What a week it has been here! Busy is not usually a hugely operative term in my life. I might do a lot of things but somehow, I never think of myself as overly busy (at least in comparison to other times in my life when breathing seemed like something I needed to schedule). Sliding back into my normal Culebra mode is on my very near horizon though, and the contrast is a fine one. As in, hey, I can still do busy and only sort of want to moan about it. Hooray!
|The always very busy women of Randaluz Plumb Electrical (plus liquor and smokes). All of the women who work in all three ferreterias on Culebra are awesome. But the fact that I can go in here, within easy walking distance of home, with my limited Spanish, and we can find anything by them putting up with my sign language, makes it a fun event almost every single time. Thanks, you adorable and oh so patient elves.|
Of course, being busy on Culebra, the same as being lazy/mellow/relaxed/unbusy often has a big oh wow factor built in. It's unavoidable, like roosters crowing or frigate birds wheeling overhead. Or the PO being closed when you have to get a package. Like that.
I like how they are making clouds square now! Always with the new thing.
Pedro and his pots
As promised, albeit a few hours later than forecast, we got some seriously gusty weather yesterday; gusts of 35+ knots being clocked. That also meant no ferries were running, which is another Culebra facet of life and a reminder that staying loose (and having a plan B and C) better be part of your m o if you live or visit here (I personally am a big fan of travel insurance - it's cheap and well worth it if say...the ferries don't run and/or the planes don't fly to get you to SJU on time).
My favorite wind story yesterday was a young friend of mine who had a chair on the roof, where she sits to watch the water. It blew off and broke, but she swears it is just crippled. Everyone should have a chair on the roof to have a better view, at least once.
It's hard to get the feel of the really wild wind that was going on here.
You'll just have to trust me.
A slightly different view of the same area, but in another direction.
If you look to the left, there is, oh never mind, it's not in the photo.
And now, for the food part of our program, rapidly named Bring Back the Egg(s). The chickens I'm sheltering, who have yet to return to their ancestral abode, are still giving me a little egg a day. When I had four of them, which would be almost two eggs in a perfect world, I decided it was time to cook 'em up. Of course, I broke a yolk, and there was no re-doing it for a photo's sake.
Small but beautiful, even with the broken yolk (my story, I'm stickin' to it).
This is unlike my brief foray into the world of restaurant cooking, where broken yolked eggs were tossed into a container and another
victim egg done up to send out a picture perfect plate. I ate a lot of eggs in those early days, but finally got it pretty well down, which (oh, this seque is as slick as your egg pan should be) is the topic for today's Free Range Friday.
How to cook a perfect fried egg. Ta da! Obviously, the first thing* to know is, sometimes you break a yolk. Don't worry about it. Eating one's mistakes is much tastier than eating one's words, believe me, I know about this stuff. And hey, you might be asking, how hard is it to cook a fried egg? If it isn't difficult for you, please feel free to move right along in your day. For the rest of you, I'm probably not going to be much help because truthfully? It's all in the doing, just like almost anything. I'll give you a couple of how to's and then, practice!
First of all, in reading about this, I realized some people are pretty into the perfect fried egg. One method suggests breaking them into a bowl, one at a time, and then sliding them into the just below medium heated pan with the fat of your choice melted therein. Somehow, you are supposed to do this one at a time but 'something something' so they all are cooked at the same time. Well, good for them but I can't see it happening that way. Next!
Another method suggests, again, with that just under medium heat going and either spray oil or 3 tablespoons of butter (what?), crack the eggs on the side of the pan, never more than 3 at a time, let them set up a bit and then take a lid, wet it with a bit of water on the down side and cover the eggs, the idea of the moisture creating steam, thus cooking the eggs without a flip. Ok, that sounds worth trying. Maybe. Sometime.
Then there is my way, which is my Dad's way, and therefore, the right way. It also involves bacon. First, cook the bacon. You need a lesson? Let me know. The most important thing is, do NOT burn the bacon! Then you have to start over because you need the bacon fat for the eggs.
If you have more than a couple tablespoons of bacon fat, drain it off into a jar and save it for another day when you want to cook something with that deliciousness.
One thing I do agree with on the above cooking eggs ideas is the just below medium heat. More eggs are ruined because of high heat than about anything else. Some people love that crispy edge thing. I happen to be one of them but you can do that once you have the basic thing down, unless you also like the yolk hard. Which I don't. So, what did Dad do?
Just so you know, the fattest part of the egg is the weakest part, so you do want to try to hit that spot when you break the egg. It way ups your chances of not breaking the yolk plus not shattering the shell. Just remember though, eggs are real. They aren't all the same. So if you shatter the shell, pick it out and don't worry about it. Those chefs who crack an egg in one hand while whipping up a pie crust with the other? They've been doing that awhile. Check out how they do the egg though, thumb to the middle (fattest part) of the egg. Try it, it's fun. Messy at first but fun. Ok, what did Dad do? He did not break an egg in one hand, I can tell you that.
So the eggs are in the pan and the bacon fat is medium hot. The eggs start to set up. Then take a spoon and gently tilt the pan, spooning up the bacon fat and drizzle it over the yolks (you say you like 'em sunny side up? then don't do that!). This does two things. One, it gives the yolk a beautiful translucent coating and two, it slightly slows down the cooking so you can get them all done and three (oh sorry, three things) it bastes the eggs with yumminess. One article I read suggested that doing this step can make the eggs taste 'too rich'. Excuse me?
There should be enough slide in your pan to deliver said eggs to the plate with a gentle bump of the wrist. If not, practice more!
OR!!! you can do this with your eggs, which is what a not to be mentioned but certain person I call friend, who continues to insist she's not really a cook, made for us yesterday.
Here's how you do it:
Take everything in the fridge that is a leftover (and you can take this from other people's leftovers too; what they don't know will help you) and cut it all up. In this case it was onions, green peppers, feta cheese, mushrooms, ham and salami and maybe something else. Saute it all except the cheese until the onions are soft. Stir up some eggs and pour them over it, and cook still on gentle heat until the eggs are done. Spoon it onto a heated tortilla you've not burned on the stove top. Break up the feta over it, roll it up, put on some salsa if you want to. Cut up some apples that will be bad in two hours if you don't. Serve. Eat. Yum. Thank you!
Have the freest of Fridays! Do something flighty.
*Really the first thing to know is, have a good skillet. Some swear by non-stick (the good kind, not the kind that over the years, shreds out bits of whatever that stuff is). Some swear by porcelain. I use my small saute skillet because it works, but for many, many years used a well seasoned cast iron skillet and if I found a good small one, I'd use it again. If you really cook a LOT of eggs, a dedicated egg skillet isn't a bad idea.