Egg In A Pepper

By Wendy Monro

So, my youngest is moving to England. Jack has been asking to move there for a couple of years now. Since my niece, Ruby lived with us all I have heard is how unfair his life is. He says, “You let Ruby come here and live my dream. She got to live in another country, which is all I want to do. Thanks for rubbing my face in that.” For two years, I have heard some rendition of this conversation at least once every couple of weeks.

Quite frankly, I didn’t want him to live away from me. He was fourteen when this started. I chose to stay at home with my children many years ago because I wanted to be the one who cared for them every day. Now, my baby wants to live six thousand miles away? It hurt my feelings. I kept telling him the answer is, no. I told him when he finishes high school and turns eighteen, he can make the decision to move away but until then, my job is to keep him near me.

As you already know, I caved. I was sending him out to England for the month of August for a visit with our family and friends. Every time he mentioned the upcoming trip, he’d say things like, “if I come back.” I kept reminding him that he will return to Las Vegas for school. However, this guy has always been persistent. When he wants something, he doesn’t give up until he finds a way to get it. It is not just with getting things either. When he wanted to play hockey, he became an excellent hockey player by practicing daily. When he wanted to get into art school, he poured everything into learning art and creating a portfolio until he was accepted. When my dad taught him a few chords on the guitar, he played until his fingers were callused. When he is determined, he can make anything happen.

So, I shouldn’t be surprised that I gave in to him. He had some compelling arguments. I am not sure which one put me over the edge. It might have been just to get him to stop talking to me about it. All last week, I kept telling everyone that he leaves on Friday. Yesterday, he said, “Mom, I leave on the 27th and you keep saying that is Friday.” I looked at my phone to check the dates. My heart sunk as I realized he leaves on Wednesday. I looked at his flight information. I noticed a new email from the airline, which read, “your flight leaves in seventy two hours.” My eyes welled up with tears.

I thought I had a whole week to spend with him and to mentally prepare for his departure. It turns out, I was wrong about this and time was running out. I looked over and Daphne was wiping her eyes too. I began questioning my decision to let him go. Could I take it back? No, I couldn’t. I have to let him have this experience even if it hurts my heart. He will attend school in England and I will have to let him go. I already set everything up. He’d never forgive me if I took it all back now.

This morning, when I woke up, I started thinking back to my childhood. I was in the kitchen, rummaging through the refrigerator trying to find something to make for breakfast. I remembered when I was a child, my father made me egg in the holes. I loved these. I loved that he would remove the piece of the bread to create a hole but that we also cooked the circle. I liked eating that crispy circle piece of bread. He placed the egg into the hole of the bread while it cooked. I had to have eggs over hard back then. I couldn’t stand a runny yolk and definitely would not stomach a runny egg white. So, my dad cooked these eggs to death. Then, he served me at the bar in the kitchen. I remember the dark wood and green paint. I remember feeling loved and taken care of.

I decided to make a more grown up version of this meal for myself this morning. Instead of white bread, I would make the hole from a pepper and an onion. I cooked the pepper and onion rings and dropped the egg into the center. Then, I flipped it over, sprinkled it with salt and pepper and served this to myself with cucumbers, tomatoes and melon. It was really good. I ate it while trying not to be sad about not being able to cook for Jack for a while. I tried to keep that feeling of warmth I get when I think back on how my dad cooked egg in the holes for me. I know that Jack will have lots of these similar types of memories stored in his brain to fill his heart while he lives so far away from me. I hope he will miss me and occasionally miss my cooking too.

Egg In A Pepper:

Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Spray cooking oil

1 slice (ring) red bell pepper

1 slice (ring) yellow onion

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

Spray a saut pan with cooking oil. Heat on medium high heat. Place the onion ring inside the pepper ring and put into the hot pan. Cook for about three minutes each side. Crack the egg and drop it in. Cook the egg to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fruit.