Pluck and Luck and Cluck (and Andy is doing F***)

Franz Kafka may not be classified as a philosopher, but he was hugely more philosophical in his writing and thinking than I am. When our friend Lynne started discussing Kafka with Andy and me at lunch the other day (and she made another great sandwich for us – not an Italian Sub this time but a pastrami…more on that below.), I had to admit that I neither knew nor understood anything about his writings. (My ability to discuss philosophy is not dissimilar to my ability to describe wines. I know “big” and “fruity” – and that’s about it, which is pretty embarrassing for someone who lives and drinks in Sonoma.) When Andy and Lynne zeroed in on Kafka’s puzzling depiction of a man’s metamorphosis into a cockroach, I started to get brain fog.

Nonetheless, I like to contemplate life and how one manages it, especially given today’s environment. Maybe that’s why I was recently so pleased with myself. Andy and I were talking about our 85-year-old gardening friend who came for brunch (Andy made his famous Sour Dough Belgian Waffles). In describing why I found her so impressive, I mentioned that she had a lot of “pluck.” But then I went deeper. – and more philosophical. I realized it wasn’t all just “pluck.” Some of it had to be “luck.” And there you have it: the metamorphosis of today’s blog.

Pluck and luck. Unfortunately, a little googling shows that my descriptors – pluck and luck – are not that creative or novel.

Maybe you’re familiar with the Japanese manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which was introduced in 1987 (not surprisingly, I had never heard of it until last week). A main character’s sword, originally named “Luck” ultimately has a “P” added to it to become “Pluck.” Most likely that idea came from a 1898 “dime” novel series entitled Pluck and Luck: Complete Stories of Adventure. Jack Wright, the main character in Pluck and Luck, embarks on adventures which range from engaging the “Bushmen of Australia,” confronting ghosts, fighting fires, searching the bottom of the sea for gold, and even dealing with Wall Street! All in all 1,605 issues were published, ending in 1929.

Circa 1924. Clingy woman. Aggressive White man. Threatened Indian. Lots to philosophically contemplate here. And, yes, there’s that title!

Pluck: courage and resolve in the face of difficulties

Luck: the force that causes things to happen to you by chance and not as the result of your own efforts or abilities

Cluck: the low interrupted noise a chicken makes

And how did “cluck” and “f***” get pulled into this intensely-philosophical blog? Since neither Kafka nor the adventure series inspired me with food ideas or suggestions for Andy’s Corner (we haven’t ventured into eating cockroaches…yet), I had to resort to a more simplistic approach: continue with the rhyme. Pluck…luck. I don’t eat “duck,” so that was not an option. And we do have a favorite new egg recipe to share. Cluck, cluck, cluck.

As for Andy’s Corner, well, he couldn’t resist the wild and crazy opportunity to write about F***!

And as for Lynne’s d-lish Pastrami sandwich, the key is this Russian Dressing from Epicurious.com. To make it, butter one side of a good Jewish rye bread; with the buttered side down, add a layer of Swiss cheese, coat the cheese with the Russian dressing, add the pastrami and RAW sauerkraut (looking for probiotics here), then top with another buttered slice of bread, this time with the buttered side facing up. Toast on a griddle, turning once. Oh my. (An aside: Kafka was Jewish but not Russian – so this sandwich ties into the blog…existentially…maybe).

And now for the baked egg!

Our most favorite dish for a baked egg is this vintage Arabia Liekki Flame (left). But an ordinary ramekin works fine too. About a 5″ diameter is perfect
Prosciutto Baked Eggs

Prosciutto Baked Eggs

For each individual ramekin:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 T half & half
  • 1 T finely-chopped prosciutto 
  • 1 T grated gruyere cheese 
  • 1 T panko bread crumbs
  • thyme – fresh (minced) or dried (just a pinch) 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place oven rack in middle of your oven.

Lightly butter each individual oven-proof baking dish or ramekin (5″ diameter is about right)

Break 1 egg (being careful not to break the yolk) into each baking dish.  

Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the half & half over each egg; do not stir.

Mix together the prosciutto, gruyere, and panko, and sprinkle evenly over each egg.  

Sprinkle each egg with a pinch of thyme.

Bake in preheated oven approximately 12 minutes.  Check the eggs after about 10 minutes baking time.  When done, the whites should be completely set and the yolks barely beginning to thicken.  Remember the eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the oven.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: