Egg (on) Thy Neighbor

Borrow an egg from my neighbor? Apparently not. My neighbor, Meg, happens to live within spitting distance of my house--yep, right next door, up close.  Perish the thought; I would never , nor have I ever, spit at Meg or her house. I do, however, think Meg has given some thought to spitting at me.

I grew up in a row house, I shared walls in dorms in college and even had a few dorm-mates at certain points, I have lived in a dozen apartments, surrounded on all sides by other apartments, and I have lived in three different houses in my canyon, a whisper's whisper from numerous other houses, and I have never had any real problems with any of these neighbors. When I moved into my current house, my landlord advised me to meet my soon-to-be next door neighbor, Meg. He told me she had some “issues” with the prior tenants.

So I went over and introduced myself. I explained to her that I had a small dog and that, more often than not, other dogs would also be at my house. She told me she had two small dogs as well. She was genuinely pleased that I bothered to come by, introduce myself and explain my situation to her. She even threw a little neighborhood meet and greet at her house when I moved in. Two other women from our block showed up. My dad was with me as he had come out to help me move. They flirted with him.

Meg had told me all about her “issues” with the couple that occupied the house before me. They had two small dogs that barked at all hours. They were swingers and had “wild parties”. The woman had fake breasts, Meg told me. The woman with fake breasts and Meg would yell at each other and apparently the whole neighborhood knew about their rift. Meg took the woman with fake breasts to dog court four (4) times.

Dog Court?

I think she genuinely appreciated the gesture I made by coming to her first, introducing myself and preemptively mentioning the potential animalia at my house. Things were good between us. I used her wi-fi network, she used my printer. Every once in a blue moon she would kindly ask me to keep it down if I was out on the patio super late, with music and company. We were kind and chatty and cordial. Things went on like this for about a year and a half or so.

Then the winds changed.

I’m honestly not entirely sure what happened. I’m really not.  But something sure did. Suddenly she imposed a curfew on Maggie and me. A curfew. We were told that by midnight (each night) we were to be sealed in our house with all noise at a minimum.  If she heard the TV after our midnight curfew, I'd get a phone call or a text message. If I had company, having dinner and drinks out on the patio on a Saturday night, I’d get a text at 12:01am telling me to keep it down. I kept waiting for the citizens' arrest.

Stranger than fiction; I decided to take the kill-her-with-kindness route. So I sent flowers. Every text and email I send to Meg is littered with smiley emoticons (which I, otherwise, never use), exclamation points and phrases like super duper.

Yes, it's exhausting but so much fun in the most perverse of ways. 

Well, it’s Easter and Fred and I wanted to make a special Easter-y brunch. But we were short one egg. What could be more neighborly than to borrow an egg from a neighbor? (I’m such a brat) Of course Meg did not respond to my neighborly request (with a winky face and, like, two exclamation points), so we zipped down to Lindy Grundy to get some eggs and some of their bacon, thick-cut. Brunch was great. I would tweak a few things here and there about our approach to the dish below and the recipe reflects those tweaks.

I’m now considering dropping off one of these beauties on Meg’s doorstep with an Easter card with bunnies and smiley faces all over it. Little baby Jesus would be so proud. He comes back to life today, right?

Happy Easter! And Passover!

Eggs in a Basket with Maple Bacon, Fontina & Chives
(Recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson)

Serves 6
3 large russet potatoes, peeled
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
6 slices bacon, about 2 1/2 ounces, chopped
2 Tablespoons sorghum (or maple syrup)
6 eggs
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Salt & pepper to taste

Special equipment: jumbo sized 6-cup muffin tin.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor fitted with the grater attachment, push chunks of the potato through the chute to grate. Once all the potatoes are grated, put them into a piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove the moisture. Add the potatoes to a large bowl, stir in the melted butter and season well with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spray the muffin tin lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Press the grated potatoes evenly into the muffin cups being sure the potatoes go up the sides and a thin layer and covers the bottom. Bake until the top edges turn light golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl toss together the bacon with sorghum (or maple syrup) and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and gently crack an egg into each cup. Bake until the egg whites set but the yolk remains runny, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil. Top the eggs with grated cheese and put the maple bacon on another sheet tray. Broil both until cheese melts, and bacon crisps slightly, about 1 minute.

Top the eggs with chives and crispy bacon, sprinkle a little salt & pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Printable recipe.
One year ago: Lamb Chops with Cumin, Cardamom & Lime
Two years ago: The Perfect Steak

1 comment:

  1. I could eat this breakfast every day. A curfew? I don't even have the words.