THERE you are, you minx. And how are YOU today? I hope you're well-rested and ready for brilliant breakfast inspiration, because I have some scrumptious tidbits to share with you today...
Today I'd like to talk with you about the chicken. My spirit animal. Well, at least that's what my children ascertained to be my spirit animal many years ago. (But quite honestly, it had more to do with the way my hair often looks in the morning than about any profound animal connection. And it certainly is not because I am, in any way, "chicken!")
Yes. I own a chicken hat. Don't you?
Actually, it's not chickens I'm going to talk with you about today, but something with which they share an intimate connection: Eggs! And about
a magical book I've had on my shelf (or in a moving box most recently) for over a year now ~ An Everlasting Meal ~ by Tamar Adler. As much
a philosophical instruction manual on how to live a simple, good and meaningful life as it is a cookbook...it contains twenty chapters, each with a name not normally associated with a book about food preparation. Names such as, "How to Make Peace" and "How to Feel Powerful."
The chapter I'm going to expound upon today is one of my favorites:
"How to Teach an Egg to Fly."
Many of you may not eat eggs (and for that I am saddened, but not shocked, as we all have our tiny idiosyncrasies, darling)...but for those who do, this is some most soul-satisfying egg information on which you must not miss out. If you're anything like me, it will create a longing in you to not only purchase, prepare and ingest eggs...it will make you dream of eggs.
Which can be a much needed break from dreams of ex-lovers...or of Mr. Trump residing in the Oval Office. (Which is, unfortunately a reality...and more of a nightmare than a dream. But let us not ruin our delicious morning with such unpleasant thoughts!)
A good NYC political protest is good for the soul. Especially if it's the dessert course of a hot dinner date!
Not to brag, because as women we are taught not to brag (which is all the more reason we need to brag with wild abandon, in order to make up for all those years of under-selling our fabulous selves!)but I am a good cook.
An intuitive cook. An excellent cook, upon many occasions. And I always believed I had been doing justice to our sister-hens' labor of love. But this book brings egg-cooking and egg-appreciation to an entirely new and passionate level.
It's egg porn.
Imagine lounging in your pale blue negligee, your glass of cabernet in hand, reading phrases such as, "Poached eggs love to be drizzled with good olive oil and grated cheese, like Parmesan or Pecorino, then a lot
of freshly cracked black pepper..." Or, "A soft-boiled egg stays secret until it's cooked...but poached eggs are cracked out of their shells and cooked directly in simmering liquid, which means you can literally feel them as they cook."
Are you feeling woozy yet? May I get you a pleated Japanese fan?
Tamar's words are inspiring throughout, but some of my most favorite of her words, no doubt (given the fact that my spirit animal is a chicken)are these:
"First, an egg is not an egg is not an egg. I don't know what to call the things that are produced by hens crowded into dirty cages, their beaks snipped, tricked into laying constantly. Whatever they are, the are only edible in the sense that we can cram anything down if we need to; their secrets merit airing, but not eating."
"Eggs should be laid by chickens that have as much of a say in it as any of us about egg laying does. Their yolks should...range from buttercup yellow to marigold. They should come from as nearby as possible...most of us live surprisingly close to someone raising chickens for eggs. If you find lively eggs from local chickens, buy them. They will be a good deal more than edible."
"Whether or not they ever take off, eggs possess in them some of the mystical energy of flight."
The entire book is heavenly. A return to the basics of good, pure and delicious cooking...instilling a (new or renewed) appreciation of how satisfying and sensual simple food can be.
In the past week alone, since picking this book up once again for my evening reading after a long pause in our relationship, I've had my silk pantaloons in a bunch as I've drifted off to sleep, dreaming of the eggs I'd be having my way with the next morning. And upon awakening, I've been turning my fantasies into reality by cooking up numerous breakfasts or brunches consisting of crispy, buttered sourdough toast topped with
a seductively poached egg, a melange of diminutive tomatoes gently sauteed
with shallots, olive oil and Vietnamese garlic chili paste...culminating in the entire beautiful thing being sprinkled generously with freshly grated well-aged parmesan cheese.
Sex could not hold a candle to such deliciousness and satisfaction,
Any woman who can balance a chicken on her head is formidable. Don't forget that.
I strongly suggest you go visit some neighborhood chickens, adopt a dozen or so of their eggs, and pick up this lovely, poetic, practical and spiritually uplifting book.
Now, go out there, bolstered by your warm, tender, savory and eggy breakfast...and kick some ass. ;)
A gentle adieu ~