Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Odd bits

Well, hello there! It's been a while, eh?

My son likes Arthur, the book and TV series by Marc Brown (who, incidentally, is from Erie, PA. We knew that because the mall in Arthur's town is called Millcreek Mall, just like Erie's! And the town Arthur lives in is Elwood City, which is a real town south of Erie. Yep! We were onto you, Marc Brown!) So, on the PBS website, there are Arthur games. And one of them is a game for his friend, Buster Baxter the bunny, who is obsessed with aliens. On the site, you can build your very own, original alien. Marcus loves it. One "parts" category from which to choose is called Odd Bits, and when you pass the cursor over it, a strange, alienesque voice says, "Odd bits." It always cracks me up. Hence, the title of this post.

(If you care to create your own alien, click here.)

Okay, back to this post.

It's the holiday season (can you hear Andy Williams crooning that line?) and things are rather hectic, but under control. Right before Thanksgiving, we added a member to our family. Here she is.

Isn't she pretty? Her given name was Ninja, and it fits; she's stealthy and silent a lot of the time. I like dogs, too, and hopefully there is still a dog in our future. But with the uncertainty of where we'll end up living (we still hope to move), a house-restricted cat seemed like a smarter choice. We've been needing a furry addition for awhile; the home just felt too sterile. She's very shy with strangers, and we were strangers initially. For days, this little lady hid in impossibly tiny spots, dusty corners, underneath cabinets, etc. She didn't eat or pee for at least 24 hours. I had second and third thoughts about our decision, which I did not voice aloud since this whole thing had been my idea.

But in time, she's come around. For the past couple of weeks, she's been increasingly friendly, and now she's staked out a comfortable chair in the living room as her own. It's likely that no guest of ours will ever see her, because said guest will be a stranger. But we know that she's really pretty sweet and playful. She's very much the opposite of our old cat, who was honestly more of a "dog-cat" that got in your face, meowed full volume, and then leaped onto your lap if you passed muster. Finding a different personality for this kitty was intentional; you can't repeat the past pet, nor should you try.

The whole experience has reminded me that earning the trust of someone who's shy and suspicious feels like a real accomplishment. I'm sort of more like the old cat, meowing a lot and getting in people's faces. That's not good. I need to be more quiet, subdued, reserved. It's not natural but it probably goes a lot farther than my current approach. I always struggle with stuff from the bible that talks up the "gentleness of spirit" aspect, because I really have to look deep in myself to find that sort of thing. Maybe I should work on putting more of it in there, so it's not such a rare discovery...

Onward to another new addition: a lovely, nearly completed (doesn't have a door or windows yet) shed in the garden. Yes, I know—why build a shed if you plan to move? Please ask my husband. Maybe you'll get a more satisfying answer than I did.

Moving on, I looked for a photo I took last summer, but couldn't locate it and was too lazy to search through my CDs of saved images. The photo featured a wonderful, simple, possibly nutritious entrée called egg-in-the-hole. I first learned of this easy meal from Martha Stewart, but I turned it into an art form in late August, when our home-grown tomatoes were bursting from the vines. EITH is a lovely food form because it is completely flexible and easily individualized. (And yes, occasionally I take pictures of my edible creations. No comments, please.)

Here are some divinely uncomplicated instructions for Egg-in-the-Hole:

-Take a piece of bread, rip a smallish hole in the center, and eat the bread you ripped out to sustain you while you cook this masterpiece.
-Heat a medium-sized fry pan over medium heat.
-Drop in a BIG pat of butter.
-When it's sizzling, decrease the heat slightly and drop in the hole-y bread.
-As it begins to toast in the pan, crack an egg into the hole in the bread.
-When about 30 seconds have passed, use a spatula to loosen the egg/bread so it doesn't stick too much to the pan.
-After about 30 more seconds, turn over the egg/bread.
-Add some lunch meat or leftover turkey or ham to the top of the mostly cooked egg.
-Add some shredded or thinly sliced cheese atop the meat.
-Ascertain that the egg is fully cooked or darn close, and then turn off the heat and cover the pan for a minute or two.
-EAT. It's that easy. The most difficult part is washing the fry pan. Which isn't too bad, since you used a ton of butter to prevent sticking. ; )

The tastiest combo I found was whole wheat bread, a home-grown egg courtesy of my sister's hens, then turkey topped with a fresh slice of tomato, sprinkled liberally with Parmesan and pepper. But the beauty of this is that it works with whatever ingredients you have available. The butter gives the bread a rich, crispy texture that feels positively luxurious. You don't even need meat, because the egg gives you protein. You can use fresh greens wilted on top, or just cheese, or even a dollop of cottage cheese. It's completely up to you. Use whole-grain bread and don't go too crazy with the butter, and you might just be able to pass this off as a healthy little meal.

Signing off now; more Christmas-related tasks await. Stay jolly and joyful!


Anonymous said...

I may make this later since I have soooo many eggs they are overflowing the refridgerator (come get some). Also that cat looks like Stormy...:)

chris h. said...

Thumbs up to both kitty and shed! And, have never tried EITH but love me some poached eggs on toast...a childhood favorite I still have at least once a week and often 2 or 3 times.

Athelas63 said...

Love the egg recipe. Kitty is gorgeous. Missing furry ones in my house this year too... not enough to get a new one yet, tho...