Friday, November 9, 2012

Perfect Meal

Being at school, I don’t get a chance to cook very often and even when I am home, there are only a few dishes I actually cook for myself. Trying to figure out the perfect meal that I wanted to make was a pretty daunting task when we were first introduced to the assignment.
It hit me one weekend mid-quarter when I was waiting in an incredibly long line for a caf omelet. Why was I wasting my time on something that wouldn’t curb my hunger? I didn’t want some salmon colored egg mixture thrown together with bits and pieces of veggies cooked in who knows what kind of oil. No. I wanted to make my own eggs and I wanted to dictate what was in them.
Now let me clarify. I wanted eggs, but not just any eggs. I desired two eggs over easy, sautéed mushrooms and spinach, salsa, all on top of sourdough toast spread with a thick layer of hummus. At home, this was a simple meal since everything was right at my fingertips, ready in the fridge for my consumption for whenever I wanted it. Here at school, that was not the case. I had to somehow acquire these ingredients and the proper cooking ware all without a car. And I was up for the challenge because I wanted some eggs!
In order to complete this project, I had to do a lot of pre-planning. For many reasons, the thought of using the cooking supplies in the dorm kitchen disgusted me. Luckily my mother came down the night before I planned to cook the delicious breakfast for my roommate, Kari. She brought everything I needed, even the spatula and pan.
Now let me back up for a second and explain why I choose eggs as the main ingredient for my perfect meal. I mean sure, they are a great source of protein and are just what I need after a workout, but they are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, all for under a 100 calories a piece. To me, eggs are one of the most versatile foods. They are a staple in many recipes, served with a variety of other dishes, and are the main ingredient in many meals. What's not to love?
After waking up on a lovely November morning, I got to work preparing our breakfast. Kari was still asleep, but I didn’t mind working alone. I had my own system and didn’t want anyone messing it up. I decided that I would clean and rinse my mushrooms in our bathroom sink. Not the most sanitary place I could have chosen, but it worked well enough. Carrying everything from my room to the kitchen took a lot of balance, but I was able to make it without dropping anything. Thankfully it was on the same floor so I was able to run back and grab plates and bowls I forgot during first trip.
As I said before, cooking in a kitchen that I was unfamiliar with daunting. I didn’t know how hot the stove would get or how quickly, the weird creaks and groans made me think I was slowly torturing the machine and it would explode any second.
Once I the pan was hot and the weird noises had finally subsided, I sprinkled some water on its jet-black surface, hearing a satisfactory sizzle; it was time to start sautéing the mushrooms.
Time and time again, this meal has been one of my favorite and almost perfected. It has gotten to the point where I have it down to a process. When making this meal, I first toss the mushrooms into the pan, then add the spinach once the mushrooms are almost fully cooked. The eggs are then cooked since the pan is already hot and it they take less time to prepare, allowing for the vegetables to stay warm. After the mushrooms and spinach cook down into a somewhat soupy concoction and are set aside, I carefully pour the eggs into the pan, not wanting to break the yolks. Unintentionally breaking a yolk is one of my biggest fears. When I want to eat a smooth, creamy masterpiece, accidentally turning it into a squishy, chewy pod of yellow does not strike my fancy. Instead of having just the pressure of making my own without error, I had to make them for my roommate as well.
Thankfully, everything went smoothly and in no time, the food was put on plates, Kari had woken up, and we were in our room, ready to eat. Sitting Indian-style on the floor at our little table, we added some salsa atop the somewhat boring looking meal in front of us, brightening it up immensely.  I watched her gingerly take a bite of the egg creation. She chewed and a smile slowly spread across her face.
Knowing that I was able to share asimple, fresh, yet tasty meal with someone and not have to eat cafeteria food was great enough in itself, but getting to show off my skills in the kitchen, as small as they are, made me feel accomplished.

All the ingredients set out and ready to cook!

Didn't break the yolks!

The final product. Delicious, if I do say so myself.


  1. Love the pics! And you're storytelling was good too. There were a few lines where you meant to say one thing and finished it with another, but just reading through it I totally got what you meant. Plus, I totally understand cooking in a different kitchen-struggle city. Great job!

  2. I felt the same way about the different kitchen, I was like holy hell what am I doing here! I loved how you triumphed though and with such a simple yet satisfying victory. For some reason your blog has smashed a bunch of your words together, at least when I pulled it up. Maybe take a look at that! Sometimes the copy paste does weird stuff. Can't wait to discuss!

  3. Well I will have to try this! I love eggs, well I love all food, but this looks really good! Thank you for the pictures. Also just to go along with a few of the other grammatical points mentioned, there were some words missing. I find it really helpful to read things aloud because this happens to me a lot. Either way, easy fix. Nice post Kelsey!

  4. This meal looks and SOUNDS so yummy! You do a wonderful job illustrating with your words. I also love that you chose to make breakfast for your perfect meal! I didn't even think about this. I'm so inspired to try it now! Can't wait to discuss in class!

  5. I like how you described the process of deliberating and preparing your meal.

    Your narrative was different than most of our classmates and it caught me off guard. You aimed for the simple, thus limiting the possibilities of mistakes, which then made your meal perfect. Other stories have included larger meals, or meals with more sides, but the perfect meal came out of reconciling the mistakes and connecting it to a bigger theme.

    You put a lot of thought in your meal and it shows.

  6. The pictures are awesome! Looks like a simple but lovely situation. I like that your piece was not only personal but informative. Is there anyway to show instead of tell more? Maybe body language when Kari is asleep, instead of saying "I didn't mind". Talk more about the differences of cooking at home and here at school throughout the piece? I want something that ties the piece together. Excellent start. Looking forward to the final draft.