Eggs on toast

Normally eating by myself is something I rather dread.  Being of the type that immensely enjoys pleasing others – watching people I love derive happiness from something I’ve created just for them - cooking for myself has always seemed rather unrewarding. So much effort just to sit down alone.  But lately I’ve been finding it strangely pleasing – just in the way that I am coming to appreciate other sorts of solitude as well.  When I open the door and find the house empty, I find myself actually experiencing a sense of relief.  The house to myself, time to do what I want.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my husband dearly and I would be just as thrilled if not more so to find him home when I wasn’t expecting to. But moments of solitude become more precious as we get older, and when they are happened upon unexpectedly, one must relish them.

Lately it has happened that there is one day each week when I have a good several hours before M gets home from work. I’ve gotten into the habit of preparing myself a little snack in that space of time – more of a lite dinner sort of business – before embarking on my “empty house” sorts of tasks. It’s quickly becoming a weekly ritual for me. The day I dine alone. I like what happens when there is no one to please or to impress but my own hunger.  I can crunch as loudly as I like, let the crumbs fall all over my lap, I can give all my focus and attention to the food that sits before me. Eating as though no one were watching. I can yield completely to the whims of my own inclinations and taste with no abashedness.  I can cook everything in one pan so there is hardly any mess to clean. The food that is born of this has that pared down, humble, comforting character that only food that is designed purely for hunger’s sake can embody.

Some days I assemble a salad, which is really a meditative sort of thing to do when you are alone late in the afternoon. Some days I am completely unashamed in my eating and I dine on bananas mashed up with peanut butter and chocolate chips, which is truly a meal to be eaten in secret. But one of my favorite meals of all – one that is as pleasing and satisfying to me as any gourmet meal could be – is eggs on toast. I think I get this from my Grandfather, who as much as lived on this meal in his later years. A widower in his old age, he was well versed in meals that are born out of hunger alone. It seems in my memory that he was always seated at the table in the kitchen whenever we came, a plate of toast crumbs and the golden drops of a runny egg yolk pushed off to the side of his papers. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much, that even in the lonely ticking moments of solitude, we can find connection to the people that we love.

What do you eat when you are alone?

Eggs on toast with tomatoes, parsley and olives

Serves 1

There are endless adaptations to this simple and humble supper. This is one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 thickly sliced piece of whole grain bread
  • a good handful of grated hard sheep's milk cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon organic cream
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roasted plum tomatoes
  • a handful of pitted kalmata olives (5-6), chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of parsley, leaves roughly torn

Instructions

  1. Place the toast under a broiler and lightly brown on both sides. Once the bread has been toasted on both sides, top with the cheese and return to the oven for a further minute or two until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  2. While the toast is toasting, beat the egg in a small bowl with the cream and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the butter or oil in a small skillet. On one side of the pan, add the tomatoes. When the pan is thoroughly hot and the tomatoes begin to sizzle, add the beaten egg to the other half. Let it sizzle for a moment and then use a wooden spoon to gently draw the edges into the middle, working from all sides, until the egg is just cooked. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place your toast on a plate and top with the tomatoes. Place the egg over this and scatter with the olives, then finish with the parsley leaves and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy in the solitude of your own beautiful company.

 

Comments

  1. After reading of those golden eggs on toast I am going to quote a very famous line

    “I WANT TO BE ALONE”…….GRETA GARBO

    so I can dine alone on such a wonderous dish as you just posted.

    Thanks yet again.

    • Danielle Charles says:

      What a great line! I can certainly say that I’ve said that in my head more than once :) I hope you get a chance for a little solitary pleasure sometime very soon!!
      D

  2. Lori W. says:

    I sometimes have mac and cheese when I am alone–made from the box with extra cheese grated on top. My partner is lactose intolerant and my son doesn’t like it, so it is my solitary pleasure.

  3. Cathy says:

    Lovely post. Yes, I know the feeling and treasure the opportunity to cook a wok dinner with lots of vegetables and miso (as I’m the only one who really likes it!) :-)

  4. Lucinda says:

    Your dinner of banana and peanut butter and chocolate made me laugh. I too sometimes enjoy such indulgences when there is no one else around to see! :) xxx