Pages

1.08.2012

PICKLED EGGS AND CHIN HAIRS

I have a bit of an aversion to pickled eggs.  My mom made them when I was growing up.  She still makes them.  For those of you readers who are unfamiliar with pickled eggs, let me give you an overview.  Beets are a root vegetable grown under the ground much like a carrot.  There are several varieties of them, but to make pickled eggs most people use the red version of the red beet.  The "red" beet, after being cooked, creates red juice.  To that red juice is added vinegar and sugar and the like.  That concoction is then poured over peeled hard boiled eggs thus making pickled eggs.  The brine concoction turns the whites of the eggs a touch pinkish.  Sometimes the cooked beets are re-added to the mix too.  I love the pickled beets.  I hate the pickled eggs!  I was reminded of pickled eggs while eating lunch in the deli area of our local grocery store this week.  The whole lunch experience was a lesson in the crazy uniqueness of humans.  And, that there are those out there who truly love pickled eggs.  Sitting across the way from me was a woman in her 70's-80's.  It was hard to nail down the age as sometimes lower economic groups look older than they are due to the harshness of their lives.  She was eating with who appeared to be her daughter (my guess by looks and seeing that the daughter would look just like the mom in another 20 years).  The elderly woman, semi-bearded on her chin tip, was eating various helpings of different things off the salad bar.  I don't know if she had no feeling in her lips or chin any longer, but she was wearing much of what she shoveled in her mouth.  Part of it stayed on her lips and chin, while other bits fell to the floor, the table and her lap.  I watched her try to eat a pickled egg but drop the majority of it on the floor along with a spoonful of peas.  She leaned over the table, chin hairs highlighted by being coated in something fluffy and pink, to see the pickled egg.  Should she try to lean out of the booth to get it?  Should she shuffle out and try to bend over to pick up the small grocery store that had gathered underneath her?  Her daughter saw her dilemma and got up with a napkin to scoop up the food, pickled egg included.  That reaffirmed to me that pickled eggs are possibly a generational food.  I wondered if I haven't cared for them up to this point in my life if, when I hit 65 years of age, would I begin to crave the pickled egg?   Sitting in the other direction from my line of vision was a older gentleman of possibly 70-75.  He was wearing jeans, sandals with no socks (it was January in the Midwest), a button down shirt and a tie.  He sat reading a Kindle or a Nook.  Occasionally I could see his mouth move, silently reading the words off the screen.  It was a most interesting outfit and he appeared to be a most interesting mix of things.  Directly across from me were two women there on their lunch hour from work.  The one woman, very large, was eating a salad and drinking a diet coke.  Her lunch partner, average sized, was eating 2 pieces of broasted chicken, a large pot pie and macaroni.  She drank a regular coke.  I laughed at the dichotomy of that picture!  It sort of felt like a scene from the movie "Men In Black" where both humans and aliens co-mingled as they went about life in the city.  I felt in slow motion as I marveled at the differences, the distinctiveness, the quirkiness we all have in being ourselves.  Mostly though, I thought about pickled eggs and chin hairs.

No comments:

Post a Comment