Wednesday Write-in #30 @ CAKE.shortandsweet
Prompts: overdose :: gloss over :: poach
Some people cook from instinct, seldom from recipe. Marienka’s mother was like that; if you gave her a recipe, she’d gloss over it once to get the idea before setting out in her own direction, rarely in vain. It could be Cornish hens with red cabbage and potatoes; salmon with homemade dill sauce; potato pancakes made from scratch and served with apple sauce and sour cream; or catfish slaughtered fresh and then breaded.
It didn’t matter.
Last year, the night before Marienka’s 18th birthday, she and her mother had sifted through photos and keepsakes like they always did on Marienka’s special day.
“And what for breakfast tomorrow, Marienka? It’s your day. I’ll make it special for you and me.”
“Eggs Florentine. Smaczny.”
This year, after digging out that same shoebox from the walk-in closet, Marienka came across her mother’s birth certificate tucked in between her photographs from elementary school.
Urząd stanu cywilnego w Rzeszowie
Nr. 45 / 1950 Rzeszów, dnia 02 maja 1950
Odpis zupełny aktu urodzenia
I. DANE DOTYCZĄCE DZIECKA
1. Nazwisko: Ossadnikówna
2. Imię: Marika 3. Płeć: żeński
4. Data urodzenia: drugiego maja tysięcy dziewięćset pięćdziesiąt
5. Miejsce urodzenia: Rzeszów
II. DANE DOTYCZĄCE RODZICÓW
— Ojciec Matka
1. Nazwisko: Ossadnik Ossadnikowa
2. Imię: Michal Marika
3. Nazwisko rodowe: Ossadnik Gulka
It was Marika’s original document, slightly tattered and faded and tucked amid keepsakes from her daughter’s childhood. Marienka felt the texture of the paper between her fingers, considered the years that had passed since its issue. She went to bed wondering what had become of her grandparents.
In the morning she went to the kitchen and began gathering ingredients on the cutting board–garlic, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, heavy cream, prosciutto–before stopping to look at the handwritten recipe that she had posted on the refrigerator with a magnet the night before.
- Preheat oven to 400, spray baking sheet with cooking spray
- Single layer prosciutto on sheet and bake until crispy
- Remove prosciutto, cool completely, crumble
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft
- Add minced garlic and cook until you smell it
- Add spinach and nutmeg and cook until the spinach is wilted
- Stir in heavy cream and bring mixture to simmer; cook until the mixture thickens slightly
- Remove pan from the heat, stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper
- Fill small saucepan with 3 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, lemon juice.
- Bring water to simmer over medium heat. Crack an egg in a small bowl (don’t break yolk!). Slide egg into the water and then carefully stir the water around the egg. Cook until white sets and the yolk is still soft. Remove the egg from the water and drain. Repeat with remaining eggs.
- Plate tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach sauce over the tomato slices and then top with poached eggs. Sprinkle with crumbled prosciutto.
Marienka finished reading and left the recipe on the refrigerator. She put the water on the gas stove and turned the burner on high. She chopped and minced and sliced while she waited for the water to come to a boil.
She’d start with the eggs and figure out the rest as she went along.