Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dishes from Mom (Bill's grandmother) are the perfect touch.

We are rich. Our accountant wouldn't agree. But this morning we sat down to coddled eggs, applewood bacon, and Dave's Thin-Sliced Killer Bread with Twenty-One Grains and Seeds. I haven't counted but, by all accounts, Dave's an honorable fellow. Did I mention that every single grain and seed of the hot, buttered toast was slathered with apricot preserves?

Coddled eggs are my latest passion. I've also been hanging out with jalepenos and introducing them to old friends - chicken salad, stir-fries - but I digress. Back to coddling: butter the coddlers, pour a dollop of cream into each one, then slip in a raw egg. Top with a hint of salt and pepper, a scattering of chopped chives, and grated Emmentaler cheese. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan lined with a pot-holder. How much water, you ask? Enough to surround the coddlers but below the lids. Add the loosely-lidded jars, turn the heat down to a healthy simmer, and let those eggs spend a few minutes basking in the hot tub water bath while the bacon cooks and the toast, um, toasts. The result: a civilized Sunday morning coming down.

I confess. The kitchen is my happy place, a playground. I find cooking the perfect marriage of art and science. Good memories of my mother and grandmother hover near stoves and mixers. I can't remember the last time I bought processed foods, more a case of "made-from-scratch tastes better" than diligence. Prepping soothes me: I've chopped bad thoughts to pieces and kneaded Yo-Yo-Ma's melodies into dough. Mistakes?  More than you could count. I'm either a glutton for punishment or a willing student because the call of a good cookbook quickly beckons.

Bottom line: a good meal shared with others is communion. In my book, if everyone in the whole world had coddled eggs in the morning, peace would breakout. Hyperbole? Maybe, but this velvety delight would be a darn good start.