Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Egging Him On

Spring cleaning is a hallowed tradition, but not one that My Beloved and I really adhere to. We tend to leave cleaning until there is absolutely nothing else in the entire world to do, or when we can no longer function in our space, whichever comes first.

Inevitably, it's the latter.

We always groan and roll our eyes when that day comes, but we do finally bite the bullet. This week, it was the garage. Because My Beloved works from home and represents several factories, we have an ever-changing inventory of samples, pamphlets, leaflets, returns, defectives, empty boxes, packing materials and just plain junk in our garage sharing space with my collection of toolbox, gardening and cleaning supplies and tools, saddle, bridle, boots (haven't owned a horse in 15 years but I cherish my tack), brooms, buckets, spare paint cans, shipping boxes, seasonal decorations - the list is epic and mostly boring. That's what garages are for, right?

Every now and then, when the jumble-sale-to-be that is our garage becomes totally unworkable, we get down to business and recycle his outdated literature, cut up the extra boxes for recycling, corral the so-annoying packaging "peanuts" and get down to where the floor can actually be swept. We do have very nice shelves all around the periphery of the garage, so it shouldn't get this bad, nor should righting it take this long but, *sigh*, it always does.

He does most of the work, since only he can make sense out of his stuff; mostly, I'm just out there sweeping around him and egging him on.

The other thing we are trying to clean out is our double supply of eggs. So, when we had put two solid hours into the garage reorganization and decontamination project, I decided he had earned a hearty lunch. Searching through the fridge, I found the makings for a perfect lunch to keep his energy up for the afternoon - poached eggs on Pain au Levain from Acme, with Swiss cheese and asparagus.

There isn't much to tell you about how to do this but, for what it's worth, here's what I did. Got a pan of water boiling that was big and deep enough for all the eggs, then added the asparagus to it after washing and snapping the ends. The asparagus simmered for only about three minutes, as they were the nice little thin ones, before I scooped them out and set them aside. To the same, now faintly green, water I added the eggs. I don't swirl the water to keep the whites together and I detest the practice of adding vinegar to the water to achieve that goal. Vinegar changes the texture of the whites and leaves an aftertaste. Yes, I lose some of the white where it thins out and sometimes tears, but I prefer that to textural and taste losses.

While the eggs poached for a few minutes, I cut the center slices from a loaf of Pain au Levain and toasted them, buttering while still hot (a
single center slice of that bread is so big that it easily accommodated two eggs) and topping them with a slice of Swiss cheese. I love the combination of the nutty cheese with the rich eggs and fresh asparagus.

I sliced the asparagus lengthwise in half, to make a firmer foundation for the slippery eggs - those went on top of the cheese, laid like cord wood.

I test the eggs for doneness by gently pressing the thickest part of the white. When it is firm all the way through, the eggs are done. My Beloved likes runny yolks, so I lifted his from the water first and prepped his plate. The extra 30 seconds or minute in the water was enough to firm up the outside of my yolks, just the way I like them. Fresh ground pepper and a tiny spritz of the Hawaiian sea salt that was my Christmas present. That's really all there is to it. No foolin'.

We fell upon this lunch like the proverbial pack of wolves. Having consumed the protein that would fuel the rest of the work, we each ate a couple of tangerines for quick carbo energy and, thus fortified, hit the decks for another two hours of sorting, organizing, cleaning and recycling. We filled our recycling bin entirely (it is chest high on me) and invaded our neighbors' as well. I'm proud to report that one can now walk entirely around the car, even with the garage door closed, without tripping over a single thing.

We keep opening the garage door just to gaze at our shining achievement. It should stay pretty for, oh, a week or two, tops.

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Blogger Greg said...

Food has always been a great motivator to me.What a feast!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger Mary said...

That is a gorgeous looking sandwich! A reward like that at the end of an unpleasant task is a great motivator for next time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

That's a goal. We have one car in our double-wide, and you can only get into it with the garage door open. Egh.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I thought that there was a beatific light shining over the bay - obviously, it was the sunny aura of a goal accomplished. Virtue should always be rewarded.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Anonymous Evlmprs said...

Wow! That looks truly delicious.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

In case you didn't know, 2 eggs a week is good for your fingernails (according to my mum) - so you're set this week :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, it is to MB, too. I'm no dummy!

Mary, thanks, it did the trick.

Cookiecrumb, we wish for a double but then it would take two days to clean it out - ugh.

Nancy, glad you noticed the glow we generated. :-)

Evlmprs, easy and really sustains the will to do good.

Morgan, after this week, my fingernails should be in tip top shape. I'm ready for a change.

Thursday, April 01, 2010  

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