Monday, March 6, 2017

On Little Joys

I just got in from a long and slow walk around the place. The drizzle from earlier in the day had let up so I set out to see if any of the double daffodils tucked into edges of the trails had bloomed – and also to see if I could spot a woodcock. Both Ed and I have recently seen this funny, well-camouflaged bird with a long pointy bill on separate occasions down by the creek near the ramp bank. I was hoping to find her nesting spot.

I saw neither blooming daffodils nor any sign of the woodcock, but I did come upon other little joys.

Bowled heads of Lenten Roses growing under the hydrangea bushes at the side of the cottage.
Peonies unfurling
Red-bellied woodpecker scrounging for suet seed

It's easy to miss these joys. I have to be on the lookout and recognize them for the sparks of delight that they bring to my life. Often they are inconspicuous or fleeting. They require that I be quiet, intentional, aware; when I am, the payback comes. Pure joy.


Sometimes a little joy comes to me in my kitchen. One came on Sunday. It may not seem to be any big deal to you, but for me, it was a source of great happiness: I learned how to successful boil an egg. Yep, you heard me right. Let me explain.

We get the most amazing eggs from our neighbor Vivian (and sometimes from friend Jackie). These eggs make the standard grocery store ones pale in comparison -- literally. The shells are beautiful shades of blue, green, brown and white; the yokes are as orange as last night's sunset. And I know they are fresh -- which is part of the problem. Every time I try to peel one of these super fresh eggs, I end up with a mangled mess. I won't even attempt deviled eggs (or as Ed calls them: dressed eggs).

A couple of weeks ago on NPR's Sunday morning cooking show, Christopher Kimmel explained how to steam eggs and end up with easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs. I decided to give it a try.

I figured out how many eggs I wanted to hard-boil. 
I added 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of my vegetable steamer pot
 and brought it to boil. 
I placed the eggs in the bottom of the steamer pan and put the lid on,
setting my timer for 11 minutes, as I like them medium firm.
Once the timer went off, I moved the eggs into a bowl of ice-cold water.
A few minutes later, I perfectly peeled them. 
I had one for breakfast, sprinkled with homemade sumac. 
I can't tell you how much joy this brought me. I'm headed down to my neighbor's house tomorrow to get another dozen (or two) eggs and I'm planning all sorts of recipes that will show off my new found skill of how to hard-boil and peel a perfect egg. Pure joy!

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