Hammond Eggs ‡

Mary Lou Hammond was my wife’s roommate when we all met in 1972 at a Los Angeles Single Ski Club meeting, and today remains her staunch lunch-and-movie-on-Mondays ally. As far as I know, she doesn’t cook a lick and is abetted in this propensity by dint of her unexpected and sudden marriage to Horace Stringham in 1973, an act that turned out to be a prominent contributing factor to my own equally unexpected and sudden* marriage to her roommate only a few months later. Horace, as I mention elsewhere here, is one of the finest home chefs in the country, so her need to possess acute culinary skills has not been an issue in their union.

This recipe, obviously then, was not originated by her, but is dedicated to her for her constant friendship over the years and because I needed a title for this dish that was close enough for pun’s sake to describe its chief ingredients. Naturally, it is ham and eggs, but under my rules of substitution*.

  • 8¼” slices turkey ham (or Canadian bacon if it is Sunday)
  • 1 tbsp powdered butter flavor (or 4 tbsp butter on Sunday)
  • ½ cup nonfat half-and-half cream
  • 4 oz Swiss Gruyére cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp dry sherry (or kirsch on Sunday)
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • ½ tsp <salt>
  • 1½ cup X (or 8 eggs, beaten, on Sunday)
  • 8 slices lower G. I. bread (e.g. Sara Lee 45 calory)
  • paprika, to sprinkle

Sauté the turkey ham slices in a large skillet over a low flame.

Meanwhile, collect the butter flavor, cream, and cheese in a chafing dish and raise the temperature to the point that the cheese begins to melt, stirring constantly. Mix the sherry with the corn starch, <salt>, and Tabasco and add these to the chafing dish, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Slowly add in the X and cook until scrambled firm, but not too hard.

Toast the bread slices. Place a slice of the ham on each bread slice and top each with the scrambled X mixture. Garnish with paprika and serve immediately.

If served at brunch, a mixed salad makes a wonderful accompaniment, but is not necessary. Likewise, any green vegetable will go well with this dish. Complementary beverages include coffee and orange juice (or Liebfraumilch on Sunday).