[Sunday brekkie, February 2009.]
If every morning I could wake up early, after having gone to bed early-ish so as to get a full 9-10 hours of delicious, occasionally elusive, sleep, I’d stretch out long and luxuriously in bed and reach for my water bottle (I drink a lot of water and always need it nearby). I might read a little bit; I might just look around my clean-swept room filled with photographs of Yosemite and a print of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe painting; I might make a birthday phone-call if it’s warranted. I might do all of these things even if I didn’t have a lie-in, because weekend mornings are pretty much just the best mornings of the entire week no matter what.
Usually after I get up I go straight to the kitchen — the first stop, of course — and put the kettle on. I’ll make coffee (I only have a french press rather than a machine because there’s that whole lack of counter space issue with which I must contend and also I’ve gotten used to it at this point so it’s no big deal), though sometimes if I’m in the mood I’ll brew a strong cup of tea, and think about what to eat. Days I plan to run I’ll usually have a banana and a piece or two of wheat toast thickly smeared with peanut butter and honey, washed down with orange juice and ever more water. Days I take the day off I might have a bowl of granola, a bagel with cream cheese and avocado, a piece of good bread toasted and piled with summer tomatoes (when it’s the season), or maybe even a few eggs scrambled with Parmesan and spinach. The essential elements are: coffee, a not-too-sweet bite, and something that’s fairly protein-rich to fill me up for the next few hours.
This past Sunday was one of those days, though I did manage to get to yoga in between the rain drops rather than lying late in my cozy bed. I made my requisite stops for coffee and the Divis farmers’ market (a special on cauliflower! Oh, happy day!) where the vendors were still and ever cheerful despite the rain, clutching my rumbling stomach as I finally made my way home. All I could think about was what to eat what to eat what to EAT!
The problem with being so hungry, of course, is that you hardly want to cook. I thought about opening a can of baked beans, dumping it into a pot and quickly heating it through (beans on toast is an especial weekend breakfast favorite of mine) but I just wasn’t in the mood somehow. I’d eaten a bagel the day before and repetition, though so appealing in baked goods, is not always as fun day after day. But when I got home and saw a bag of English muffins thoughtfully provided by my mom the day before, three words immediately came to mind: fried egg sandwich.
Now, I love a fried egg sandwich. I’ll often order one (with Swiss, on an English muffin please) when I go out to breakfast, eschewing the fancier options for this homely pleasure. I’ll turn my nose up at the — admittedly very pretty — menu offerings of waffles (sometimes too doughy and sweet to take a chance), pancakes (usually only dad’s will fit the bill, unless it’s Zazie‘s gingerbread pancakes with lemon curd and poached pears and I’ll just let you envision this gorgeousness for a moment before moving on … ), even french toast. There’s something about an egg fried quickly in a bit of butter and set gently on a toasted English muffin (note: regular toast will work in a pinch) with a generous piece of cheese that warms me straight through and satisfies some sort of basic hunger. I prefer a bowl of grits alongside, but potatoes will do; even a pile of potato chips, as I learned the other day, will slip down just as nicely.
All you have to do is: heat a fairly good amount of butter in a pan (I have a wee cast-iron thing from Crate and Barrel that has become my egg-frying pan) and when it’s hot and sizzling, crack in an egg. Meanwhile, toast your bread. I sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the egg and when it’s nearly cooked through I like to gently fold it over to cook for another minute or so (over easy, as it’s called). When the muffin is toasted I’ll smear it with some more butter, add a goodly-sized piece of cheese (cheddar, the other morning, and it was perfect), plop the egg in between, and smash all together for another minute to let the cheese melt a bit. Then devour. Oh man. I’d like one right now even though it’s nearly time for lunch.
I’ve just realized another beauty of the fried egg sandwich is that it’s handily prepared even on a non lazy morning — no lounging about required. You could even pack it up and take it with you for a ramble through the fields, à la M.F.K. Fisher, or just to work. But I’ll admit I like it best with a freshly-poured cup of coffee savored at my kitchen table, the paper spread about me, and a few empty hours stretching ahead. Oh yeah, and definitely another cup of coffee.