Monday, July 19, 2021


 A few years ago I read a cookbook called A Painter’s Kitchen, compiled by Margaret Wood, who cooked for the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. I took away a couple of things from it, the first of which is that O’Keeffe was probably a difficult person to work for. This was illustrated by a comment the author made about the hardest part of the cooking job was how particular O’Keeffe about thoroughly drying the herbs from the garden after they had been washed. This was because she insisted that the herbs could hold sauces better that way. The second thing was related to the first, in that when the fresh bounty from her garden was prepared according to her direction, she would say with some satisfaction, “Does anybody eat as well as we do?”

On the basis of this I created what I call my “breakfast box,” a small corrugated metal container in the farmlet, filled with tarragon, chives, and parsley destined for omelettes and scrambled eggs. In this way, I can eat breakfast as well as O’Keeffe, at least during the summer months. 

And, I don’t know if it makes a difference to the taste, but as an homage to O’Keeffe I always dry the herbs thoroughly before throwing them into the eggs. There are worse ways to be remembered.

Walu and I are are chicken-sitting for some neighbors this week, for which we were prepaid with a dozen fresh eggs. This morning I snipped some herbs from the breakfast box and made myself a breakfast of omelette, grilled Sweet 100s, chipotle-cheddar cheese grits, and a couple of rashers of bacon. An unexpected thunderstorm brewed up while I was cooking, and I threw open the kitchen windows so I could listen to it while I worked.

I won’t lie to you, the omelette was slightly rubbery and overcooked—my fault, not the eggs’. I have never been all that great at omelettes. Soft scrambled eggs are more my bailiwick, but I didn’t feel like cleaning up the pan afterward this morning. Even so, it was a wonderful start to a summer day. Life is bountiful, even if sometimes rubbery and overcooked.

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