Dudette’s tooth fell out two nights ago. When I went in her room to wake her up yesterday, the news was the first thing she offered up as she crawled out of bed.
When she smiled up at me, it was easy to see that what she said was true. There was an empty space next to her front tooth, a perfect match to the space on the other side of the other front tooth, where another fell out some time ago.
I’ll admit it. The adolescent that still roams free in my mind immediately thought of Sponge Bob and Timmy Turner, two of her favorite cartoon characters, both with very, um, prominent, yeah, prominent front teeth.
I’d like to say that I took the high road and buried that juvenile thought, but I may have congratulated her in joining such esteemed company instead. Just maybe.
What I will admit to doing was asking her when the tooth fell out. ‘At 4:14,’ she answered cheerfully. 4:14. In the middle of the night. Seriously?
I think I’ve read Stephen King’s Tommyknockers too many times, because if I had woken up at that hour, spat a tooth into my hand, I most definitely would not have put it in it’s little tooth fairy pillow, rolled over and gone back to sleep.
Of course, I’m not supposed to be losing my teeth. And, if I did, there wouldn’t be a monetary reward for having done so to look forward to. For my girl, however, that’s right where her mind went. As she handed me the pillow, she asked if she could just get the money right then. Again, I say, seriously?
Even though I know she believed in the tooth fairy for all of five minutes, opting instead to take a more capitalistic track with the whole lost tooth/cash combination, I told her she had to wait until that night, and she had to put the tooth pillow where the fairy could find it.
Cue the eye roll. The exaggerated, over-the-top, get the point eye roll. ‘Well, if you’re going to do that, at least put more than one dollar in there when you take the tooth, ok?’ she announced as she flounced away.
This morning, the tooth fairy left her two dollars. And then said fairy had shakshuka for breakfast as she lamented her daughter’s relentless march toward adulthood.
After the process of slicing peppers and onions yesterday, I was well practiced for this so it was pretty easy to do the same. That, mincing a couple cloves of garlic and measuring out marinara, salt and paprika was all it took to set the tomato base for the shakshuka.
I was really, really tempted to forego the instruction to crack the eggs into a custard cup and to slide them on to the sauce that way, but I did go ahead and do as I was supposed to. So, I don’t know what happens if you just crack the egg right onto the tomatoes. Maybe it’s done that way to make sure none of the yolks break. Maybe I just looked more cool doing it that way.
Whatever the case, preparing this breakfast did stay within the 25 minutes allotted and only used the one skillet and custard cup.
I had an Armenian dish similar to this while growing up so eggs and tomatoes is a favorite combination for me. And, I enjoyed this too, especially over the rice. I did find that the smoked paprika was a bit overwhelming after a few bites and I missed the other flavors that are typically found in Middle Eastern cooking (cumin and cayenne or Aleppo pepper). But, overall, it was a delicious, easy breakfast.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I would use regular paprika instead of smoked and I would include a teaspoon cumin and a half teaspoon Aleppo (or cayenne) pepper.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup (1/4-inch-wide) strips red bell pepper
- 1 cup (1/4-inch-wide) strips green bell pepper
- 2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) vertically sliced red onion
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup fresh baby basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell peppers, onion, and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in marinara sauce and paprika. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Form 4 (2-inch) indentations in sauce, using the back of a spoon. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into a small custard cup, and gently slip into each indentation. Cover and cook 6 minutes or until eggs are done.
- Divide rice evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Spoon egg mixture evenly over rice, and sprinkle with basil and cheese.