I went a little insane this last week. I went for a walk with the dog and didn’t need to wear a hat. My face didn’t feel cold at all. I knew intellectually that was possible, but I had actually kind of forgotten what that felt like. And I was like, “SPRING!!!!!”
So then I decided we were going to celebrate both Passover and Easter – Joel’s background is Jewish and mine is Lutheran, so I figured we were allowed. We (ok, really it’s me, but Joel goes along with it so well) are extremely attracted by events, holidays, and meals steeped in symbolism, and both Passover and Easter are ideal for this. In addition to planning big meals for each holiday, I also decided it would be best if we made all of our own matzoh and Easter candy homemade. No problem, right? Ha. I feel like my every spare moment has been in the kitchen, which I don’t really mind. But, then my advisor finally sent me comments back on one of my dissertation drafts, so I was supposed to be editing that too. Oops.
But, so far, it’s all been totally worth it. And as long as the lamb cake I’m currently baking comes out of the mold without its face falling apart, then I feel like we’re ready to rock and roll.
It feels amazing to have my energy coming back because I’ve been pretty exhausted for the last couple months…Which brings me to our very big news. It, as you may have already guessed, has everything to do with an entirely different sort of, shall we say, baking project, with buns in ovens, and all. And I don’t mean the hot cross kind.
That is to say, come late September we’re expecting a new family member to join our little family!(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) We couldn’t be more thrilled. Or terrified, of course.
For the first couple of months it felt like such an intangible idea. We could say to each other, wow, we’re going to have a baby! But, that held almost no meaning. It was like talking about something happening on a television show or in the novel you are reading. Mostly, I found myself barely able to function because I was so indescribably exhausted, and I was disgusted by many of my favorite foods (some of you saw right through me the moment I mentioned, very early on, that I was off chocolate and wanted lemons. Sleuths you people are!). I had to clear anything that reminded me of brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or mushrooms out of the house. All I wanted to eat were eggs and lemons.
Then, at 9 weeks we had an appointment where we got to hear the heartbeat, as speedy as a little hamster’s, but so strong. All of a sudden, it started to truly dawn on me that there was a new life inside of me. Then just a little over a week ago we had our first ultrasound, and oh my gosh you guys, I can’t even…I mean, all of you who have had children probably know. It was entirely, unbearably, wonderful and awe inspiring to see a teeny tiny little human with a button nose and little arms and legs that it could move around. It would kick and wave, and then curl up to take a little nap. It was a tiny little person, already. Obviously I completely fell apart. There is nothing that prepares you emotionally for that level of awesomeness.
So, now we’ve started telling people, and I sing and talk to little-tiny-invisible-from-the-outside person, and I still eat tons of eggs, but I’ve started to eat more normal food again, and all of a sudden this last week I’ve developed a wee bump. (It mostly looks like I ate too much, but I know it’s there.)
That’s our news! Yippee!
And it makes for a rather awkward transition to sharing an egg and avocado smørrebød with you. But seriously, even if you haven’t been craving eggs like a nutty pregnant lady, and even if you aren’t going to have a bunch of eggs leftover from this holiday weekend, I would say you should go make some hardboiled eggs for the express purpose of being able to eat this very open faced sandwich. I made it because we had a leftover hardboiled egg, leftover pickled onions, and a whole grocery bag’s worth of homemade matzoh, and it was so wonderful I’ve made it almost every day since.
Throwing together some pickled red onions is the work of a moment, and you really should have some in your refrigerator at all times anyway since there is almost nothing they don’t perk up. Then, all you need to do is layer. First some excellent grass-fed salted butter (or good mayo if you prefer), thin slices of avocado, slices of egg, and a few forkfuls of the onion. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and you’re set. If you don’t have matzoh around, toast or rye crisps will work just as well.
Happy spring and new beginnings and new life, friends!
Egg and Avocado Smørrebød with Pickled Red Onions (serves 4)
- 4 eggs
- 4 pieces of matzoh, toast, or rye crisps (use 8 rye crisps, if they’re small)
- good (preferably grass-fed) salted butter
- 1 avocado
- 4 forkfuls of pickled red onions (recipe below)
- salt and pepper
- Put the eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them all and add enough water to cover them by an inch. Cover and bring to a boil on the stove. As soon as the water has boiled, remove from the heat and let the pot sit with the eggs in it for 30 minutes. While the eggs sit, prepare a bowl of ice water. After 30 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice bath until they are completely cool. Remove them, roll them on a counter to break up the shells and peel. (Everyone has their own preferred egg peeling technique, and I’m no expert, but I do know week-old eggs are easier to peel, and sometimes it just takes elbow grease).
- Spread each of the pieces of matzoh or toast with a generous layer of butter. Peel, pit, and slice the avocado into thin pieces. Layer a quarter of the avocado onto each piece of bread. Slice the eggs, and layer one sliced egg onto each sandwich. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper.
- Top each sandwich with a good forkful of pickled onions, and serve!
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbs. coarse salt (use about 1/2 if you’re using regular table salt)
- 1/2 Tbs. sugar
- Stir together the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve. This is by far easiest if the water and vinegar have been heated first. Add the onions, and toss them to coat them with the vinegar mixture. Let them stand at least 30 minutes, tossing them again, now and then, before using.
- Once cool, you can store them in a covered container or jar in the refrigerator for several weeks.