Robin Anish | The Table is Set: So many names for a great breakfast

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Bull's eye, one-eyed pirate, morning hole in one, spit in the eye, egg in a hat, hobo egg, toad in a hole, egg in a nest ... all names for the quintessential breakfast treat of an egg dropped into a hole made in a slice of bread, fried in a puddle of hot melted butter until the egg is cooked through with just enough of a soft yolk to dunk the little round poked from the bread and toasted up along side.

But why so many silly names? My take is that over the years, mothers made the eggs with their children and when breaking the egg into the hole in the bread would recite "now we put the egg in the nest" or whatever cute name that they thought might tickle their child's funny bone! It makes sense, then, that so many whimsical, clever names have been attached to the recipe and probably passed along through generations of families.

My mother dubbed the egg in a hole the Captain Kangaroo egg. I am of the generation that grew up watching Captain Kangaroo on television. For those too young to know of Captain Kangaroo ... Google it. You'll find him to be really corny by today's standards, but Captain Kangaroo was a big deal then and I loved him! I don't remember the Captain actually making the recipe, but I'm thinking the show was probably on in the morning, so my mother named the egg such because she would cook while I watched Captain Kangaroo and then tell me that my Captain Kangaroo egg was ready.

Of course, I made Captain Kangaroo eggs for my kids who never knew about Captain Kangaroo or even questioned the name for that matter. My now-adult kids, to this day, still refer to an egg cooked in a hole in a slice of bread as a Captain Kangaroo egg and I'm certain that they, too, will pass the tradition on to their own children someday.

I still like Captain Kangaroo eggs, but upscaled a bit and served for lunch or light dinner.

Use a sturdy crusty loaf of bread cut into 1-inch slices. Cut out a hole in the middle and fry it on one side in a little butter and olive oil until golden. Flip it over and break a room-temperature egg into the hole. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook until the egg is done to your liking. Serve on a bed of mixed greens lightly dressed with a simple vinegar and oil dressing, garnish with some halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, crumbled bacon and shaved parmesan.


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