Sometimes I wonder what I’d eat for a final meal (note: I don’t really like to think about things like this because not only is it rather morbid it’s also improbable). Actually, maybe I should amend that to be more like: I wonder what I’d like to eat if I could anything in the whole world without worrying about expense or time to prepare it or where to find the ingredients or how high the caloric count (yes, that’s a bit more cheerful). For someone who likes and thinks about food as much as I tend to do I should have lofty fantasies of opera cakes and madeleines (delicious, both) keeping me up at night.
But here’s the thing: I eat a lot of the same stuff over and over again. I used to cook these elaborate dinners on a more regular basis — all that homemade ice cream, sometimes tucked between cookies for an out-of-hand dessert, pasta rolled out by hand, and dough left to sit for hours before baking into the most tender focaccia — and enjoyed doing it but these days … oh, these days there is precious little free time to indulge in such long and languid hours in the kitchen.
It’s a shame, really.
I do make the time to take my time when I can but on the whole it’s roasted vegetables and whole-wheat couscous and quick salads of roasted beets and cucumbers and toast smeared thickly with peanut butter and jam most days of the week. And then sometimes I cram in bits and pieces; for example, I have a pile of bruised and battered ‘seconds’ nectarines and peaches bought on the cheap at the Saturday market that I need to use tonight before they go bad (I’m thinking a fruit compote or some sort of baked item). When I woke up this morning I wished more than anything I could just stay home with tea and the grey morning to plant myself firmly in the kitchen for a few hours.
If I’d been able to do that I’d probably also have made the breakfast I made yesterday: a quick scramble of eggs laced with feta, tomato, oregano and a few leaves of baby spinach — “Greek eggs,” I like to call it, inspired by my best friend’s friend who owns a diner in Rochester. When I visited in May we took the baby and settled in for a good few hours of solid eating. He spoiled us completely with food — the best, and prettiest, omelet, iced coffees, pancakes piled high and sweet — but what I remember most is the eggs-with-feta. Oh yes, please. While I usually throw feta into pasta or couscous salads, it actually tastes quite amazing slightly melted into a scramble. I’ve made it for work-from-home late breakfasts and for the girls when we were in Sebastopol. I don’t think I can ever eat enough of it.
These eggs are the season: tomato-y, rich, and meant to be eaten on a hot morning in July (they do come once in awhile here in San Francisco, hard as it may to remember) with lots of coffee and toast. They’re decadent without going overboard, salty and satisfying and utterly addictive. Come fall I’ll go back to oatmeal but for now — oh, for now I will keep buying feta with abandon and using it with a liberal hand.
Summer is zooming by in a flurry of party-planning and brief days of sun and long runs through the park and a farmers’ market bursting with beautiful things. It does this every year; somewhere around July I look around and say, How the heck did that happen?, that the year is half-over. I got something in the mail the other day reminding me that even though summer is almost finished (but wasn’t the Solstice less than a month ago?!) fall will be nice, too. And, oh, I know it will be but can’t we draw out this time of near-endless light a little longer?
There’s that whole time thing again: sometimes it feels like there’s never enough of it to go around. Which mean, I suppose, I must appreciate all the moments to the fullest. Especially with a plate of feta-infused eggs.
Greek Eggs, inspired by Steve-in-Rochester
1/2 large tomato, roughly chopped
1/4 cup feta
Melt the butter in a frying pan. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and add the feta and oregano. Add the tomato to the pan and saute a minute or so, then add the eggs. Cook until eggs are cooked through and the feta is slightly melty, but don’t let it dry out. Salt and pepper to taste. If I have spinach, I’ll add that too.