I stare into the near boiling water, studying the two eggs laying restlessly at the bottom of my pot. Despite my previous desire for a light salad composed of grapefruit segments, avocado, red onion, hard boiled eggs, and a blue cheese dressing, I suddenly feel repulsed by the thought of ingesting the slick white orbs.
"I don't want you." I tell the pot in defiance. "I don't want you one bit!"
I slide the lid over the top to finish cooking the eggs, but my mind is already elsewhere.
I know what I want instead -- the dish I've been craving since I first ingested it nearly two months ago at Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica.
My name is not Sam I am, but I want -- no I need -- green eggs and ham.
A quick glance to the clock reveals that a drive from my parents home in Orange County to West Los Angeles would be illogical if I plan on actually eating my lunch within the next hour, so instead I opt to do the unthinkable -- recreate Zoe Nathan's signature brunch dish myself.
I eye the carton of eggs still resting on the granite counter top, my head a pink pong table of inspiration now that I have a more agreeable lunch plan. With the leftover basil and prosciutto from the grilled shrimp and pesto linguine (recipe forthcoming) I made my parents for dinner the night before, I'm only two ingredients away from green eggs and ham bliss.
Or green eggs and ham disaster. (It can go either way when I'm working with eggs.)
One quick trip to the grocery store later to procure Thomas English muffins and arugula, and I start making a big mess of the kitchen my mom just cleaned up. I whip up a quick pesto with basil, lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt, pepper, and Parmesan, in her food processor, and as I crisp up the arugula in the salad spinner she gives me a "you're crazy" look.
"I can't believe you go to all this trouble for yourself." She says in disbelief, pretending to ignore the pesto that is now dirtying another of her bowls.
"But it's soooo good." I insist.
She shakes her head and leaves the room when she sees me making puppy dog eyes at the lush yellow yolks of my frying eggs. (She hasn't yet come around to liquid gold. Yet.)
While the egg whites are firming up, I toast an English muffin and top each side with some prosciutto. I lay the tender eggs over the top, spoon a generous amount of pesto over both halves, and then cover the whole thing with arugula.
"Mom!" I scream at the top of my lungs. "You've got to see this!" I continue with pride.
There's no answer.
"Mom!" I scream, as soon as I take a bite of my solid recreation of my current favorite brunch dish.
Again, no answer.
"Mom?!" I try, one last time.
With no response, I give up and devour the rest of my meal like a rapid animal.
One of the best parts of photographing all my food? I can always force her to "ooh" and "aah" over the pictures later.