Weekend Meditation: A Quiet Day with Scrambled Eggs

Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Welcome to a new year, dear readers. The hustle-bustle, tinsel-trimmed, sage-and-cornbread-stuffed days are safely behind us now. It's time to put it all away, return to order, straighten up and simplify. Complete the last of your attiring and disattiring and find some soft, warm, fur-lined place to curl up in for a good rest.

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If your sleep is interrupted by hunger pains, then I recommend the following recipe for scrambled eggs because they call for an unusually long period of time standing at the (warm) stove, in your slippers, gently stirring a pot. If you do this for a while, your gaze will soften and your shoulders will relax. You may even poof out a little sigh.

The results of your tiny effort are a lovely mound of creamy rich buttery eggs, best eaten with crisp toast and, if you happen to have it on hand, some silky sheets of smoked salmon. A sprinkle of chopped chives would be lovely, but not necessary.

Scrambled Eggs for a Quiet Morning

You will want roughly 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of butter per person. Have a rubber spatula, salt and pepper, and some creme fraiche nearby.

Crack the eggs into a saucepan and add the butter. Place over low heat and start stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not do this in a frying pan! Do not whisk the eggs before hand! Do not season with salt yet!

Take your time, scrapping the sides and bottom of the pan as you stir.

After a while you will notice that the butter has melted into the eggs and they have started to thicken. Then you will start to notice/feel some curds forming along the sides and bottom. (The timing here depends on how many eggs you've used, how high your heat is and the kind of saucepan you are using. It could be a minute or two, or up to 10 minutes. I recommend a nice low heat, allowing for optimal time for stirring and staring off into space.) When the curds appear, remove the pan from the heat and switch to the spatula, scrapping the bottom and the sides of the pan to incorporate the stiffer curds into the creamy custard.

You may want to place the pot back on the stove to cook the eggs a little more if they seem too runny for your tastes. Be careful, though, as they will turn from creamy puffs into stiff, dry clods in a wink of an eye. When they are just about perfect, remove from heat, plop in some creme fraiche and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and snipped chives.

Place on a plate with toast and smoked salmon, and retire to your furry nest. Eat slowly until your eyes droop and then, dear reader, hunker down and take your rest.

(People familiar with Gordon Ramsay may find this recipe somewhat familiar as it is based on one he has demoed often on his TV shows. It's true that GR is the inspiration here. However, I have eliminated all vestiges of his bouncy, twitchy, hyper-energized affect and have replaced it with my own slow moving, slipper-shuffle moves. Please feel free to emulate whichever best suits your day.)

Related: Weekend Meditation: Monk's Food

(Images: Dana Velden)

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Breakfast, Weekend Meditation

Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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