Jessica Seinfeld is author of two New York Times bestselling cookbooks and the President and Founder of Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clothing and equipment to families in cities across the U.S. Her latest book, The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified, will be published next month. Jessica says:
“My grandmother was the biggest influence in my life—in all ways, including cooking. Granny died last year at age 99. She lived her life large—and always ahead of her time. She graduated from Barnard College, worked at the New York Times, Mademoiselle magazine, and then finally retired after working at The Fashion Institute of Technology for 30 years.
“After retiring, she spent her time reading, writing books, going to the ballet, the opera, lectures, art exhibits, taking History classes at Columbia University, and volunteering her time at Lincoln Center. She had friendships spanning 90 years, but loved having younger friends too. Granny took me to see everything there was to see in New York City—the theater, museums, tourist attractions and off the beaten path finds of cultural and architectural significance. She also loved to party. She was not without a Manhattan at 5pm every night of her adult life. She was very keen on a delicious glass of wine and enjoyed plenty of butter with her meals. She was a brilliant conversationalist and a great laugher at all times, especially around the dinner table.
“Granny cooked dinner almost every night after work. She was a single mother, rushing home on the bus or subway from work to cook for my mom. She cooked simple, yet refined meals. She used just a few ingredients, but always of the best quality. And she always served dessert. Always. With her love of butter, she never sacrificed flavor for health concerns — and she lived a pretty long, happy life I’d say. She walked for her exercise, stayed trim and healthy, and ate and drank what she wanted, when she wanted. She loved breakfast especially.
“A lifelong constant in my life is the egg dish she created, made with sliced toast and soft boiled eggs. We called it the Granny Egg. It blew my mind. It captured who she was, straightforward yet special; substantial yet stylish. She took the time to make herself (and any of her visiting grandchildren) a hot breakfast and read the newspaper from cover to cover. It was a personal luxury she afforded herself before she went off on her busy day. Her approach to living is my cornerstone.”
The Granny Egg
ACTUAL WORK TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
French, country, or whole wheat bread
4 large eggs
1 T. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper, to taste
Fill a medium saucepan with water (about 2 inches from the top) and place on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the water come to a boil. While it comes to a boil, slice the bread into two ó-inch-thick slices if not using presliced.
Once the water is boiling, use a large spoon to carefully lower the eggs, one at a time, into the water. Lower the heat and gently simmer (low boil) for 5 1/2 minutes. Set your timer.
While the eggs simmer, toast the bread in your toaster until golden brown, then spread the tops with butter. Cut each piece of toast into small squares and put into individual bowls.
After 5 1/2 minutes, pour out the hot water from the pan. Immediately crack each egg by tapping and rotating it several times on the edge of the sink. Because they are hot to handle, pass them under cold running water while you gently peel.
Place the eggs on top of the toast squares and cut them up so the yolks spill out. Gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.