Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hot Water Sets Egg

We eat a fair amount of eggs at our house - everyone likes them, and it's a quick and easy meal that's chock full of protein. The clean up is fairly simple and fast too, which is another plus. The interesting thing is that every single time I go to clean the pan that I've cooked the eggs in, I make sure to use cold water, because I hear my grandmother's voice saying, "Hot water sets egg. Use cold water so it won't be such a mess." I have no idea if this is really true or not, but I do it nonetheless.

This grandmother was fairly distant, some because of geography and some because of personality, but my memories of her are relatively innocuous if nothing else. The egg instruction, however, was actually something I remember her teaching me. Maybe she told me other things and I've forgotten them, or maybe that was it - regardless, I remembered it and have incorporated it into my regular cooking routines. And, like clockwork, hear it in my head at least once a week.

I was much closer to my other grandmother but I don't remember any pearls of wisdom from her either. She doted on all of her grandchildren and spoiled us all half silly and we were all in love with her. But I don't have any recollection of her telling me anything of import other than not to smoke, which I knew already. We were too busy discussing the superiority of Co-Cola in a small bottle versus the big bottle and how Miracle Whip was the devil. (She was absolutely correct on both counts, in my humble opinion)

When I was growing up, my mom tried to teach me useful things as well. The basics of cooking, sewing, housekeeping, etc., but I didn't listen. I learned to cook eventually, haven't had a laundry catastrophe in a while and can kind of make a button stay on, but can't hem a pair of pants to save my life. I wish I had paid more attention, especially when I need to remember how to do something I should already know, but I was too busy running wild all over our neighborhood, or just being unwilling to listen.

Now that I am raising a daughter, I think more about what she's taking away from her childhood. I know that kids learn by example but I do think that some things just need to be taught, like how to hem pants. What I'd like to figure out is how to teach my children things that will actually stick with them and be of use in the future, without making them feel like they are still at school when they get home.

Can you guys relate to this? I mean, I think pretty much everyone decides their parents don't know anything and stop listening to them at some point, but how do you bridge that gap? What do you want your children to know?




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