There’s an old saying that if you are making an omelet, you’ve got to break a few eggs. Well, I’ll change that to say that if you have eggs on a boat, you’re going to break a few. And not just into the pan or bowl where you want them.
Nope, they can slip out of your hand at the worst moments and fall to the counter or floor. Entire egg cartons can be dropped . . . or crushed. And there you are, with egg(s) to clean up.
Simply stated, a broken egg is a slimy mess that’s almost impossible to pick up. And if the boat is moving, the mess will slide across the counter or floor, making it even tougher.
My Grandma Kaye to the rescue. At just 14 years old, speaking no English and with virtually no money, my grandmother had come to the US by herself to escape the looming WWI and have a better life. I often thought of her as I made my way in a foreign country and tried to learn new customs and a new language. Cruising certainly gave me a new respect for her courage in starting a new life in a foreign country.
A quick side note — that photo is Grandpa and Grandma Kwasniowski (my dad’s parents) on their 75th wedding anniversary. They actually made it to 77 before Grandpa died. They both lived to their late 90’s.
When I was just a girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I was helping Grandma in her kitchen when I dropped an egg on the floor. And it broke. Oh-oh, I was going to be in trouble. Mom sure hated cleaning up a broken egg.
But Grandma didn’t say anything, she just took a box of salt out of the cupboard and started shaking it over the egg mess. I figured this was some sort of Ukrainian folk charm to ward off bad luck from breaking an egg or something. I asked her what it was for.
“Make egg together,” she said. Well, that puzzled me. Obviously, the egg couldn’t be put back together. But then I saw what she was talking about.
She let the egg and salt sit for a minute or two, then wiped it up with a cloth. And the egg all stayed together, instead of sliding off the rag and back onto the floor.
Grandma might have been an uneducated peasant girl with very broken English, but she had lots of practical knowledge. And although she died a few years before we went cruising, I remembered her every time I had to clean up a broken egg.