[Psssst! Are you setting up your first kitchen? Check out this post for suggestions.]
My Uncle Robert has told me a few times that college students change between their sophomore and junior years. He believes that, during those short summer months, we begin to understand ourselves more, and our paths, goals, and desires become clearer. I had always hoped he was right, but I remained skeptical that I would ever figure out what I should be doing after I graduate.
But as I look back on this summer, before I start my third–THIRD!–year at UT, I’ve realized that he’s right. I can’t quite explain why, but words that had previously seemed hopelessly ambiguous like “career” or “aspirations” or “the future” are suddenly becoming palpable and far less frightening.
This summer, I worked. A lot. I never really pictured myself behind a desk for 40 hours a week, but that’s where I found myself. I enjoyed exploring that option and having a steady, dependable paycheck. And I learned an important life lesson: there are always jobs for English majors, because there are always people who are terrified of writing.
I also learned that, while I’m happy with a job that allows me to write, I would be thrilled with a job that allows me to write about food. I’ve always really liked writing this blog, but this past summer, I began to love it. I enjoy feeding my friends, family, fellow bloggers, friendly strangers, and anonymous lurkers small pieces of my life. And in the past few months, I’ve started to realize that opportunities to read, write, and share my passion for words and food are out there.
This is quickly turning into me rambling about how much I want to travel the world and eat things and write about it, so let me wrap it up here by saying thank you thank you thank you for just reading what I write (or looking at my pictures if you’re just here for the food porn, which, let’s be honest, half of you are). I made this delicious, perfect, fresh end-of-summer meal out of local produce from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. It’s the perfect salute to a summer done right.
Summer Baked Eggs. Yields 2-3 servings.
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese and/or parmesan cheese, grated
8-10 fresh basil leaves
1-2 sliced sweet (or hot) peppers
2 tsp. milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 4 ramekins or oven-safe bowls with cooking spray. Chiffonade the basil. Add a few pieces of tomato, basil, and peppers, and sprinkle with cheese. Then crack 1-2 eggs into each of the ramekins, add salt and pepper, and spoon 1/2 tsp. of milk on each. Add another layer of tomatoes, basil, peppers, and cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes, then turn on the broiler and bake for 5 more minutes until the cheese is almost burnt. Garnish with basil.