Broody: “Hello there. I am a Barred Rock chicken. I’m 13″ tall, weigh about 8 pounds. I like to scratch around in the yard for nibbly dibblies. Oh, I also like to poop on stuff. And lay eggs. For some reason, my humans only like my eggs. They fail to be fascinated with my poop. I guess I’ll just have to keep pooping on their stuff until they see how awesome it is!”
Right. Thanks, Broody.
Anyway, Broody lives on our homestead, along with six other chickens. Apart from all the poop, they are actually very good egg layers. We get maybe four or five eggs a day. And really, they are the best eggs! Yolks rich, creamy, deeply colored… Well, you’ll see.
I decided to make a yummy breakfast, so looked around at what was on hand. Focaccia bread… Some left-over Gruyere cheese… Of course, fresh eggs. Butter. The rest, as they say, wrote itself.
2 slices Focaccia bread (mine was herbed with rosemary)
4 T butter
Enough Gruyere to cover bread
4 fresh eggs
Salt, pepper, hot sauce (optional)
Slice up the bread, get the butter ready to go, cut into 1 T segments, and slice up the Gruyere.
Get the pan evenly hot, over medium heat. Add 1 T of the butter. Once melted, swirl it around, then add the bread slices. Swish those around to soak up all the butter, and fry until golden. Remove the bread, add another 1 T of butter, and return the bread to fry the other side. Add sliced Gruyere to the top of the bread while frying the second side. Once done, remove and set aside on a plate.
Add the remaining 2 T of butter, let it melt and just start to brown. Add the eggs. If you want to be tricky, crack the eggs ahead of time into two cups. Then, with a cup in each hand, you can add all four eggs at once. Once the whites start to set, sprinkle with sale and pepper. Cover the pan, and lower the heat. Continue cooking until the sunny yolk starts to get white forming along its perimeter. Basically, you want all the whites done, but the yolk runny.
Remove the eggs and place two eggs on each slice of toast. Add a few dashes of hot sauce, if using.
The combination of the creamy yolk, the crispy Focaccia, the velvety cheese… Oh, my! I’ve done this basic thing with lots of kinds of bread, but it wasn’t until I tried it with Focaccia that I wanted to write about it!
You’ll notice only one assemblage in the photos… that’s because once I tried the first bite I knew two things: 1) I would have to finish that first piece right there, right then, and 2) I needed a photo record of the remaining piece so I could share it! Cheers!
Although it was the very first song I learned to play on the ukulele (in 2011), I only recorded The Marines’ Hymn this last summer (on Memorial Day, 2013), and have delayed posting it until now. It’s not for lack of pride in my time in the Corps… it is that a former student of mine, inspired to enlist as a Marine partly from my encouragement, was KIA in Iraq. No, I don’t blame myself – many factors led him to service, and many factors led to his being killed. But he was my student – I saw the best and worst of him in math class, and on the football field, and I don’t want to dishonor his memory by botching up the job.
Where Dan really shined, though, was on the wrestling mat. It’s where he was meant to be – strong, nimble, smart – everything you want in a wrestler. Everything you want in a US Marine. Everything you want in a friend.
Cheers, Dan. Where ever you’re hanging out these days, save a spot for me at the bar.
I layered up the vocals as the verses go on, imagining walking along gathering more grunts who join in the singing. Also played around with a vocal filter to make the first verse sound “far away” -ish, but not sure if it worked as well as I thought it might.