Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Toad is a Toad unless it's a Toad-in-a-Hole

Since I've been dreaming about my new gardens, orchard, and seeds in general, it has made me miss someone that last year I went out of my way to avoid. I have to give background in order for this to mean anything to you.
Last Christmas a man came to the door selling firewood. We bought some and a couple weeks later he showed up again. He was very country and talkative which drew us right in. His stories were so crazy that after he left we laughed about them for days. David drove by his house about a week before Christmas and was stunned at the poverty. His trailer was from the 60s if not earlier. The cars were very rickety. Live poultry was everywhere. But yet, what really stood out was the neatness of it all. Everything had a place. The lawn was cut, flowers were planted, the cars were clean. David's heart went out to him.
David wanted to do something for him, but knew that if Glen found out the monetary gift was from him, he would not accept it. So he concocted a plan. He went down to the florist and had her deliver a gift and an envelope with strict instructions to not divulge our name no matter how hard Glen pressed her. She followed through perfectly.
A couple days later Glen came over and talked with David. He told him what happened to him. David played dumb. We never heard what he did with the money.
Long story short, after Christmas Glen asked if we had any work for him because his previous employer had gone out of business (tree cutting). David had some odd jobs around the barn and house. Glen performed all tasks very well. David being the softie, wanted to give him more to do so he put him on the road with the guys to help out. Disaster.
Glen had no social skills: spoke about inappropriate subjects, drove the guys crazy with his turkey and horse tales, and smelled to the high heavens because of his aversion to deodorant. One of the guys had all he could bear and went to Wal-Mart, bought a deodorant on his own dime, and showed Glen how to use it. Bottom line with this, he could not go out with the guys anymore.
David kept him busy around the barn. And, really, he was more comfortable with this work. mY problem with him and I really went out of my way to avoid him besides the stench that came off of him because of his non-deodorant ways, he would ask me a gardening question and basically talk nonstop. He was so good at this, that it was difficult to break away because he was fully aware of what he was doing. He avoided eye contact and therefore, did not receive the "signals" ie yawning, stepping away, etc... all the things we do to break away from a talker. When we went to the new office, along came Glen. He kept the back areas neat as a pin, and when that was in order, he went back to the house and kept the gardens tidy. Everything seemed to be working just fine. He really had evolved into a handy man.
We bought new property in October. Glen went along with David to see what needed to be cleaned up around the old house and barn. That is when the trouble started.
The neighbor came over and chatted with David, Glen became jealous. Glen cursed the neighbor, and lied to him about our intentions for the property. David talked with him explaining it was not his place to make up things in order to chase off the neighbor. It really became uncomfortable.
The fall storms caused a tree to fall across our driveway. Glen cleaned everything up. I wondered where the large trunk had gone. I looked in the field behind the house and saw what I thought was it. It looked kind of small, but I figured it was because of the distance. David, on the other hand, drove down to it and checked it out. I remember him saying that he thought that tree was bigger. Apparently it bugged him for a while because right after Thanksgiving, he confronted Glen about the tree trunk. That is when David's suspicions were validated. Glen was lying to him.
This fueled David who now full throttle started piecing everything together. He drove to the saw mill and asked the owner if a log had shown up. Yes, Glen had brought a large maple log down and had asked him to hold on to it. Word must have gotten back to Glen who did not show up for work for an entire week. The next week, he rolled in as if all was fine in the world. David asked him to step in his office where he asked him again about the log. Glen continued to play dumb. Several other lies had come to light and David asked him about those. Again, Glen played dumb. David was angry at this point. He told Glen to stop insulting him with lies; furthermore, he was not going to give him any work for a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks to think about his lies and how they impact others would be a good thing. He told him to come back after two weeks and 'fess up. If he could own up to his lies, then he could work again. Glen never came back.
David and I refer to the whole year of Glen as a social experiment that went wrong. But did it? A toad is a toad just as much as a rose by any other name is still a rose.
And still, we miss the toad, especially when we see handyman projects looming in the near future.
So the only good toad is a Toad-in-a-Hole. Growing up, I invented this breakfast dish for my brother and sister. My sister named it Sunshine Eggs because the egg reminded her of the sun. Later, I discovered, to my disappointment, that the English invented it long ago and named it Toad-in-a-Hole because the egg looked like a toad's bottom as it jumps in a hole, in this case, a toast hole. To this day, we love Sunshine Eggs or whatever you want to call it. I'm sure when Nephew Ben gets old enough, he too will eat Sunshine Eggs.

Sunshine Eggs aka Toad-in-a-Hole
Serves: 1

softened butter
1 slice of bread
1 egg

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Spread softened butter over both sides of the bread slice. Place slice in skillet. With a 2" biscuit cutter, cut a hole from the middle of the bread.
Lay the bread circle to the side of the bread and let it toast in the skillet. Break the egg into the hole. Cook on one side for 3 minutes. Flip and cook until egg yolk is cooked through to your liking. Slide onto a plate and put the toasted bread circle slightly askew on the egg. You have one sunshine egg.

No comments:

Post a Comment