Thursday, July 12, 2012

Unexpected Guests: Thank Goodness for Eggs

Over the weekend I wasn't planning to cook much because we were going to a wedding, and my sister and her family had to delay their arrival by a day. I figured I could take it easy, and use up a few of the leftovers in my fridge.

It didn't quite work out that way. My sister and her husband drove straight through the night, arriving at my house at 5:30 am on Saturday. I fed them toast for breakfast, and a LOT of coffee, as they straggled up the stairs at 9 am with their 9 month old baby in tow.

Lunch rolled around, and I threw all the leftovers from our Vietnamese summer roll feast (Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, shrimp, basil) into egg foo young. I used this recipe as a guide, but then just used what I had on hand, including homemade beef stock rather than chicken stock. I found a recipe for egg foo young sauce that called for beef stock—you add oyster sauce and soy sauce and then thicken. Not the perfect flavour match, but the kids went crazy with the sauce on their rice.

The next morning, my parents brought over muffins and fruit and the whole family (brother, sister, S.O.s and children) were all there. Everyone except my parents was still there at lunch, and I started wondering what to serve, since our kids were going to get hungry again. I realized I had everything I needed to make roasted tomato clafoutis, like a giant, savoury pancake. I mixed in cherry tomatoes from the Farmers' market, leftover goat cheese and lentil caviar from my book club meeting, and some more basil, stuck it in the oven, cooked some breakfast sausage from my freezer, and there was lunch. I used this recipe, and then adapted it to what I had, and prepared it right in a frying pan that could transfer to the oven.

All I can say is that I'm glad to have a few dozen eggs in the fridge at any given moment. With no microwave on the premises to thaw out food from the freezer, impromptu lunches would otherwise be a challenge.

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