Breakfast for dinner

Last night, I’d planned on using up the basil that’s about to go bad in my fridge to make a bacon quiche. But by the time I got home, it was almost 7:30 p.m., and I’d forgotten my roommate was having friends over. There’s nothing to kill your cooking ambitions like a kitchen full of ten people drinking beer. I toasted an English muffin and slapped on some peanut butter to tide me over, then washed it down with two Shipyard Pumpkin Ales.

eggs in a basket Then it was 9:30 and I realized that there was no way I had the patience or the dexterity to handle putting a quiche together, then waiting 35 minutes for it to bake. My go-to late-night dinners are all breakfast: egg sandwiches, cereal, yogurt and granola, or, what I decided on last night: eggs in a basket. I pulled wheat toast and eggs out of the fridge, and put the frying pan on to heat up. When I learned how to make this snack from my friend Nicole, she buttered the bread first, then ripped a yolk-sized hole in the bread, leaving the chef with buttered fingers and a heavily buttered piece of bread to discard (or, more accurately, eat as a pre-snack snack). I decided I was going to rip the holes first, then butter around them.

The trick to making sure that the eggs in a basket turn out is liberal butter. It turns out that trying to butter donut-shaped bread doesn’t avoid getting the butter everywhere, and the cut-out centers of the bread are not nearly as delicious. I set the first piece of bread into the pan, and made the mistake of letting it cook for a bit before dropping the egg in the center. The pan started making an alarming hissing sound (to some, that means cooking, but to me, it means that something is probably burning and about to catch fire), and I had to flip the bread to keep it from burning before the egg had solidified. The egg splattered out from underneath the bread, and I ended up making a sort of egg and bread layer cake. And worse, it turns out that I’d forgotten to add a dash of salt and pepper when I cracked the egg into the pan.

I took the mess out of the pan, and started with egg in a basket number two. I put the bread in the pan, turned the heat down a bit, cracked the egg in right after, and remembered the salt and pepper. I went to throw the egg shells in the trash, and got instantly distracted and began pulling beer cans out of the trash and putting them in the recycle bin. Then, I remembered that I’d forgotten I was cooking. I rushed back to the stove only to discover that the egg was the perfect consistency for flipping. Once I flipped the bread over, I saw that I’d managed to accidentally toast it to the best brownness—crispy, but not burnt.

One of my cooking vices is that I’m not patient. I’m always opening oven doors, lifting up the corners of things in the frying pan, checking and rechecking. I have a deep fear of things burning and having to start over. But, it seems that leaving things be lets them turn out on their own. Both eggs in a basket—even the first one with its lack of spices and splattered egg—hit the spot. (Of course, that could be the beer talking).

I always choose breakfast for dinner for my late-night snacks. For one thing, all breakfast food is delicious. I could eat it for three meals a day and not tire of it. For late night, eating breakfast is almost like getting a head start on the following morning, when I will be coherent and there will be hot coffee. And I’m in my pajamas either way.

3 Responses to “Breakfast for dinner”
  1. Debbie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Breakfast is great any time of the day. It’s easy and soooo delicious.

  2. dongtacular says:

    Exactly right, Debbie!

    Jill, remember, practice makes perfect. You’ll be making perfect eggs-in-a-basket in no time if you eat them every night!

  3. Rosemary Van Deuren says:

    I am going to try this, looks very yummy! Really fun narrative too :)

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