I am generally a very positive and content person. In fact, I believe I have been told on occasion (Angela) to “stop being so f*cking cheerful.”
And yet as I sat on the plane, flying home from an absolutely magical week at The Covered Wagon Ranch, I found my wanderlust not satiated, but sparked.
Imagine the most beautiful mountains, patient and lovely horses, night skies bigger than your eyes can absorb, and an impromptu family du jour, made up of wonderful folks from all walks of life who, most importantly, are on an adventure. Such was our experience at CWR, where we rode each day, laughed each night, and all found ourselves imagining “what if” our lives were different and we were wranglers on a dude ranch.
As I return to reality I find myself making a game plan (really, are you surprised?) for how I can recreate a bit of that magic until the day when dreams come true. Strategy is as follows:
- Stop being tethered to my iPhone. Nothing that interesting or important is happening.
- Sing more. Out on the trail we belted it for all we were worth. I miss that.
- Make time to disappear. We’re lucky living in Seattle to have such natural beauty in our backyard. I need to get there.
- Keep it simple. I am the master of unnecessarily complicating things.
And I’m no different in the kitchen. So this weeknight when two of my very favorite cousins were coming over for dinner, I decided to do a Summer Simplicity Dinner, all with goodies from our CSA and all requiring three ingredients or less.
The result was a delicious dinner that took no time to make, and left more time for enjoying what really matters. Perhaps my favorite item was the Soft-Boiled Eggs with Anchovy Mayo from Ethan Stowell’s latest cookbook. These are so freaking good I could eat just them for dinner. A lovely twist on the old and tired Deviled Egg.
Soft-Boiled Eggs with Anchovy Mayonnaise (from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen)
6 large fresh eggs (find them truly fresh if you can from your local farmers market or a neighbor with chickens…store bought just won’t do)
Salt and Pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Anchovy Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
2 TB chives (his recipe call for parsley…but I hate parsley…do whatever you like)
Put the eggs in a pot and cover them with at least 1/2 inch water. Remove the eggs and bring the water to a soft boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. When the water reaches a boil, gently lower the eggs into the water with a strainer or slotted spoon and cook for exactly 7 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs to the ice bath. When cool, shell the eggs. Halve the eggs (wiping the knife in between each so it’s a clean-cut) and place on a platter.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over each half. Place a dollop of the mayo on each one, about 1 teaspoon. Sprinkle parsley (or chives) over the eggs and serve.
1 fresh egg yolk
2 TB water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
5 anchovy fillets
1 1/2 cups canola oil
Place the egg yolk, water, mustard, lemon juice, and anchovy fillets in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Season to taste with salt.
Note: This makes a bunch..enjoy it the next day as an aoili for deep-fried zucchini or the like.