Sunday, April 17, 2016

Recovery - Eggs in Baskets

For someone whose life revolves around work and karate, it shouldn't be surprising that weekends are suddenly gone, three out of five workdays involve at least an hour and a half in heavy So-Cal traffic, and sleep is almost nonexistent. Training for my career and extra training for karate drain the life out of me like forgetting to water an orchid. All this running around has me cobbling together meals from bits, pieces and leftovers, seemingly perpetually scrambling for extra calories so that I don't faint during (or after!) a bazillion two-hour class of intense karate. Luckily, I've finally found some time today, a blue moon free half-weekend, to put pan to stove and eat!

It seems fitting that my first post back from, well, the past six months, should be something a little more simple and typical of what I'm really eating these days. I had a post about candied citrus (!) almost ready to go, then it languished for 3 months. Which means, if you think about it, I've been wanting to come back and procrastinating on this for a full 3 months.

Meep.

So, what did I do in the last six months? Not necessarily in chronological order:

- Graduate with my master's (shamefully "mastering out" of a PhD program, as they say)
- Find a job (!)
- Get a raise (!!)
- Start a program that will culminate in my parts inspection certification
- Spin my somewhat blue-collar job into an internship and recovery period from grad school
- Move more south in Southern California, within walking distance of said job
- Split the purchases of significant pieces of furniture for the apartment
- Make shodan (1st degree black belt!!!) in shotokan karate
- Get really, really, really physiologically drunk from a single shot (same day)
- Drive/ride (I carpool) over 1,400 miles on the way to and from karate
- Start the instructor training program in the AJKA-I organization (karate)
- Teach a 40-kid karate class by myself (with assistance from a lovely brown belt friend)
- Karate crisis! AKA why our karate dojo (school) has so few women
- Stay up until ???am in the morning talking with my friend and forever karate idol
- Recover from karate crisis (thanks to said friend and karate idol!)
- Pay first deposit toward the karate trip to Japan I'll be taking in September (!!!)
- Start taking proper care of my face (Korean skincare!)
- Learn more about skin chemistry and ingredients than I ever needed, but I love it
- Get my boyfriend into wearing sunscreen everyday (he'll be pretty forever <3)
- Help a friend write several academic papers/applications/letters
- Speak three languages at work
- Start investigating new jobs... one that actually uses my engineering degree...!

All of this means that my kitchen adventures are less ice cream cakes (story for another time...) and more simple, sustaining food like this, an Egg in a Hole. I'm told they go by many names, but as my personal history consists more of rice and scrambled eggs than fanciful fried egg dishes, I'll leave those English names to the experts... those who grew up in English-speaking countries with English-speaking parents ;)

And here we go!

Egg in a Basket
Extrapolated from Wikipedia

Ingredients (scale up as desired!) for 1 Egg in a Basket
1 egg
1 slice of bread
Butter
Cooking oil (I like the big olive one from Costco. Huge, reasonably priced, and tasty)
Salt (optional)
Pepper (optional)

Directions:

1. With either a cookie cutter or a knife, cut a hole in the slice/s of bread. I like round holes, but if you prefer corners, then who am I to deny?

2. In a frying pan, add about a teaspoon of oil and around the same amount of butter. Fry the slice/s of bread on one side. You're going to have to flip these slices, so leave a bit of extra space.

3. Add a bit of oil or butter to the hole/s in the middle of the toast. With the toasted side up, crack an egg into the hole of each toast. Allow to cook for at least 30 seconds, or until the egg whites have set.

4. Sprinkle salt and pepper if desired. With a spatula, lift up each egg in the hole, add a touch more oil or butter, and flip the toasts. Now it gets a bit interesting: controlling whether your yolks are runny. I like them so, but my boyfriend prefers medium-cooked eggs. About 30 seconds more will get you said runny yolks, and about 1 minute will cook them about medium. The more oil/butter you add, the earlier you can get away with removing the eggs.

5. Plate and serve! Enjoy!

Postscript: Yes, of course I fried the little bread cut-outs afterward to make butter toast :)

Update: Almost done with this post, I smelled something oddly toasty. I went to the kitchen to find that while I was writing, my rice on the stove had totally burned to a pretty, speckled, black/toasted beige/silver/white pattern. Good job, Asian-American food blogger.