25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE   BY ANGEL NUÑEZ

The Egg I Want but Can't Have


I
love eggs for breakfast and so do a lot of people. It is the most convenient thing to prepare a quick and delicious breakfast. You can simply fry your sunny side up or scramble your eggs. You can prepare an omelet with ham or bacon or sausage or any left over meats or poultry. You can boil it or you can have it pouched. Well, there are one hundred simple ways, or you can take your time and prepare an egg soufflé.

Twenty five years ago we could not eat eggs as often and we desired. First of all, the Mennonites did not bring any eggs to sell in San Pedro. Therefore, we relied on the eggs that our hens in our backyards used to provide for us. You would hear the chuckle of the hen as she laid an egg at any time of the day. And mom would quickly say, “Go get that egg and put it in the basket as we will use if for Miguelito’s birthday cake next week. Eggs were a very special commodity and were reserved for cakes for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, anniversaries, and All Saints’ Day. Then they were also used and reserved for special menus like the black relleno. And if mother was not reserving them for special occasions, then father was keeping them in the foul coup or “gallinero” for the hen to sit on them and increase the number of the flock. As you can appreciate, it was difficult to get eggs for the table for if it was not mom and her menus, it was dad who was putting them to hatch. So we had fried fish in the morning.

Today there are eggs in abundance on the island. Yet even today I cannot get to eat them as often as I would like and in the number as I would love to. Eggs are said to give cholesterol and anyone with a high level of cholesterol is told by his doctor to cut down on the consumption of eggs. How ironical that when we wanted them, they were not readily available and now that they are available we still cannot eat them as heartily as desired for health reasons. And can we have fish in the morning? No, because they are now not as readily available.


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