Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grown-Up Gourmet Scrambled Eggs Surprise

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Last year this time I was writing my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate. I felt financially secure, whereas, friends, family, neighbors, and Lake Tahoe were feeling the scary effects of the Great Recession. Luxury chocolate surrounded me in my study, pantry, and fridge. I felt happy, safe and secure amid tough times. This year when all should be good--it's not. The R word has finally affected me. It could be worse...
I could have the swine flu. But catching the recession sickness isn't a piece of cake. Today, I called my health insurance company and asked, "How many days do I have left to pay up before we're over?" Gosh, I hadn't done that since the last recession when I lost my squeaky clean credit. I still miss my cards. But I survived. The nice young man (22) told me that despite me being categorized in Healthy Tier One (I pay an arm and a leg each month), that I should keep my insurance no matter what. Then, I shared my tale. "When I was your age, me and my dog Stonefox were hitching and hiking across America. I was penniless. I trekked with a sleeping bag and knapsack on my back." He laughed. But memories of those lean and carefree days are coming back to me fast.
So here I am, a baby boomer, a full-time dedicated author, wondering, "How bad will it get?" I hold a bachelor's and master's degree in English (Creative Writing). And I scrubbed toilets to put myself through grad school. I've been a book author for a decade; a magazine journalist for 20 years. Why in the world am I, like countless others around the globe, hit now (I paid my dues) by a 21st century Grapes of Wrath-type recession? It's not fair.
I sit and sulk next to my three-year-old bird dog. His soft, furry head is on my leg as he sleeps, cuddled next to me on the loveseat. Life could be worse. But I can't help feeling like the world as I once knew it has been whisked like in the making of scrambled eggs.

Grown-Up Gourmet Scrambled Eggs Surprise

2 brown eggs (at room temperature)
3/4 cup 2% organic low fat milk
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
Whisk eggs and milk. Pour into a nonstick frying pan. Cook on medium heat. Stir as needed till eggs are fluffy. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle pepper. Grate fresh cheese on top. Garnish with parsley. Serves two. Warning: Keep dogs out of the kitchen. My Brittany duo (think Marley) both snagged a tomato when I wasn't looking...
I enjoyed this for lunch (trying not to feel like the fluffy light eggs) and paired it with a Heavenly Mountain Blueberry Muffin and cup of chamomile tea. Eggs in moderation are good for you and are part of the Mediterranean diet. (And they are budget-friendly.)
That reminds me, 2010 was the year I was going to visit Italy. So, I sit here and I ponder living on a shoestring while watching Kerouac (he needs his pricey, special kidney diet kibble that's kept him healthy), my senior cat, groom himself by the space heater (I should make a fire). And like a kid, I wonder what's next on my empty plate that was full last year. But hey, the Grown-Up Gourmet Scrambled Eggs did make me feel better.


  1. I love scrambled eggs for my breakfast.

  2. Hi Anshika,
    Me too. But they're better when the world is treating you nice.

  3. Rereading this post makes me think chocolate is the answer. BTW: chocolate sales are soaring, according to a new report Recession proof, so they say. And yes, yes, yes, chocolate does give you a body, mind, spirit boost!

  4. During this trying time we have learned to live in a more frugal fashion, that less is often times more, and we appreciate even the little joys so much, now. This Christmas, economy woes hit our entire family in one way or another so we decided to make homemade gifts, have a 'worst package wrap' contest, do a holiday jigsaw puzzle together, watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' together, just have homemade appetizers for our meal and played games together...the only thing missing was snow! And we had a lovely, stress-free, individually-oriented time together. We still decorated with zeal and made cookies with glee, but most of all we were fortunate to have each other!

    Often times when things are 'leaner' it brings out the creativity in us, plus it helps to have parents who lived through the depression! I learned a lot from them...especially about ingenuity. Once, in the 80s, when I had literally nothing else in the house I made this dish which actually turned out to be pretty good comfort food.

    Depression Dinner

    3-4 pork shoulder blade or chops
    1 regular-sized Campbell's can bean with bacon soup
    1 regular-sized Campbell's can of water
    1 bag of Birds Eye frozen broccoli, onions, mushrooms & red peppers
    1 small can corn, drained

    Braise pork until almost all the way cooked in a large frypan. Pour off excess grease. Mix all other ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl and pour in to frypan over chops. Cover, and simmer until vegetables cooked.

    You and I are both baby boomers and we know what it took to get to where we were before the economy tanked. How so much can be lost in so little amount of time is nothing less than mind-boggling. I just wanted to encourage you to 'hang in there' and do whatever it takes to keep your spirits and attitude uplifted! That might include indulging in chocolate...lol!

    Here's hoping that your New Year ushers in a new, more prosperous decade!

  5. Debbie,
    Misery loves company, as they say. Double dip recession, anyone? I don't think I would have done good during the Great Depression. I'm a simple, natural girl but when everything is taken away from me and others, I cry out to the world like a Siamese kitty. I need chocolate.