Breakfast greens’n egg with cheese

Not seemingly a breakfast capable preparation, these were for a few days in a row, starting a covered cookdown with onion, mushroom and greens prior to a shower.

Stewed with a little water, salt, and pepper, then topped with a fried egg and fontina.



The sandwich of Ech

Sounds horrible, but it’s a long story — not too long, but too long to suit the purposes of it’s origin.

An Ech sandwich is of the variety that are easy to make — so long as everything is on hand.  The sandwich was very good — trying to think of an interesting way to say that, brought a month’s delay in doing so, and a lot of divergent projects.  Served on olive bread from the Pleasanton Bakery:  Seared fervido cerebros, tomatoes, dill pickles, onion, daiya and spinach — tossed with mint chutney and pomegranate-balsamic vinegar.

There are only so many ways to say, the sandwich is very good, to describe the various flavors.  They came together nicely, but with little more to say than that, musing started, on how to tie it in to some sort of story — a little dendritic tingle, solely for the sake of entertainment. The subject fell upon was Ech, the semi-mechanical, dusky-brown Nepid, and Captain of the Kuwk, as he took on a greater prominence in the final chapter of monsters — presumably, his origins would make such a sandwich something he would appreciate.

His history, as it turned out, became a little more complicated than expected, and even a brief, sketched outline elongated to several thousand words:  This rambling, already, exceeds what is necessary — sandwich, good — the bloated bloviation on poor Ech, certainly would have gone unobserved…  But it was an interesting story, also one that really has no real contribution to the greater ideas — though, there are a handful that came about anyway, for different reasons, and even the story of origination became more of a character bit…   As often is, Ech was both a victim of monsters, as well as arguably became one, himself: It’s all relative — dependent upon perspective.   Most monsters find justification for their actions, at some point: Some come to live with regret, others — like Ech — find their experiences so incomprehensible that their own actions taken against the perpetrators never bear a second thought.

Succulent cake

Thirty plus years ago, Mom and Dad hauled the family out to Yellowstone for an unforgettable summer vacation. The natural phenomena were stunning, remaining vivid, crystal images, still in the mind.  We have so many great stories from that summer:  The bear mom spotted in the creek that turned out to be a rock, the morning we started out the door of the cabin we were renting to drink our morning coffee – greeted by the massive head of a bison:  We retreated.

But the weirdest memory of all, relates to the functional incapacity of my brain: At the Old Faithful gift shop, Mom offered to buy us a memento.  Of everything available to keep for the memories of the place – I chose a bag of rocks.

Our Granddad was a collector of agates, thunder eggs and other such shiny, eye-catching things. (Not leaverites:  Sometimes you see a stone sort of buried in the sand  that looks like it might be interesting, but when you pick it up, it’s just a sedimentary sort – so you leaver ‘er right where you found her!  Grandad joke!)  Withal, it wasn’t out of character for any of us youngsters to have an eye out for shiny stones.  However, as a souvenir from Yellowstone…  Not the most salient selection.

I’m sure Mom questioned it, but being the little piss I was, I imagine she pinched her lips tightly closed and shook her head, acquiesced to silence the whining.

Somehow, a rock or two ended up in my mouth. Surprisingly they tasted sweet.  Disappointment hung heavy:  That mighty haul of shiny stones was nothing more than candy – two-thirds of it was consumed before Mom questioned what the hell I was doing, in that, “I can’t believe I gave birth to such an idiot,” way that she does.

Through, streams of drool and cheeks stuffed with gummy stones, I explained, “It’s candy.” By then, the idea of candy that looked like stones seemed like the most amazing thing that could ever happen, and I gloated to my sisters – was admonished to stop eating it:  It was gone by that evening, leaving nothing for a memento but empty wrappers and a sour stomach.

That silly episode came back to mind, last night, as my amazing wife presented the gorgeous confection, above, that a while back I noted was the coolest looking thing I’d ever seen, and wanted for my birthday. We marveled that they even put some little stones atop, and again, it never even crossed my mind they could be eaten…

It was a little more frosting than a normal person could consume, though light and fluffy, and the cake was outstanding.

Shiitake-feta bread with basil

Lovely and delicate, glorified garlic bread, really.  Dough was kept extremely sticky and amply yeasted, allowed to rise and thinly spread with oiled hands across a tray.

The surface was coated with atomized garlic before it was allowed to rest, while the other ingredients were sliced and shredded: Shiitake, feta and a little Italian blend: Parm, romano, asiago…  After baking, topped with shredded basil.

My way

Seemed like an odd number to turn darker, but as he often does — Holfelder nails it…