This week was not a resounding success. You would think that since I’m only cooking enough food for 4.5 days this week I would find peace in my mind, body and soul and just go stand in line for some chicken over rice and that white sauce just like the other boys and girls. But no….Ever one for self sabotage and and needless intrigue, just as I was beginning to feel confident enough to attempt to lay claim to the Chum Method, I met the final boss. Not to be dramatic… but it’s called Poached Eggs. Be warned that these are the things we do to go that extra mile for protein.
I attempted this lovely recipe from Budget Bytes for a simple potato curry…..with poached eggs. It really is a beautiful, inspiring, and succinct recipe. So inspiring that it inspired me to think I can poach eggs. (Don’t talk to me about vinegar or whirlpool or ramekin hacks… I accepted my limits… no gimmicks please….). Curry I can do, especially with the added handicap of using curry paste instead of the real dealio….But let me not, how you say… count me chickens before they hatch…
- Everything started off just peachy…diced 3 russet potatoes and boiled in salted water.
- Meanwhile, onions, garlic, ginger sauteed over med-low heat. Added some paprika and plenty of chili powder and a nice glob of curry paste.
- Added in leftover frozen veggies from last week (zucchini and eggplant) and the cooked potato. Tossed and turned a tad before putting in a can of tomato sauce. More paprika and chili powder for the hell of it.
- It was pretty watery at this point so I let it cook a little bit so the potato could soak up some of the liquid and make it less like a stew…which worked! To my great surprise. By the way, I was already sweating at this point. I believe you call this…a sixth sense. I’m Cassandra but I’m also the idiots of Troy… I should have listened to my own self and quit while I was ahead……
- Anyways, I “folded in” some spinach. I know this is baking lingo but I’m already very distressed….
- But AS YOU CAN SEE in the bottom right picture… this is a decent curry at this moment in time! Perhaps not by any authentic standards but it’s out here! It’s hot and I’m proud to serve it! Dare I say!
- The recipe over at Budget Bytes said to make several small wells to house the leetle eggs…how quaint and adorable…Too bad my pot was filled to the brim. I removed most of the potato curry and put it in tupperware and left some inside to ~OSTENSIBLY~ poach the eggs. Some girl came into the kitchen and told me it smelled really good in there but I think she really just sensed that I was losing control of the situation and needed a pat on the back. She washed her knife in the sink and fled the scene. I’m projecting!
- I never claimed to be an engineer or even a decent gravedigger. The wells were not to be. I just cracked the raw eggs on top of the curry. At this point I knew that no good would come of this. I lost all confidence. As a preemptive measure I hardboiled half the eggs that I was going to cook because I could smell impending disaster. I’ll go down in the zombie apocalypse hardboiling eggs while sweating and crying.
- Ten minutes simmering with the lid on…nada. The yolk is just sitting there without a care in the world and the whites are still translucent. Need I add that it’s 10:15pm and that festive halloween kitkat I had 7 hours ago is just a passing whisper in my large intestine.
- In a pique of rage I poke at the raw eggs with a fork. It makes some lovely abstract designs as you can see on the bottom right. You can ALSO see that the eggs are indeed cooking, but my judgement was clouded. I was impaired… it was the worst of times… I was hangry and anxious and muttering to myself…..something wicked this way comes…. You’d think I’d be used to this state of affairs (eg….”hangry anxiety”) but it’s simply not so…
- I stop fiddling with the eggs and put the lid back on. It occurs to me that the bottom might be burning. Spoiler alert: it is. It’s black at the bottom and smoke puffs into my face. I enter full insanity mode. I feel truly insane. May I confess? My biggest fear is to be the one to set off the fire alarm that evacuates the whole building. I…a self-respecting elderly spinster… am not to join the ranks of these DUNCES (DUNCI?????) who burn popcorn in the microwave and stick forks in power outlets and the like!!! Someday!!! But not today Satan!!!!
- I DASH to take the pot off the heat and SPRINT to fan the smoke out of the window into the city below…on its little cat feet…I send a Just Try Me look at the smoke alarm. Not today, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Mammon, Leviathan, and friends….
- Ever the cheapskate, I can’t bear to waste those 5 eggs (there’s 4 in the picture but trust me…I count my eggs before they hatch) and that curry (that is, what isn’t already burnt). It’s a huge mess but I salvage the salvageable and just kind of…. pretend I’m scrambling eggs and cook it so at least the eggs are “edible” if not intact and beautiful like in my shakshuka dreams….as I’m stirring the eggs around in the curry I swear I can feel my eyebrows sliding off into pot from overextertion. I feel sorry for the normal curry I’ve already tupperwared that it has to be associated with this despicable chum. But I’m also glad it escaped a sad fate.
- I didn’t document this part. I don’t want that chum to ever see the light of day. Tasted alright though. But even by my standards the semiscrambled eggs inside made it look a little bit too much like vomit and y’all KNOW that’s saying something. Maybe sometime between writing and publishing this I’ll try to salvage a pic from the decimation.
Was it really that bad? No. It did take me down a peg though…. I had to consider for a moment getting off my high horse….Also, I put my poor dutch oven through a real beating. My fingers are pruney from trying to scrub away the evidence. But I think what we learned today is what happens when we confront the limits of our ability and choose to descend into madness as a result…If the Powers that Be ever see to it that I finally chill out an get a 9-5 job and disposable income, then maybe I’ll finally learn how to poach eggs. That’s my bargain. In conclusion, to quote the incomparable Too $hort: these are the tales…the freaky tales…these are the tales that I tell so well….
NEXT TIME ON THIS HOG’S BLOG: join me at 7am as I prep pancakes for lunch and make a full ego recovery from the scarring events of this day