Sunday, January 10, 2010

Much, much better

I have had a bit of a cold for a few days now, but I must be feeling better. I woke up this morning and made this bit of leek and eggs from The Wednesday Chef (who got it from Camino restaurant) for my extended family.

It is smothered in a couple of tablespoons of cream and baked in the oven. Why does that delight me so? Eggs unbeaten, in all their sunny-faced glory, baked in the oven. Yes, I must be feeling better.

It is days like this that remind me that I have absolutely no time to lose! My son is gorgeous with his grey eyes and three little bottom teeth. The shelves are packed with cookbooks and poetry books. My beloved is still my beloved. And there is much to cook--much to write. Did I mention that I feel better?

I feel better in the sick sense, like my body doesn't feel like it will fall apart any moment anymore, yes, but I also feel better in the settling in sense--a week of cooking something everyday myself instead of falling into alternating roles of helpless new mummy or helpless, jobless daughter feels incredibly good. It is as if I have finally sat down to a good meal instead of pacing around the house wringing my hands in anxious desperation like a toddler.

Too clear a picture? It is maybe too true. Moving has made everything feel backwards. Change makes everything feel backwards. And when life is backwards, my body turns all wonky. I forget things like how to make toast or brush my hair or how to breath properly. My brain feels like it has an Alka-Seltzer on it. Fuzzing, fuzzing, fuzzing.

Cooking is so physical, it brings the senses back to life. It is sculptural; it is creative. It already exists in all its simple beauty. I aspire to make and eat food for all the senses. It helps a lot.

And one more thing...I think eggs are little poems...self contained, daily (usually), nourishing, perfection in simple form, but with a little work, or a lot of work, exquisite.

Eggs Baked in Cream
adapted from The Wednesday Chef

This recipe is fit for a family of big-breakfast eaters! But take Ms. Wednesday Chef's advice and cook up the leeks like so, and bake the desired amount of eggs in the desired amount of ramekins to suit your needs. Use the leftover leeks for other grounding occasions.

3 tablespoons butter
6 leeks, sliced, light green and white parts only
2 sprigs thyme, leaves roughly chopped
2 sprigs parsley, leaves roughly chopped
10 large farm-fresh eggs
About 2 tablespoons cream per egg
Coarsely ground black pepper
Grilled or toasted bread slices

Preheat to 400 degrees. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and a three finger pinch of salt and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 5 minutes, adding a splash of water here or there when things get dry. Add the herbs, stir to combine, and put a scoop of the mix in the bottom of each ramekin. You should have leftover leeks.

Crack the eggs into the middle of each ramekin, and add enough cream to barely cover the white. Sprinkle with salt and coarsely ground pepper and bake until the white is set, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with grilled or toasted bread. Enjoy!

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