Simple pleasures. They are different to everyone. Sometimes there is emotional attachment. Other times, it’s just a no hassle kind of enjoyment.
On our morning walks around South East Portland, we are impressed by everyone’s veggie gardens. Cucumber, tomatoes of every color and size, herbs the size of small trees, apples, I even saw some pumpkins the other day! I love Portland for their “sharing mentality.” There are sporadic little signs: “please enjoy sparingly.” And no one takes the whole box, just a few. They are simple little treasures- each one delicate and different. I carry them home as though it was a rare sea shell I found on the beach in Pacific Grove. Mom always said I could only take a few because otherwise the beach would run out?! Be it shell or tomato, the treasure made it home safe and sound.
My sweet neighbor Melissa, who has greeted us with a warm smile and open arms since we toured our apartment in June, started what she calls a community garden out front. There’s really just her, us, and another gal to complete our little triplex, but nonetheless a community. Melissa does all the tending to this little garden, and I just make sure no fruit is in the dirt.
Tomatoes are a simple pleasure to me. I know they’re not everyone’s favorite. But I could eat them at every meal. They are complex, flavorful, bright, work well with others (other ingredients that is) and are healthy: yea for antioxidants! I come home every now and then only to see a little trio of goodness like a parade of red at my door. Melissa always makes sure to put them off to the side, so they don’t become road-kill if we’re carrying up groceries.
I don’t know if it’s the sharing mentality, or the fact that we watched them grow from nothing to something, or if they just taste so good?! But fresh food from the neighbor’s hand just blesses me to pieces, even on a difficult day.
My latest little breakfast fix:
1 Fresh Garden Picked Tomato
Salt and Pepper
Pepper Jack Cheese (optional)
I like to poach my eggs. It reminds me of my mother. Bring water to a boil (deep enough water that your egg won’t hit the bottom when dumped in). Then to a simmer. Then give the water a stir to cool it a few more degrees. PERFECT.
Room temperature eggs work best. Don’t want to shock the poor guys. And probably not more than 4 eggs at a time. Crack egg into bowl, then slide it in, sparing you all the more for broken yoke in the water (ew).
Turn off heat. Cover Pot. We like 2 min, 41 seconds for the perfect runny yoke. For firmer yoke, go more like 3 min 51 seconds. Someday I’ll blog about Chris and the timing of this process…
While the eggs are going, assemble tomato slices and season them with S & P. Not just the eggs here people! Season everything. Make Michael Simon proud. If you want to add the pepper jack, throw some shredded cheese on the tomato and broil for a min or two.
Then used a strained spoon to lift them out and place on top of tomato. Salt and Pepper and don’t forget the Parsley (I used dried). Don’t delay, eat right away. The cool tomato cools the eggs down. So hurry! Then enjoy… simple pleasures.