“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Spring is (obviously) when the earth begins it’s life cycle again. Plants start growing & flowering, grass starts to green up, trees start to bud, & canning season starts to get into high gear when berries start to become readily available. Windows are open, fresh air sweeps out all the musty winter stuffiness. Which is good because around here we’ve been sick on and off all winter. I need some crisp, spring air to push out all the contaminated recycled crap we’re breathing in over & over & over again, thanks to the forced air dry heating systems of the modern world. I’m desperately looking forward to everything about spring this year; all the signs of fresh flowers & vegetables coming, not to mention longer, warmer days & like I said… new beginnings.
The egg has long symbolized newness & new life, and because eggs are in fact not only the vehicle many species take to their new lives but also a food source that sustains life, it only makes sense. Spring brings new life, as do eggs. But they’re also a symbol of fertility, which, long before Christianity, was what spring was also about. Fertile soil, fertile animals, fertile women, etc. All of which brings NEW LIFE. New earth. And so at this time of year it seems only right to celebrate the egg!
Side note: I love how pretty brown eggs are.
My great-grandmother had seven children. She was the New York-born daughter of an Irish immigrant mother who worked as a cleaning lady. They lived in Harlem, and then when my great-grandmother was older they moved to the Bronx, lived in tenements, and she (as her mother before her) did the best she could to make ends meet. One thing she used to make for her children a lot were “googy-eggs”; her term for soft-boiled eggs. I’m not sure where that name for them came from, as Google tells me that googy-egg is an Australian slang-term for “egg.” Which made no sense to me, because I don’t have any Australian ancestry, and I never knew them to know anyone from Australia. But I have noticed other people on the internet calling soft-boiled eggs googy-eggs or googie-eggs, so I Googled a bit further and the best I can figure out is the following:
GOGGIE, n. Also gaggie and curtailed forms gog, gug. A child’s name for an egg (Arg., Lnk. 1954); an unfledged bird, a nestling (Ags. (gug), Kcb., Dmf. (gog) 1954). Cf. obs. n.Eng. dial. goggy, id.
Hence ppl.adj. goggit, gugget, of an egg: fertile, having a chick inside (Ags. 1952 People’s Jnl. (2 Aug.)), esp. in the later stages of incubation. [ˈgɔgi, ˈgʌgi]
Come oot wi’ me tae the hen-hoose an’ we’ll gether the goggies.
[Gael. gogaidh, a nursery word for an egg, gog, v., to cackle. Cf. also Guga.]
And this quote from a thread at Straight Dope message boards:
The best I could do is that it’s from the English/Scottish slang term goggie, which is derived from the Gaelic gogaidh. Which isn’t in any Gaelic dictionary I could find, so I’m slightly doubtful.
I’ve never heard of “goggie” (which is far from saying it doesn’t exist) but according to one online Gaelic/English dictionary,
there is a word, “gog”, which (it says, anyway) means “cackle”.
As hens could be said to cackle, maybe there is a connection here. It sounds a bit odd though.
Anyway, my grandma called them “googy-eggs” her whole life as a result, so I’ve come to know soft-boiled eggs as googy-eggs myself. However I’m also certain of one thing: there are lots of terms & phrases (& songs!) used in my family that the rest of the world isn’t familiar with, so therefore I don’t use the description often when talking to people outside “the fold.”
The soldiers part comes from the traditional pairing of these soft eggs with strips of toasted bread, known as soldiers, used to dip into them. They’re also called ‘dippy soldiers.’
I thought I’d give soft-boiled eggs another shot… seeing as how while I really love a good hard-boiled egg, the soft-boiled just never did it for me.
Other side note: organic, pastured eggs have the best orange colored yolks!
Nope, still not a fan.
But maybe you are a fan! So if you’ve never had them, you should try them. Or, if you’ve had them before but not in a long time- now is the time to make them again. From what I hear, it’s the most basic of comfort food. People have said that their grandma’s made this for them, or that it brings them back to being children. What is a better feeling than that, I ask you? This is adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated; and supposedly it’s the best recipe. Regardless of how many eggs you make, this recipe promises to cook them all the same, so you don’t wind up with one egg hard-boiled, a few soft-boiled and one raw.
We prefer a bit of a firmer yolk, so I let it cook for around 7- 7 1/2 minutes. Do as you wish in that department.
I also love how the coffee is almost the same color as the eggs in these pictures.
GOOGY-EGGS & SOLDIERS
- eggs (as many as you want, it’s usually one per person)
- toast, cut into strips (again, basically one piece of toast per person)
- Place eggs in a saucepan that has 1/2″ to 1″ of boiling water in it (depending on your saucepan, just enough to cover maybe half the egg). Cover, then cook over low heat, 6 minutes.
- Once the 6 minutes is up, run the entire pan and eggs under cold water. Drain. Dry off eggs- be careful, they might still be hot.
- Slice off the tops and season with salt and pepper. Serve with toast strips, dipping the strips into the “googy-egg” to eat.
Alright, so, yeah I’m still not a fan. Not sold on the soft-egg thing. But I’m told I’m crazy, and that they’re great… so you can make that decision for yourself.
I hope you all enjoy your week. Googy-eggs or not.