So longest post ever followed by the shortest post ever. I was at the market today buying some eggs for a cake I wanted to make for a potluck.
All and all, this was an in and out trip. Go in. Grab eggs. Buy eggs. Leave. It was a mission of practical pinpoint accuracy that I fashioned after watching far too many military movies and dating a lot of military personnel.
So in I go and I get to the eggs without any incident. As I pick one up a lady and her little girl around twelve are going through carton after carton looking for perfect eggs and - I kid you not - assembling a new one. When she found an egg she liked, one that was obviously superior to one of the eggs in the carton she was holding, she would switch it with the worst egg in her dozen.
Lord know what the qualifications were. They all looked exactly the same, but maybe I'm just a layman when it comes to egg analysis.
Speaking of eggs. Here's a snippet of the conversation they were in the middle of:
Child: "So, mom, if those people are making all those decisions shouldn't there be girls helping make them? All the people they showed on the news were men."
Mom: "Yes, well, sometimes women make very bad choices and men need to make them instead. Women can be very emotional and men are more rational."
Me in my Head: "Oh f***, no, she didn't."
I assumed they were talking about the recent contraceptive hearings going on in the capitol and the fact none of the people on the recent panel were women. (Something I find, terrible. Let's have a panel of just women decide on Viagra distribution or passing a law requiring them to get bi-monthly prostate exams and see how the dudes like it.)
While everyone has an opinion about this very touchy subject I don't think parents on either side of the issue would agree with what this parent was saying.
I kept my mouth shut. Not because I couldn't think of anything else to say, but rather due to the horror. The kind of horror you experience when you realize you're about to slam your fingers in a car door and you're not going to remove them in time. Horror that this poor doomed child's chances of having a liberating independent thought about her own future are next to nil.
Hopefully, the child goes to a very liberal college and meets a roommate who's middle name is Sunshine and whose sexuality is more ambiguous than the Niel Gaiman poem she has tattooed on her inner thigh.
Heaven help us.
I left the store and just sat in the car for a moment thinking about what I had just witnessed. What else can you do when you see evidence that the next generation might be just as screwed up as the current one but make breakfast? How can a parent neuter their child's self respect like that?
Lady, intelligence isn't inborn, it's learned.
I went home and made shirred eggs for breakfast. (How funny it was eggs I decided to make the day. Culinary coincidence or something subtle in the mind?) Shirred eggs are a simple brunch or breakfast dish that look fancy and always impress but that almost laughably easy. Eggs and cream baked in a ramekin. A beginner's breakfast.
While they cooked I threw together a sun dried tomato pesto with what ingredients I had on hand. A good pesto should always be made in excess as leftovers can grace everything from pasta to toast to eggs the next morning.
With eggs, pesto, and tea I sat down at the table and tried to read the news. Instead my eyes glazed over the headlines and my thoughts wandered to the girl and what her future might be. Her relationships. Her opinions of herself and her worth. I wondered who made the mother think the way she did. Probably her parents and her parents before her and so on.
Intelligence isn't inborn, but nor are our opinions of ourselves when we first start out. Unfortunately, breaking yourself out of the cycle isn't easy. Still, you can sit and hope about it. Maybe someday a friend of hers will sit her down to some eggs and lift her spirits a bit?
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Makes 1 1/2 cups pesto
1 8.5-ounce jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 cup walnuts
1 ounce Grana Padano or Parmesan, finely shredded
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
Place the sun dried tomatoes and their oil, the walnuts, cheese, and garlic clove in a food processor and blend. Salt and pepper to taste. If the pesto seems too thick add more olive oil in tablespoon increments until you achieve the desired consistency.
1/3 cup cream
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter four ramekins. Crack two eggs into each ramekin and split the cream amongst them all. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes. The eggs will look totally underdone. Don't worry, they're cooked, they're just a bit runny (think sunny side up). Have faith that they are perfect even though they look like they aren't. Overcooking makes these dry and while they can look runny on top inside the yolks can be very hard when overcooked. You want runny yolks to sauce the dish.
Top with pesto and serve immediately.