My man done gone and left me and is gallivanting around East Asia. He’ll be back soon, or so he says, but meanwhile life around here is a lot of cheerios and nagging about piano practice and cajoling into pajamas and locating just the right pair of shorts to match today’s choice of flip-flops and washing the dishes at 9 p.m. and all the usual activities associated with riding herd on an almost-three and almost-twelve year old (but exponentially amplified because there’s no escaping it or shuffling it off onto my partner.) Phew.
As I’ve mentioned before, in one of the more emotionally chaotic periods of my life I decided that Dining With Dignity is an important component of maintaining solo sanity and self-respect. Of course, I don’t have to eat alone now, because I’m feeding my girl Naomi half the week, when she’s not with her mom, and the boy is my steady date. But still. There’s something to be said for enjoying adult company at the end of the day, even if it’s just my own. And I want to make sure not to let the spring slip by unnoticed while I’m preoccupied with picking up the great mass of toys on the kitchen floor, the great mass of clothes on the girl’s floor, and the great mass of dog hair on every floor.
So I found ten minutes to stop by the market this morning and buy some asparagus. And tonight, with Naomi safely ensconced in the maternal home and Nick safely ensconced in his crib, clutching his field hockey ball and Tigers cap (tonight’s objects of desire), I pulled out an egg, some cheese, a bit of prosciutto and made myself a luxurious spring supper in about ten minutes flat. I didn’t eat until 9:00, but it was worth the wait.
May Supper for One
A half dozen or so fresh asparagus
1 egg, maybe two
Several shavings of Parmesan cheese (I use the vegetable peeler to shave the cheese)
A slice or two of prosciutto
Lemon, butter, salt and pepper to taste
Set a saucepan of water on to boil — make it big enough to poach as many eggs as you want to eat.
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and put in a skillet with a little water. Set to simmer for about five minutes (until bright green and tender — but not too tender — to a fork).
While the asparagus is cooking, poach an egg or two (regular readers will note that I’m now an old hand at poaching eggs). I thought three minutes was just right.
Lay the asparagus out in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Dot with butter. Squeeze juice of perhaps half a lemon on top and roll it all around a little to combine. Scatter cheese and prosciutto around the asparagus, then slide the poached egg on top. Finish with a grinding of black pepper.
Make sure that you sit down to eat. Put on some music. Have some bites that include all the the ingredients and then try them in different combinations. It’s nice to have some crusty bread with which to mop the plate. At some point stop to marvel that there is still light in the sky and think about how this is the time of the year in Michigan that makes all that winter worth it.
This recipe is for one, but can easily be multiplied upwards to feed as many as you desire. But remember, sometimes just one is good.