Let’s just say I get more caught up in Hollywood “reality” than I like to admit, especially this gray and gloomy time of year. Commercials, television, idyllic pictures of people laughing and playing volleyball on the beach. These photographed ideals all make me want to move to the warm beaches of California, become low-key famous in some form, and live the glamorous life, because it seems just that easy. Wrong!
I don’t know for sure that California, living “glamorously,” or fame would actually suit me, but sometimes my daydreaming gets the better of me.
Lately, when the winter blues get me down, I have begun to reassure myself with James Taylor’s song “The Secret of Life” which goes:
The Secret of Life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it, there ain’t nothin’ to it…
Try not to try too hard.
It’s just a lovely ride.
Each day passing, each moment, each vacation, each work day boils down to units of time, ticking and tocking away whether we notice them or not. The secret then is to enjoy time passing, sometimes slowly, sometimes just right, or sometimes looking at the clock and wondering where the day went.
If nothing else you can appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
Watching the snow fall from inside your warm house.
Listening to your cat purr.
And while Hollywood glam shots may seem desirable, don’t forget that they never show you the hard work behind the scenes. It’s like seeing pictures of a recipe in a cookbook without seeing the pile of dirty dishes at the end. It’s not all sparkle and shine.
One of my favorite simple pleasures of late: poached eggs.
Lately I’ve found comfort in this simple, delicious, and self-affirming recipe that helps for this soul-searching time of my life. I present to you poached eggs: soft and delicate, unctuous and smooth, perfect to top your toast, no special poaching pan required. Enjoy.
from America’s Test Kitchen
salt and pepper to taste
Start by heating a few inches of water with about 2 tablespoons of vinegar* in a large skillet. Meanwhile crack your eggs into one small bowl (if you are doing 2) or a few coffee mugs with handles if you are doing 4 or more. (ATK’s recipe allows up to 8 eggs at a time without changing the cooking time). As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and remove from the hot burner and gently lower your eggs into the now simmering water, holding the handles of the coffee mugs so you can add all eggs at once. Cover the pan and set your timer for 4 minutes (if doing 2 eggs I find this is perfect) or 5 minutes (if doing 4 or more). Prepare a plate with a paper towel and slotted spoon and get your toast ready.
When the timer goes off, remove the lid and carefully spoon out each egg with the slotted spoon onto the paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to your toast or eating plate. Enjoy poking the centers and letting the golden yolks run free. Close your eyes and savor this passage of time.
*I have used apple cider vinegar successfully though ATK recommends white vinegar. The vinegar will not make your eggs taste sour and instead is used to help the eggs to come together when dropped into the water bath. If you leave it out, I can’t promise that you won’t end up with watery egg drop soup instead.