Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mixed Plate: Ham, Eggs, Tulips and Not Paying Retail

Easter weekend came and went, which had me thinking about favorite things about the holiday -- the childhood joy of coloring eggs and the resulting Technicolor Dreamcoat-hued egg salad that completely skeeved me out, the giant chocolate bunnies I'd receive from family or friends and the savage joy of biting off those ears first. Everyone knows it's the part that tastes best. Even the annual eating of Peeps -- well, more like one Peep. I'd wind up with a package, thinking this will be the year I develop an appreciation for those marshmallow sugar-coated little cuties. I take a bite, it feels like you're eating packing material dipped in sand, and I throw the rest away, completely disgusted with myself for being an idiot to think this year would be any different. The old traditions have gone by the wayside in lieu of new ones, namely hitting the casino for brunch and browsing the outlet malls. What would Jesus do? Apparently, not pay retail.

The Easter miracle - tulips before retail - Photo by Wasabi Prime

The Prime didn't totally make a mockery of the Easter holiday -- well, just a half-mockery -- as I managed to fit in a visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Quite honestly, it's one of the most stunning things you'll ever see, driving up north towards Everett and being suddenly inundated with fields of solid color. It's literally like a rainbow punched you in the face. Rows and rows of bright yellow daffodils, alternating rows of tulips in warm orange, reds and pinks; it's a beautiful sight, even on the grey, blustery Easter Sunday I was in the neighborhood.

Tiptoeing and trespassing through the tulips - Photos by Wasabi Prime 

I didn't have my big camera with me because the original intent of the trip was a heathen-filled day of casino buffet-eating and outlet mall shopping, but an Easter miracle allowed my dinky phone camera to take photos of the tulip fields that didn't look like total garbage. If confession is good for the soul, I should be totally up front in that the only reason we wound up in beautiful fields of flowers on the Lord's Day was the shops weren't open yet and we had a couple of hours to kill. Along with trespassing in a daffodil field clearly marked NO TRESPASSING and taking photos, my partners in crime and I managed to escape the incoming rain as we tiptoed through the tulips at a garden that actually invited visitors to tromp through their fields. Somebody up there liked us and approved of our retail pre-func with the flowers.

So that's what happened to ABBA - Photos by Wasabi Prime

You'll discover tulips you never knew existed, in rare colors, shapes and sizes, and you'll likely make it a point to visit the area every year. While this April was unusually cold and not as many fields were ablaze with blooms, it was still a thing of beauty. My friend Stacie, aka, SJBe, was sweet to get me a bouquet of favorite tulips to bring home as a souvenir, which I must say, tulips and bulbs in general are the best blooms for lazy folks like myself. They're hearty, they last longer than most flowers, and the just scream springtime cheerfulness. The colorful romp in the garden fueled us with energy to battle the crowds at the outlet mall, which if there was a soundtrack for the day, we'd have had Tiny Tim's quirky "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" for the first part and GNR's "Welcome to the Jungle" for the outlet malls. You know where you are? You're in the jungle bably, you're gonna diiiiiiiiiiiiiiie. So sayeth the wisdom of Axl Rose.

Can you find the Easter eggs? - Photos by Wasabi Prime

After a long day of weathering the retail masses and not even having the satisfaction of finding anything worth buying beyond a cup of coffee, I peaced-out Easter Sunday with Brinner (breakfast for dinner). I bought a ham for no other reason than it was 99 cents a pound and I could freeze the meat and save the bone for split pea soup. Day of rest, remember? The feast of Easter Brinner was composed of poached eggs over a hash of ham and sweet potatoes, using a method of poaching eggs that I was happy to discover via Bon Appetit magazine. They had a quickie microwave trick, cracking an egg into a cup of water, enough to cover the top of the egg, and giving the egg-water mix a spin in the microwave for a minute, with a saucer placed over the top, presumably to focus the heat and make for an especially clattering ruckus should the egg explode. Luckily, there was no eggs-plosion (har har), but I admit, I over-microwaved the egg, resulting in more of a soft-boiled stage than truly poached. The method is sound, I just need to fuss with the timing on my microwave a little, but I was pleased to find such an easy shortcut method for preparing eggs in my favorite way. I have a lot more leftover ham to perfect the nuke-time on my microwave, so despite Easter having hopped along like Peter Cottontail, the joy of eggs will remain.

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  1. Great tip, D! Will definitely try. Lovely photos too!

  2. Eggs-plosion...haha! Love it :) Looks like the perfect way to end a busy day. Great microwave usage!


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