Beautiful Simplicity

At times, I can be an elaborate cook — crafting complicated objets d’art composed of long simmered reductions, leaves blanched to ultimate greenness or fried to lacy crispness, powders of brilliant red or yellow, flowers and tiny herbs.

But at other times, I am reminded that nature — God, if you prefer — is the better artist.

It was Sunday morning, I was home alone sipping some Kauai coffee, listening to Nick Cave and reading the paper. And I got a little hungry.

Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast

I’m not really much of a breakfast person. In my roguish youth, I’d skip the requisite greasy diner hangover breakfasts my friends would set out for on the weekends, and the languid Sunday brunches of the early career years held equally little appeal. These days, apart from the occasional extravagant Mexican or Japanese breakfast, I typically grab a handful of cashews or maybe a small bowl of muesli and blueberries.

This particular Sunday, however, I felt like something a bit more — protein, a proper breakfast. At any given time in the spring and summer, our kitchen is filled with eggs — in the fridge, on the counter, green eggs, blue eggs, olive eggs, white eggs, beige eggs, eggs of every shade of brown. Our happy 20-ish chickens are busy all day clearing our property of sprouting weeds and insects, and turning them into eggs. Some days we get 15 eggs!

Most of the eggs we sell around the neighborhood, or bring as gifts when we’re invited to dinner. And I have to periodically remind myself that they are delicious and healthy, and that I should be eating them myself. So it was that I decided I would prepare a soft-boiled egg and some toast for my Sunday breakfast by myself.


The egg, at 4.5 minutes, was cooked to perfection. The toast some soft butter split-top white I’d bought to serve with smoked brisket at a recent barbecue, slathered with grassy raw butter I purchase from the raw milk folks at the Wednesday Santa Monica farmer’s market. A little Maldon salt and fresh cracked pepper, and I was ready.

Eating my perfect breakfast, I was reminded anew — a lesson I learn often, again and again — that really good food needn’t be complicated. My breakfast took six minutes to make, and couldn’t have been better if it had taken 60.

Outside, feeding the chickens and pig, watering the garden where brilliant orange squash blossoms soaked in the Topanga summer sun, I got to thinking about dinner — today, not the wildly inventive, artfully complex dishes that feed my creative spirit, but rather uncomplicated, humble food that connects me to traditions as old as time and nurtures my soul. Simple food, the way God made it.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bunny Eats Design
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 02:21:00

    I love the colourful variety of eggs. Do the different varieties taste different to each other?


  2. Ant Patty
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 02:31:55

    lovely thoughts and feelings to share.


  3. Andy
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 03:13:38

    Wow, I’m your sister and we’ve had in depth conversations about life, death, world religions, etc. But I’ve never heard you speak of God. Nice.
    Also nice thoughts on food. I’m a good cook compared to anyone except you and Mom, but I’m in a “simple” cooking mode right now. I’m not motivated to do anything very fancy and my husband is loving the simpler approach. Weird and wonderful.


  4. pal-O
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:13:36

    Jesus liked a 4.5 minute soft boiled egg and white toast back in his day. I hear he also liked his coffee black and strong enough to stand on its own to feet . . .


  5. linnetmoss
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 11:03:53

    My kind of breakfast!


  6. Andy
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 13:07:54

    hee hee


  7. tinywhitecottage
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 15:00:22

    Freshly laid farm eggs, split white toast, grassy raw butter and Maldon salt…quite complex, yet beautiful simplicity indeed!


  8. Michelle
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 01:00:37

    Thanks for the reminder(s). We often spend so much time planning who we are going to give eggs to and how we’re going to get them there that we forget to eat them!


  9. jewel
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 03:56:00

    Nothing is much more satisfying than that with a glass of tomato juice… It’s comfort food for me. Yum!


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