I made some scrambled eggs this morning.
I used to make scrambled eggs a lot. Organic butter and eggs. A little milk. Four or five little glass bowls from Crate&Barrel, one with chopped green onions, one with shredded cheddar, one maybe with sauteed mushrooms, perhaps the last with a little fresh salsa that I made from the tomatoes I grew. The All-Clad pan would heat up and then it was like a finely timed performance… soon served up on my Fiesta Ware plates with glasses of fresh orange juice and gourmet coffee.
And then I would watch the eggs get doused with ketchup, the coffee be diluted with some flavored, non-dairy creamer and hear, “Thanks. That was good.”
The scrambled eggs joy was really my own, sort of an unshared fantasy land of pleasantries. Which basically sums up my entire experience of life in the suburbs. It is funny that making scrambled eggs here, in Hong Kong, with my crappy pan (though thankfully not a wok) and hopefully melamine free eggs, butter and milk (forget organic) can bring me right back to the old days of the gourmet eggs. Now I eat the eggs on Ikea dishes and look out at the South China Sea. I still drink gourmet coffee, and the joy is still my own.
They say smell is the most evocative sense in terms of memory. And I have a freakishly over-active sense of smell… but I have a long standing tradition of gastronomic chronology as well (I suppose it is rather directly related to smell…) and there is something really powerful in the recreation of a meal, great or otherwise. I was supposed to be totally happy in my All-Clad, Le Cruset, Fiesta Ware kitchen. And great food aside, I mostly found myself looking out the windows contemplating that I was supposed to be totally happy. I guess I was. I mean I had a great view.
Yet, here I am in Asia, cooking for one and contemplating the power of scrambled eggs.
And I still have a great view.