Sunday, April 17

Morning eggs

Now that we're showered, let's think about breakfast. Downstairs I go, still wearing my interim tee-shirt!

In the kitchen, I'll start by pulling forward the coffeemaker next to the sink and insert its filter holder and pot. I fold an oversized paper filter to fit the mini holder (mine is a 5-cup model), preferring the thrift of bulk-purchased filters to the convenience of the smaller (and more expensive) filters. I used to use the golden metal filter that came with the unit, but it took on an old-coffee flavor over time.

I measure3 generous scoops of ground coffee from my canister over the sink. The coffee is a windfall for me - my father-in-law is a coffee-lover and is generous in sharing his mail-order Starbucks with me. I pull the faucet sprayer over to this side of the sink and fill the water tank to the "3" level and close the top. I plug it into the wall and press the power button to commence brewing. Since it is meant to be left on all day (for the 1/2 hour of use I give it?), it has a digital clock, which now blinks to remind me to bring it current. I press the hour button once. If I had a young child just learning to tell time, he would think that we breakfasted at 1:00 a.m. every morning.

With the coffee in the works, I put the small fry pan on to heat. On my particular gas stovetop, I turn the dial on the closer-left burner to just-after-4. Sometimes I have to pivot the handle around because the body of the pan tilts up and away from the flame; the handle needs to extend in the same direction as one of the iron arms of the stovetop.

I put on exam gloves once the pan is heating, and reach into the fridge for bacon and eggs. The gloves are a protective measure against excessive hand-washing - a recommendation from my dermatologist for my continual hand eczema, an "affliction" I've had since my teen years. My bacon has already been sliced into halves, and I choose 3 of these for mincing. I do this quickly so I can get them into the pan and melt the grease.

With gloved hands still greasy, I break 3 eggs into a bowl and fish out one of the yolks to toss down the garbage disposal. The shells get put into a brown bag specifically for egg shells. When the bag is full I'll crush them in one lot and sprinkle them on the ground outside.

I toss my gloves in the trash and return to the fridge for mushrooms (1 if I have the large ones from Costco, or 2-3 if they're from nearly anywhere else). I slice these and add them to the spittling bacon. I'll also take the opportunity to scrape up the less-fatty bacon bits from their adhesion to the pan (non-stick, my foot!).

I return the egg carton, bacon bag, and unused mushrooms to the fridge, trading them for the Costco carton of pico de gallo. Depending on how new it is, I drain a bunch of liquid using the cap to catch solid stuff. Otherwise, I just dip in a slotted and regular serving spoon and squeeze a reasonable amount of juice off before adding the mix to my eggs. I lightly whip up the combination with a fork, at least making sure that the yolks are broken.

The egg-and-pico goes on top of the cooking bacon and mushrooms. I can let these sit for a moment, and find a mug to pre-warm for the coffee. I put away the pico-de-gallo and any other items that are out of place and easily handle. Every so often I take my rubber scraper (silcone, so it won't melt) and move the egg mix around for even cooking. I don't try to scrape up what burns to the bottom; I consider that the "cost of doing business" with this recipe. The bacon grease helps quite a bit, though.

Finally, when the eggs are done to my liking, I put the whole batch out into a bowl. If I have avocados available, I'll slice one on top (even though they serve only a single purpose, I highly recommend avocado-slicers!). Then I add a fork and put it on the table. The pan goes to the back of the stove for later attention. While the eggs cool to an edible temperature, I dump the warming water from my cup into the sink and fill it 3/4 full with coffee and add perhaps a tablespoon of French Vanilla Coffee-Mate for sweetness and creaminess.

When I'm completely virtuous, I "absorb" the meal with all my senses while I eat it. More likely, however, I read a book at breakfast. Or blog.

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