Herbed Ricotta Scrambled Eggs
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about food as a medium for conveying emotion. I think other people have been, as well, because it’s been popping up across the internet. Poor Man’s Feast’s discussion of her mother’s breakfast eggs started it for me, I think: the eggs, over the years, went from soft-boiled and velvety in the first years of marriage, to violently cooked until the pan blackened in the years before and after divorce.
But what I’ve really been thinking about is the opposite. Food cooked in happiness. Does it taste better? Is it the intent behind it that we savor, or are the good intentions literally baked in?
Lee had surgery a few weeks ago. It was scheduled, and necessary, and in the long run it’s going to be much better for her health, but it was still so, so scary. I thought we were both prepared for it, but when I had to leave the prep room at the very last possible moment before anesthesia, I cried. The anesthesiologist, wise man, joked to Lee, “This will feel like literally no time for you, three hours for me, and three days for your fiancée.” Yes. Maybe four. Or five.
Naïve, I thought I would spend the week cooking, whipping up healthy comfort food and spending my week working from home turning myself into a hipster Martha Stewart. If you’ve experienced major events like surgery, you’re sighing for me right now, because you know that worrying and caretaking are exhausting, and the most carefully-laid plans about cooking nutritious and pre-meal planned meals will become a complete Everest, theoretically possible but not something you’ll actually do any time soon.
Enter: friends with food. Home-cooked tomato ragout, pizza delivery, coconut water for hydration, and a tractor-shaped “get well!” balloon that has been floating around the house like a specter of well-wishes. (We’ve been joking that it’s Farm Bill-themed because why in the world did the store have a tractor-shaped balloon? What holiday is that for?) Last weekend, some old friends cooked a steak dinner completely kosher, after I’d protested that it was too much work, so that we could eat it too. This has been a very thorough reminder of the community that surrounds me, us, ready to bring over the casseroles when times get rough.
This has been a week of food cooked with affection and caring. The kind of amazing food that fills you with love with every bite; not just love for the food, but for the people who prepared it, and emanating from the food itself.
And this weekend, Lee made me eggs. She’d already eaten, so she made them just for me. She’s already been mobile and back in school for days, but watching her whisk and chop and stir, healthy and whole, made me the tiniest bit overwhelmed with emotion.
Herbed Ricotta Scrambled Eggs
The eggs serve one, the ricotta will serve 4-6, depending on how much you use.
These are inspired by Heidi Swandon’s Herb Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs. We used ricotta because it’s what we had on hand, and were pleasantly surprised. Lee is, shall we say less adventurous with the spices, and didn’t include the tarragon or oregano, both of which I enjoy.
1 cup ricotta
8 green onions (both green and white parts), chopped
1/3 cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or slightly less if dried)
(1+ teaspoon each dried or fresh tarragon or oregano, if desired)
salt and pepper
2 eggs, well whisked
splash of water, splash of milk
butter, for greasing the pan
- Place ricotta in the bowl. Mash the thyme, salt, and pepper (and other herbs) into it, then add the green onions and chives and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Melt a pat of butter in a frying pan. Whisk water and milk into scrambled eggs, and add to the pan. Cook and scramble until they’re nearly cooked to your taste. Add a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture, stir, and remove from heat after eggs are fully cooked.
- Serve with toast and another dollop of the ricotta mixture on the eggs. (Or smear the toast with ricotta mixture. Delicious.)