[Flowers, bay, October 2010.]
Last weekend I was invited for drinks at a house perched near the top of the Inverness ridge, somehow tucked into the trees yet still affording a view of Tomales Bay. It was a strange afternoon: the fog had wisped in and it was raining almost, and also sort of muggy and humid. Not cold, though. I didn’t take one photo but if I could’ve, I would’ve; I guess try to imagine pockets of water at low tide with little marsh birds picking their way through the mud, the green hills across the bay lush with winter rain, the hint of the Pacific washing out past Hog Island. There was a fire in the fireplace and I sipped a strong gin and tonic (with lemon? Or maybe lime.) and thought about the What Next.
Sometimes the What Next slightly intimidates me — there is so much I want to do that I get bogged down in the details of it and then don’t focus on the Right Now, which quite specifically calls for me to write two little stories about Potrero Hill/environs and then also a story about artichokes and how to cook them (plus a few more). But instead my mind ricochets from thought to thought: Why is air fare so expensive? and Can I have a week off to read and watch movies in the afternoon and sometimes pull the covers over my head and sleep in long and luxuriously? and When will August get here so it will be time for backpacking? and, as a side bar, What will we cook whilst on the trail? not to mention How the heck will I get everything done in 2011 that I’d like to get done?
The reality is, of course, that I might not, and that’s OK. I’m trying to make my peace with it. I want to do so! many! things! and go and be and etc. Yet alas there are a finite number of hours in the day, and I do truly value those I spend sleeping (I wish could exist on less than 8, but that’s hard for me and so there it is). This is perhaps not the quiet restful part of my life; I guess maybe when I’m 70 that will come, and I am grateful now for all the things to do, and go, and write, and be, even if I am a bit worn out at times. It’s a good tired, though — the kind that comes, like last night, after running 8 miles and having a glass of wine and a chat and then going to bed by 10p. I woke up this morning to sun and birds and feeling like yeah, everything will be fine.
And then I made scrambled eggs with a bit of cheddar and spinach and a sprinkle of dried thyme for breakfast, and that helped, too.
[Breakfast this morning, March 2011.]
I feel like I haven’t been cooking too much lately — or if I have, it’s been for others. I haven’t cooked just for myself in a good while, which always makes me a bit twitchy. Last week I made potato soup for friends, as well as a Guinness chocolate cake and a small batch of oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, and also a chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and frosted with a decadent coffee buttercream for my mom’s birthday — and that was just on Friday. Then I was gone all weekend and away from the stove and my wee kitchen which I swear eyes me reproachfully when I return to it after some time away (or am I anthropomorphizing??). I did make a hearty pot of red and black quinoa with broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and freshly grated ginger for last night’s dinner, but it was a bit of a rush rush. This morning was different.
I chopped up some spinach quickly and wilted in in my smallest pan (err — my second pan; I don’t actually own that many. A perk of the tiny kitchen is it forces you to be judicious and limit the amount of cooking accoutrements — not a bad thing at all.). I whisked two eggs from the farmers’ market with a few shavings of chedder cheese and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. Then I heated a splash of olive oil (olive oil is quite marvelous for frying or sauteeing eggs. It’s a completely different taste from the butter.) and turned the flame down low to scramble the eggs until soft and fluffy and the cheese was melted. I toasted a piece of whole wheat bread, scraped a bit of butter across it, made a cup of coffee using my one-cup coffee drip, and sat down to eat with the classical station burbling away in the other room.
And you know — that’s all I needed. The What Next will come, as it always relentlessly does, but rather than see it as a threat I’m going to choose to see it as an adventure. Oh life! You hand out such unexpected treasures (and disappointments too, of course, but I’d prefer not to dwell on those today) and I hope I can spend the rest of my days appreciating them all. Sometimes all it takes is a plate of scrambled eggs and a bit of quiet time to remind me.
Still and all — those deadlines. To get to it.
Thyme-Scrambled Eggs in Olive Oil
1 cup baby spinach, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs (or more or less, depending on how hungry you are)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 oz. sharp cheddar, chopped thinly
s+p to taste
In a small frying pan, wilt the spinach. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs briskly, trying to incorporate as much air as possible. Whisk in the thyme and cheddar cheese. Add the olive oil to the pan, and heat for about 20 seconds on medium heat. Add the eggs and lower the heat to low, sauteeing and stirring occasionally until the eggs are soft and cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.