Weekends Together And Saucepan Eggs

 Experimenting with a more stream-of-consciousness type of writing as a change-up. This post is half story, yet contains two recipes in the narrative. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you like this type of writing or if you prefer the classic "intro + formula" style posts. Enjoy! (pics from our 2020 engagement shoot by Victoria Hartell)

Morning comes so early on the weekends. Not that clocks have changed, or daylight. But I have changed and my body wakes me up on a Saturday the same way it does before my 6:15 alarm on a Monday because it senses that soon – SOON – the morning will arrive. Don't you hate that anticipation? It's as if my physical self is excited for my alarm while (and I can attest to this) my mental self is anything but. When this pseudo-excitement drags me out of deep sleep, I wiggle further into my covers and hide. There's a difference between the kind of awake that means I can fall back to sleep for a precious few moments, and the kind that means I might as well go ahead and get up. Lately, it's been the latter.

I start thinking about farmers markets and how each second I continue lying in bed, the most ideal produce is being sold and snapped up by regrettably-disciplined shoppers who think 5:00 AM is an appropriate weekend waking hour. I might not even go to a farmers market this weekend, yet the idea that if I decide to go, the best items will be sold out by the time I get there activates my FOMO. I could sneak out of bed right now, rush to the farmers market, buy a tomato and a loaf of bread and a bunch of spring onions which I really don't need and be home before Andrew has even cracked his eyes open for an experimental attempt at waking.

I roll over in bed quietly, so as not to disturb my husband who is definitely not plagued by early-rising habits. I pull the blankets up to my chin and contemplate useless things like why men have incredible eyelashes when they've got no use for them, and what adventures I can convince him to go on today, and what a nice nose he has. Now creepingly aware of how hungry I am, I officially Wake Up, pull on a motley crew of clothing items, and sneak out the bedroom.

Cricket, our black cat, waits in the upstairs hall. She is hungry too, and far more excited about her anticipated bowl of dry cat food than seems reasonable. I feed her, admire my snake plants and irrationally healthy Walmart orchid, and amble into the kitchen.

Why is our house so hot? I open the front windows and back curtains, then crank down the A/C to some temperature less resembling a retirement home. Like most couples, Andrew and I maintain a usually-friendly rivalry about the temperature inside the house. I am the Sahara Desert herself; he, an unwavering brick of Antarctic ice. Though setting the temp below 70 feels decadent, the rational part of me knows that, in an hour or so when my husband shuffles downstairs, he will hearken to that innate marital sense of The Thermostat Having Been Tampered With and change it immediately. I will enjoy my thrilling 68 and leave him warm in bed.

Tiffany blue kettle filled with water, check.

Kettle set to boil on stove, check.

Coffee beans freshly ground and shaken into the bottom of the French press? Check.

Favorite mug selected out of cabinet full of other mugs I never choose? Check.

Breakfast. Breakfast...

Here is the first rule of weekend breakfasts: they ought to include eggs and (if at all possible) bacon. The obvious reason for this is the lack of time on ordinary workdays to make a proper pan of eggs let alone good bacon; good, meaning the fat has rendered out in the pan over medium heat and the bacon has crisped up. There is nothing worse to find when you expect good bacon than flabby, middle-aged bacon. Flabby bacon is the breakfast world equivalent of the low-budget animated sequel: even worse than you thought it would be.

Good bacon then, and eggs. Somewhere in the depths of a smart tin breadbox is lounging half a loaf of sourdough which must be a little stale now. Yes, toast, definitely.

The kettle shrills me back to the present, billows of steam tumbling out from the spout and edges of its lid. Why are kettles such drama queens?

I fill the French press, then pull butter out of the fridge ahead of the toast. I am a fully grown woman with years and years of toast-making and professional culinary experience; I am independent, an entire home-owner, a wife now, and I still cannot manage to remember to leave butter out of the fridge, when soft butter is all I ever have or ever will want. I wish American kitchen culture wasn't so hell-bent on refrigerating absolutely everything. It gets into your psyche and there you go, forgetting to soften your butter again.

The scent of coffee lifts me away from glum musings on butter. From the large cabinet above my bain marie of kitchen utensils, I pull a jar of raw honey from a row of sundry honeys brought back from our Charleston honeymoon. Morning sun from the bay window picks out amber highlights through the sides of the jar. I like my coffee black, or with cream and clover honey. Sugar is just as unthinkable in coffee as honey is in a cup of P.G. Tips. You can't pin me down for an answer as to why. It's just true, that's all.

Wrestle the French press down, pour the gurgling, steamy coffee into my mug. Splash of cream, honey added. Lovely!

Since we're waiting for the butter to soften, the caffeine to kick in, the husband to awaken, the house to cool down, I might as well make the best bacon in the world: oven bacon. I have time.

