“Why would I do a post about you?” I answered.
“Because,” she said.
I assured her that she must be somewhere on my blog, and began opening posts about Tuesday sushi nights and Mexico vacations and Sonoma wine barbecues and other Schneider-related topics, and finally found a group shot at the Ferry Building in San Francisco where a teeny, tiny Naomi could be spotted in a corner.
“No,” she said, “I don’t mean a post that has a tiny picture of me. I mean a post ABOUT me!”
“I’d have to think about a reason to do a post about you. I don’t just do posts about people for no reason.”
“You could do a post about my blown eggs!” she suggested.
It wasn’t a bad idea. She had just finished making her “blown eggs” as a snack for herself and my daughter Willa’s pal, Van. It was actually a somewhat unique preparation of egg that Naomi and her dad, my pal Don, had come up with. A hole was punched in either end of an eggshell, and the inside blown out — much the way we used to do before dying Easter eggs — into a hot buttered pan.
Van had looked concerned. “Did you spit in there!?” she queried Naomi as her egg landed into the sizzling pan.
The egg comes blasting dramatically out and splatters into the pan, a Jackson Pollock of yolk and white, and cooks in about 45 seconds, a thin translucent sheen of egg that is then slid onto a plate, still creamy on top, and sprinkled with Maldon salt.
Willa wanted one. And this is where the trouble began.
“I can do it,” Willa said. Naomi looked aghast.
“Uh, no, I’ll do it for you Willa.”
“No, that’s okay,” Willa said, as they began jostling for the pan. Within a moment, things had escalated and I had to step in.
“I invented it, only I can make it!” Naomi insisted.
“Then I don’t want it,” Willa countered.
I suggested Naomi make the holes in the shell, and Willa blow the insides out — a compromise that appealed to neither of them. So then I went on to explain to Naomi that I had invented a lot of dishes, many of which I had taught her father how to make. And that when you discover something good, you don’t want to hoard it but open your heart and share it with others.
“Well, then you at least have to say, ‘Invented by Naomi,’ if you make it,” she offered by way of concession. Willa was having none of it. Which sent Naomi into a tailspin, and she spent the next 30 or so minutes moping on a swing outside.
The next morning, Willa — faced with having to say “Invented by Naomi” every time she made this new style of egg — found a workaround that was to her liking.
“Dad,” she exclaimed from the kitchen as I returned from a morning run, “If you drop the egg into the pan from up high, it turns out the same as Naomi’s and you don’t have to spit into the shell!”
She had named her new culinary invention “Willa’s Dropped Eggs”.
I thought it best we didn’t immediately share this with Naomi — she would find out soon enough when she read “her” post.
“Can I have a Willa’s Dropped Egg?” Willa’s brother Flynn called from the living room.
We’ll still call it Naomi’s Blown Eggs and give her full credit when we’re at the Schneiders. Whatever we call it, it’s a pretty great invention and we’re blasting through our eggs in record time. And perhaps most importantly, Naomi got the post she wanted.