Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eggs: dinner of champions

Well, I couldn't find my muffin tin, so there went my grand idea (borrowed from a blog post by Just Bento) of turning my delicious yet overflowing bowl of thick chicken soup into mini-pot-pies for packed lunches...

so I did this instead.

Huevos Rancheros

1 baked potato, cooled and chopped
half a green pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

An egg or two
Lemon juice
Grated cheddar
Fresh parsley
Hot sauce if desired

If you have a cast-iron pan, now is the time to use it. Nothing works better for browning potatoes--and using a nice, dry, baked potato really makes this the easy part.
Heat up a bit of oil in the pan and throw in the garlic. Let it sizzle for 30 seconds, and throw in the pepper and onion. Cook over high heat until things start to wilt, then remove and set aside. In your hot pan, add a little more oil and bring it back up to temperature. Add the potatoes and *don't touch them*. Like searing a steak, you want them to get nice and brown and they'll release from the pan on their own. Once they do, stir them around some and let their other sides brown too.
Add the pepper-onion mix back to the pan with the potatoes once your spuds are almost done. Lower the heat a bit and let things cook together while you do the eggs. Don't forget to stir.

In your little bitty saucepan, throw in some salsa. For this part, it's totally OK to cheat and use the cheap stuff since it'll get watered down anyway. Save your expensive locally-made organic kind (or even--gasp--homemade!) for topping the eggs just before serving.
Water down the salsa until it's about half as thick as it normally is and add a little lemon juice. Tomatoes are naturally acidic, but adding a little extra is good insurance when you're poaching eggs. There should be enough liquid in the pan to barely cover the egg(s).
Once this mix has begun to bubble fiercely, gently add your egg(s) and let them cook. Turn down the heat and let the sauce reduce when the eggs are just shy of done: poke the yolk with a spoon and see how much it gives. If the edges are starting to get firm, that's a good time to turn it down. Adding a lid while they simmer is optional.

Now comes the fun part. :)
Slide your beautifully browned potatoes onto your plate, platter, or bowl. Using a slotted spoon, fish out the egg(s) and place them on top. Scoop the big chunks out of your simmering liquid and throw that on the plate too; you can dump the water in the bottom, it'll just make for soggy spuds. Spoon some fresh salsa on top, hot sauce as you like, and sprinkle cheese and parsley with abandon. If you're patient enough to wait for the cheese to melt, you're a stronger soul than I.

Dig in.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

different changes this time

Normally it takes me forever to get used to the bright long days and painfully slow warming that comes with Spring--this year, I was hoping August would never end. though with the warm, sunny weather lately, you'd think we were stuck in mid-September for weeks despite the leaves changing...

In any case, I think I've finally gotten over the fact that it's fall now. I'm an autumn baby, so normally the changing leaves and cooling weather feel like coming home to me. Not this year. I had a little hint of what the Wild Hunt feels like some days back, but it was brief. I guess it's just been too damn *nice* out to get into the whole doom-and-gloom mien that goes with Halloween and Samhain.

Part of me suspects this has something to do with how I really don't respect Odin all that much, though it may well be a grudge held over from my Christian upbringing; there I go overanalyzing things again. (But I don't, really. I mean, he figures very prominently in the Eddas, he's supposed to be all-wise but he's still a warmonger... I guess I should bite the bullet and just get to know Him, huh? Then at least my little bitch-list will have some backing with experience and not just book-learning.)


I run around a lot, despite *still* not having a job. My boyfriend and I split the time between each others' places, and Wednesday is kind of my stay-at-home day, which Genki definitely appreciates. I feel really drained when I don't get enough time here, even though I haven't connected here as well as I did at my last apartment. It's still my place after all. It has my pets and my things and my bed and it's where I've set up my altar. (I am starting to feel more comfortable being Pagan in my guy's Jewish house--you can tell if you know how to look for it--but that's another post altogether.) So it's a day like this, where I'm procrastinating as usual on the homework due tomorrow, baking potatoes in the oven and enjoying the weather through open windows as I rearrange my blog layout again and finally feel like there's something worth writing about.

Golden sunlight reflecting back the gold and red of changing leaves, sunlight not sticking around as long as it used to a month ago, along with a feeling of real calm has I think helped it sink in.
Part of me wants to go back two or three months and find somewhere utterly private where I can soak up as much sunshine as my body can take, feel that heat all the way down in my bones soaking in and storing it up for the cold days. You know when the trees are in full leaf, and everything's so strongly green you can smell it? Goldenrod is just starting to bloom; the spring flowers are long gone, and coneflowers haven't yet faded into seedheads and become the local wildbird buffet. It's then that all the green ones are at the very height of their power.

Maybe aligning myself with the Vanir has brought be closer to the green world this way. Subtle changes in power, the waxing and waning of my soul (for lack of a better word) is now tied with leaf-spring and sunshine and rain and that incessant vitality of a plant in summer's full swing. I'll have to see what real cold brings, as there's older patterns that I've laid down earlier in my life that have been around longer and will probably kick in then.