Oven bacon is the smartest invention in the world besides oven rice, which is a method of rice-making which we'll have to discuss at some point because it's truly earth-shattering. I sometimes feel that the culinary world – the people who ought to know all the easiest, most delicious ways to do things – occasionally withholds important information from the rest of us in a sort of sadistic game. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I do wonder why they let me continue tending bacon on the stove in this sort of lawless dance wherein bacon slices never fit the skillet you choose, cook unevenly, remain lukewarm on the ends and nearly burnt toward the middle, and spit absolutely burning hot fat on your hands and wrists and arms anytime you attempt to rearrange the pieces. I have feelings.

For oven bacon, the only components required are a large sheet tray with sides, bacon (my favorite is center cut), and an oven. Lay slices of bacon individually across the sheet tray, slide it into a cold oven, set your temperature to 350 degrees F. and a timer to about twenty minutes, sit back and enjoy your coffee, and watch an episode of Schitt's Creek. By the time the episode is finished, the tray of bacon will be perfectly cooked and ready to transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to dab off excess fat.

Tell me again why anybody with a heart would allow you to continue burning your hands when this method is an option?

Now that my bacon is in the oven, I tuck myself up on our hand-me-down couch whose only charm is its looks. We were thankful not to inherit a frat-boy couch and happily accepted this petite, linen-covered tufted sofa instead. The only time we ever regret this decision is when we sit on it. We hope to replace it soon, but until then we suffer together.

By now the coffee has cooled to a drinkable temperature. I ought to be reading or writing or doing any of the hundred things I always mean to do on a weekend. Instead, I scroll Instagram and watch everyone else doing inspiring things while my bacon cooks and my brain cells atrophy. What a vice. What a beautiful, awful, wonderful vice.

In twenty minutes as predicted, the smell of bacon has filled the downstairs and I know it has reached the bedroom as well. How do I know this? Andrew has seen the meme I sent him through Instagram messages, a sure sign that he's awake. We could do without alarms altogether, he and I, if only someone would start to cook bacon ten or fifteen minutes before we ought to wake up.

Presently, Andrew appears in the the kitchen. He is in great hopes of eggs.

I crack six smooth, toffee-colored eggs into a saucepan (yes, a saucepan), discarding the shells in the garbage disposal. To this, a knob of butter, then set the saucepan on the burner and the heat to medium-low. Gordon Ramsey makes his eggs like this. Andrew, who otherwise doesn't cook, was the one who introduced me to these eggs on our first date. Well, not the eggs, but the concept of them. Essentially, one uses a rubber spatula to gently mix the eggs together with the gradually-melting butter over (as the old cookbooks say) “a low flame.” When the eggs become hot, you raise the saucepan off the burner and stir for a few seconds, return to the heat for a few seconds, raise the pan and stir for a few seconds, and so on until your eggs have begun to form a glossy, almost custard-like mass. A few more turns with the spatula should do the trick and then you turn off the burner and just before the eggs are finished; they will continue cooking to perfection as the pan cools down. To these finished eggs you may now add salt, pepper, and perhaps a little cheese if you're feeling extravagant, but – and I say this with surprise at my own claims – you probably don't need cheese because these scrambled eggs are so buttery, so velvety-yellow and delightfully rich. Andrew says he fell in love with me because of my heart, personality, beauty, etc. but I also know that I made these eggs for Saturday breakfasts repeatedly throughout our year of dating and a ring came swiftly. Take that as you may.

Bacon is finished, eggs are finished, the French press is still half-full with coffee. Andrew kisses the back of my neck on his way past to feed Cricket a second time. I pop slices of sourdough into the toaster and jam the lever down, collect a few snuggles from my inert husband who has since collapsed on the regrettable sofa. Then, when the toast is finished I make up our plates and bring them into the living room. Black coffee for Andrew; reheated first cup for me; early sunlight casting beams onto the floor and touching Cricket's black coat with tabby-stripes of chocolate brown. The weekend hangs before us, untouched and yet enjoyable.

It's Saturday. We have breakfast. We have each other. Oven bacon exists. What a very wonderful world.


  1. Looooove this, so much love. I am so very delighted that you have a husband now too, Rachel dear. When I think about how we used to muse upon what sort of men we'd ever possibly find in this world seemingly devoid of decent fellows... I look back and laugh!
    Thank God for good (make that GREAT) guys who do indeed exist after all, and I am totally cooking my bacon in the oven at the next opportunity. My previously spatter-burnt hands are eternally grateful. :)

  2. This is the sweetest Rachel! ❤️

  3. I looove this style of writing, its so evocative of the peace of a weekend morning.

    My sisters and I have also wondered why guys seem to be blessed with far better lashes . . .
    I learned about oven bacon when I was a dishwasher in a restaurant and never looked back.

  4. I quite love this style of writing and look forward to hearing more from you!

  5. I adore your writing style. This sounds like a lovely Ghibli esque life.