Saturday, July 24, 2010

Franklin Pierce, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and a Hard-Boiled Egg

In 1854, President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which outraged many northerners who believed he was supporting slavery in the new southwestern territories and old southern states. Politically disgraced, Pierce became the first president to hire a bodyguard after having been attacked by a detractor with a hard-boiled egg!

Although no one knows who threw an egg at Pierce (or if that, in fact, actually happened), we do know that human beings have been eating eggs for thousands of years. In addition to eggs from chickens, people eat eggs from turkeys, ducks, pelicans, quails, partridges, ostriches, geese, and pigeons. Turtle eggs have been delicacies in some cultures for centuries, and, in some places, people eat alligator eggs at breakfast!

Why eggs at breakfast? Food historians say that this practice dates back to those days when many people raised their own chickens and had a constant supply of fresh eggs. Eggs are usually collected early in the morning and “the fresher the egg, the better it tastes.” Eating eggs in the morning also made sense in the days before refrigeration because fewer eggs had to be stored and so fewer eggs would break or spoil. Of course, eating eggs is a great way to start your day because they are a rich source of protein and energy!

So without further ado, let me leave you with this quick and delicious recipe for Sunny Side Up Grilled Egg Sandwiches from Mr. Breakfast

8 slices of whole wheat bread
4 eggs
4-8 slices of cheese (to taste)
4 slices of ham
dehydrated onions
salt and pepper

Melt butter on the grill. Fry eggs sunny side up and then flip and break the yolk, frying until yolk is completely dry. Fry ham on the grill. Layer egg, ham, onion, salt, pepper and cheese on slice of wheat bread and put another slice on top to make a sandwich. Melt more butter on the grill and fry the sandwich on both side until the bread is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

FAST FACT: The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine (vis-a-vis the concept of popular sovereignty) whether they would allow slavery within their boundaries. The Act triggered many violent conflicts between abolitionists and slaveholders and moved the nation ever closer to civil war.

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