I'm still learning about the land we bought, the restless five acres that house hidden deer on the hill and raccoons behind the garage. We came back from Iceland this week, a six hour flight and a two-hour drive home. When we made the turn that led to our house, the expansive reality of our ownership surprised me. Five acres looks so much bigger when you've been staring at nothing but the mindlessness of an airplane cabin.
There are many things I didn't realize about the land. How much effort it takes to maintain it and how effortless it is to respect it. How cautious I am to burn anything. How fearful I am of giving our chickens anything that isn't first corroborated between two websites. How quiet it can be, home alone all day with lazy, dozing puppies. How lonesome the night feels sometimes when the sky, coquettish, hides behind sheets of moonlit clouds.
This is our first autumn at this house of ours. There are four bushes that are in our backyard. I ask Nolan what kinds they are, as they haven't yet blossomed or changed color. I know so little about these types of things. And, because of this, I am able to be surprised in the resolute sense that this world will shift forward without my incessant question-asking.
The chickens will lay on their time.
The dogs will bark in the nighttime.
The bees continue to build their ruddy nests in places we haven't yet discovered.
And we may find a deer, broken and flattened, on the side of our driveway. This is through no fault of our own. None of it is, really.
I am beginning, just beginning, to find peace in acquiescing. To hold so little responsibility, to become a steward of our animals and this homestead I am responsible for, versus a master of anything. I hold no ego the way I once did. I hide behind no fantasy, the way I once did. Sometimes I cannot tell if I am exhausted from years of trying so hard to keep everything together, or if it was all in my head for nothing.
Next year, I'll know a little more. And this recipe is in preparation for it. Herb and tomato and egg from our land; I'm waiting for the day when I can taste it.
Tarragon and Garlic Ouefs au Plat Bressanne
Adapted from this recipe, this dish is perfect for a simple Sunday meal for two. Feel free to adjust your garlic, seasoning, and even herb choice as you like. Adaptable French is key to how I like my meals, you could say.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 clove garlic, diced finely
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 slices of quality bread, sat out to stale for a day or so
- 2 eggs
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon tarragon
- Preheat oven to 375*F and butter a small cake pan, baking dish, or skillet
- In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bubbles just begin to form on the edge of the pan
- Remove from heat and let steep
- Lay bread in prepared pan
- Pour cream mixture over top
- Cream a small well in the center of your bread to nestle the egg yolks
- Crack your eggs over the bread
- Add tomatoes
- Bake for 12 minutes, but begin checking at 10 to see how your whites have set. You can take out anytime after 10, depending on desired runniness of your eggs
- Sprinkle with tarragon and any additional salt and pepper
- Best if eaten immediately