Discovering the Truth About Humpty Dumpty

I am the second-born in my family. My older sister to whom I shall refer as Loving Older Sister (LOS) lives hundreds of miles from me. That distance has separated us logistically for about 45 years. She was born in the late 1940s. I was born in the early 1950s. We’re both Retro-Girls as far as that goes, but it seems as though my love for the decade in which I was born has a stronger hold on me as I savor so many memories of that bygone era.

LOS is my mentor, my editor, the genealogical sleuth to our past, and the one who sends emails to me containing homemaking and baking ideas. She surfs the internet with her natural curiosity and often comes up with “Did-you-know-about-this?” ideas. After all, we inquiring minds do want to know!

Dear Readers, even as a youngster growing up on the windy plains of North Dakota, my LOS always had a desire to see more of the world as she climbed the metal ladder steps to the near top of our farm windmill, gazing above and beyond the rows of tall trees of windbreaks that surrounded our farm.

First-borns are natural leaders. So, as any LOS would do, she encouraged me to follow her up that skyward path to see above and beyond our farm, too, with a “C’mon and see for yourself!” However, after about three steps off the ground, I deemed the world to be just fine from my vantage point and cautiously retraced my steps to assured footing on solid ground. It’s still like that! I think it has something to do with birth order.

LOS and her loving husband frequently hop on a jet plane, discovering more about near and distant lands. I’m quite content to stay relatively close to home on our Iowa farm.

Now don’t get me wrong, Dear Readers. I have not stayed on the farm my entire life! More than once, I have flown across the Big Pond to express greetings of “Bon Jour” on the streets of gay “Par-ee” and then proceed to travel on to several other European countries beyond those French borders. North to Alaska? Yep, I’ve been there, too. A great way to see the breath-taking natural beauty in the neighboring country to our north is via rail coach. Been there. Done that.

I know, Dear Readers, I am in an elite group when I mention that as an adventuresome youth, I even rode the rails in a cattle car as I helped care for show cattle moving from one state fair to the next.

Now that was somewhat of a rollin’-down-the-tracks Boxcar Children via-cattle story! Oh, we must chat if you have been a part of that exclusive rail-roading experience! What memorable stories we could share!

Now then, how do these threads of interest become woven into a chat about baking? In my mind, this chat with you, Dear Readers, began when my LOS sent to me a link to a youtube tutorial entitled, “Cool (and fast) Way to Separate An Egg Yolk!” from www.handimania.com. Now, I don’t mind separating an egg yolk from an egg white at all. I even think it is fun to do! But, I’m always game for checking out someone else’s experiments with food products, especially when it refers to, “Cool” and “Fast.”

I sat at my computer watching a good-ole-Joe easily perform this absolutely simple, no-mess (and pretty foolproof) procedure. Required tools were a flexible plastic bottle with a narrow opening such as an inexpensive water bottle, a plate, and an egg. As the “dum-de-dum-dum” background music played, I watched this silent movie unfold.

The egg was cracked, opened, and as it was removed from the shells, it was allowed to gently drop on to a plate. With sunny yolk and nondescript egg white resting perfectly nonchalantly on the plate, Mr. Good-Ole-Joe brought out an empty flexible plastic water bottle and proceeded to slightly squeeze the bottle while allowing the opening to touch the yolk. As he released pressure from the squeezed bottle, wouldn’t you know it, the yolk was pulled into the bottle without breaking apart. It was as if the bottle said, “Come here little golden ray of sunshine,” and the yolk obeyed! With another gentle squeeze of that handy-dandy bottle, he carefully put the unbroken yolk into another dish. Fast. Easy. Ka-Boom—Done! No muss. No fuss.

Awhile later, I was baking coffee cakes which required eggs. Now, mind you, I didn’t need to separate the egg yolk from the egg white in this recipe, but I was so anxious to perform this tricky little egg-separating feat. I replayed the viewed tutorial step by step in my mind. With the aid of a clean, sterilized bottle, faster than a speeding bullet, the egg was separated. But then I did rejoin the yolk and white for my recipe.

Since toddlerhood, weren’t you always taught via Mother Goose that Humpty Dumpty couldn’t be put back together again? Dear Readers, I’m here to tell you, “Yes he can!” I did it!

This is a simple method of separating an egg which I recommend ONLY and I do mean ONLY if you are using a clean, sanitized bottle.

CAUTION: If your lips or fingers have touched the bottle opening, you MUST NOT draw the egg yolk into the bottle without having thoroughly washed the bottle with soap, rinsed it clean, and sanitized it with a mild bleach-water solution first. As I see it, if caution is not taken with these cleaning steps, the door is quickly opened for food-borne bacteria to say, “Greetings My Friends!”

I must say that it’s pretty nice being the second-born in a family. I always know that my LOS will be looking out for my best interests—even when it comes to refuting the “truth” of a well-loved nursery rhyme. My sister discovered the fallacy within that “truth” and basically said, “C’mon and see for yourself.”

Now I know the truth of the matter is that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could have put Humpty back together again. ..if only they had been exposed to the internet sleuthing of my Loving Older Sister!

Miss NiNi

NOTE TO READERS: Feel free to chat with me about baking at chat@misssnini.com.