooked; inner white still looks glassy (yuck).  Yolk is still too uncooked.  Salmonella?

Waitingwaitingwaiting

Add salt and pepper.  Pretty.

Sunnyside

Increasingly paranoid thoughts: Should I turn over the egg?  Will it make it cook faster?  SALMONELLA?  What is “over light”?  How much time do I need to cook it for it to be “done?”

Attempt to turn over egg.  Almost break yolk.

NOTDONEYET!  Stop!

Wait some more.

Turn over egg.  Voila!  Turn over second egg.  Hmmm.  Not so much.

brokeneggs

Happy thoughts:  Hey!  It’s getting crispy around the edges!  I love that!

Add more salt and pepper.

Wait some more, anticipating additional crispy-ness.

Remove from pan and stick next to toast triangles.

Evaluation of Experiment 1: 

Not enough goopy yolk to fully enjoy sopping up with toast:

toast

Way too salty.  Generally yummy.  Loved the crispiness.  Looked and tasted like a fried egg.

Revise Research Plan:  (What I Need to Know)

How long do I cook to achieve the certain types of fried egg (sunny side up, over easy, over light, etc.?)
How do I avoid breaking the yolk?

Sources: (How do I find out?)

What are the best ways to learn the answers to my questions about fried eggs?

Read?  – Food Network?  Cookbooks?
View? – YouTube?

Source 1:  Madison, Deborah.  Local Flavors.  New York: Broadway Books, 2002.  232.  (I love this cookbook!)

  • I’m reading phrases like: “cook them as you like — straight up, over easy …” and “When the eggs are done.”
  • Hmm.  I don’t know what these mean.  How DO I like my eggs?  How do I KNOW when they’re done.”
  • I need more information.  I’m not ready for this source yet.

Google Search Strategy:

Topic + format
fried eggs how to or I could have also used fried eggs tutorial

Source 2: Stradley, Linda.  “Perfect Fried Eggs”  What’s Cooking America.  Accessed Dec. 20, 2012.  http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/FriedEgg.htm

Advice from Fernand Point, a French chef (an expert!):

  • Break egg into a bowl first, then slide it into the heated pan.  Aha!  That could have made the eggshell and yolk-breaking worries easier.
  • Cover with a lid while cooking – especially a see-through one so I can watch the egg while it’s cooking.  Aha!  I didn’t think of that before – might help it cook!
  • Season after the cooking is done and it’s on a serving plate. Aha!  Is this why it was too salty?
  • Use low heat – it takes five minutes.

(Note how the fact that I tried first and made mistakes led to an aha! moment, which probably would not have happened if I had just read and followed the directions in a rote fashion.)

What Now? (Looking back at what I Need to Know)

This source didn’t answer how to cook other styles of egg, only “sunny side up.”  I’m also not happy with the photo of the cooked egg – where are my crispy edeges?  But – I bet there’d be enough yolk to mop up with the toast …

Source 3: “Video: How to Fry an Egg.”  All Recipes.  Accessed: Dec. 20, 2012. http://allrecipes.com/video/15/how-to-fry-eggs/

This source confirmed:

  • Crack egg in a bowl first.  (More than one source stating this makes the argument stronger).
  • Use low heat to cook the egg.

This source gave me new information and made me think new things (my ideas in parentheses):

  • You don’t always have to season after cooking (you can do it mid-way).
  • I learned that you put the lid on to make the eggs cook evenly.
  • Use a spatula to move in the whites to make it more compact (and probably easier to turn).
  • I learned that over easy means turning the yolk over (this is how I like it!).

What Now? (Looking back at what I Need to Know)

I liked this source because I could see someone frying an egg.
Questions I still have:
What’s the difference between “over easy” and “over light”?
What about my crispy edges?  How do I do that?

Revised Google Search Strategyfried eggs crispy edges

Source 4:  “How to Make a Fried Egg Crispy.”  eHow Food.  Accessed: Dec. 20, 2012.  http://www.ehow.com/how_2283481_make-fried-egg-crispy.html

The trick to crispy eggs is extra butter and extra heat.
Cook for less time with higher heat.
(Looks like I got the heat right, but not the time, or the time right, but not the heat!  Perhaps I need to experiment more!)

Uh oh!  I think something might be plagiarized!  Let’s look at the original:

The trick to making eggs crispy is the extra butter and the extra heat. Therefore, you will need to cook them for less time than you normally would. Do not leave the eggs unattended.”

Let me try again (how would I say this in my own words?):  Higher heat and extra butter make the edges crispier.

Got it!

Revised Google Search Strategy: fried eggs over light

Source 5: Solos, Heather.”How to Fry an Egg.”  Home-Ec 101.  Dec. 3, 2009.  Accessed: Dec. 20, 2012.  http://www.home-ec101.com/the-great-fried-egg-tutorial/

Notes: Over easy and over light are the same thing! Use some water to test the heat of the pan before adding the egg. Yes, the extra heat makes the edges crispy.  Confirmed!

Am I satisfied that I am ready to do my next experiment and that I have learned how to fry an egg?

Yes!

Do I still need to practice before it looks good?

Yes!

FoodNetworkEgg

Wait!  This isn’t a photo I took!  Accidental plagiarism again!

FoodNetworkEgg
Photo courtesy of Food Network

That’s better!

Reflection Questions:

  1. Did I find one source that answered all of my questions?
  2. What kinds of things did I need to do in order to learn to fry eggs?  Read something?  Watch something?  Try something out myself?  Which of these worked for me as a learner?
  3. What would have happened if I had only used the first one or two sources I found?
  4. What were some ways I avoided plagiarizing while taking notes or referring to sources?
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About Paula Montrie

I am a Middle School Librarian at Friends School of Baltimore. I have been a librarian for 11 years, serving 6 years with the Howard County Public School System before arriving at my current school. I teach two classes: SpeechCraft (a combination of information literacy, public speaking and theater), and Media Literacy at the middle school level. I also collaboratively co-teach with a number of teachers at the school, including Music, Geography, and U.S. History. I love it! My professional interests are: information literacy, multiple intelligences and learning styles, teaching through movement, curriculum-writing, technology integration, and bridging the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants. My personal interests are: dancing, singing, knitting, sewing, art, living history, writing and of course - reading!
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