A couple Sundays ago something was awry. The day I awoke to was calm and gorgeous. Sometimes Chicago winds are ruthless. They can be musical against the ornamental curves of these old buildings, but in the winter, they usually just outright bite, not even bothering to nip first. I noticed how the sun slipped through the linen curtains and the el trains seemed quieter than usual. I woke up early and nestled into my perfect den of pillows to read some Augusten Burroughs for a bit. The sun glided off of the Sears (habit) tower, through my basil plants and into the apartment. I moved to the kitchen and excited the fish, Stella. Thought it was time to pull eggs out of the fridge and whip them into a pan. I had fresh vegetables on hand too, which was actually an amazing thing. I am, and it has been quite a struggle as it will continue to be, an inconsistent domestic goddess. Either the house will sparkle while a pot of chicken soup bubbles away on the stove and my herb garden perks up OR laundry will embarrassingly be spilling out of hampers, dust rabbits lurk by the baseboards and my fridge contains some mustard and a can of beer – still working on finding that happy medium.
With that said, this particular Sunday I did have a nicely stocked fridge and pantry to play around with. I added some goat cheese, mushrooms, parsley, and tomatoes to the eggs to be scrambled. They were on low heat, I had all the time in the world, these eggs should have been perfect. In a matter of minutes I severely burned the toast and the eggs came out sloppy. An edible, albeit, disappointing meal to start the day. With more time to spare and a desire to overcome my previous culinary flop I decided to take on a simpler task and boil some steel-cut oats to store in the fridge for the upcoming week. Who knew that a pot, ½ cup of boiling water and a small amount of ground-up grain could create concrete? Despite my ‘care’, the water boiled over like lava shortly after I added the oats and the molten mess quickly hardened on the stove-top, relentlessly adhering to it as I scrubbed with the force of a mad-woman. Left with hardtack for oats and a pot in need of detailing with some steel-wool I should have just given up. I persisted. I rarely have Sundays free, and I suppose that may be a good thing because more mishaps like these might occur with all that spare time. I forgot to mention that while the oats were wreaking havoc on my stove, my oven was in the process of burning some neglected cherry tomatoes. When my cherry tomatoes seem like they’re no longer good for salads, I like to slice them in half, toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings then dry them out in the oven for a batch of sunblushed tomatoes. Upon discovering that the majority of them were charring and none of them blushing, I threw the towel in on cooking for the day. Some days, it’s ok to just admit self-defeat in the kitchen and order Chinese take-out for dinner.
I made up for my off-day shortly after….
Poached egg with a few of the salvaged ‘sunblushed’ tomatoes. I think perfectly poached eggs with a runny center and buttered toast is an amazing, anytime food.
Rolled oats with walnuts, agave nectar and strawberries all washed down with a latte. Creamy, frothed milk is no longer a luxury with my little hand-held milk frother, courtesy of my friend Ashley.