On Harvest Dinners, Vacations, and Bacon-y Egg Salad.

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t feel the need to apologize for my lack of recent posts. I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you! Life gets busy and crazy and sometimes I don’t have a spare moment to cook (or write about cooking). So, then, rather than lament my lack of posts…I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to.

Most of my energies were focused upon one event: The Montavilla Farmer’s Market Harvest Dinner. I’ve been volunteering with the Market all year, but I was especially excited to help with their annual fundraising dinner. The dinner was comprised of 6 courses (omnivore or vegan), wine pairings, a silent auction, and music by a string quartet. The purpose of the dinner is to raise funds for the Market’s Everybody Eats program, which helps with food stamp matching and food accessibility.

I was charged with the task of heading up the decor and ambiance for the dinner. I had a very specific vision for the look and feel of the dinner and I if I do say so myself, it all turned out beautifully. The dinner was a great success! The food was fantastic, the wines were delicious, the ambiance was lovely, and the guests were happy.

Pictured: Harvest dinner place setting.

The day after the Harvest dinner, Nich and I escaped to the coast. I knew that we’d be exhausted from the event and thankfully I had the foresight to book us at a room at cute little hotel in Astoria, Oregon. When we arrived in Astoria, we were greeted with never-ending and miserable rain. We decided to make the best of it and proceeded to wander about the quaint little town, and ended up getting positively soaking. I looked like a drowned rat. But, we made sure to warm ourselves with a few tasty brews at the Fort George Brewing Company.

The next morning, we awoke and everything had changed. The skies were blue and the seas were calm…it was downright gorgeous. We walked along the pier, drank coffee, and read a lot of Harry Potter. Since we weren’t in a hurry (nor did we have a schedule!), we wandered around the coast aimlessly until we felt it was time to head back home. We drove home with the windows down and the music turned up loud. I sang along at the top of my lungs as the sun warmed my face and I felt that all was right with the world. It was the perfect getaway.

Pictured: Nich & I at the coast. Happy.

We arrived home feeling refreshed. Nich jumped into projects mode (he built us a picnic table!) and I set about making egg salad sandwiches. Why? Because I happen to love egg salad sandwiches! And I had a ton of eggs in the fridge. And I was too lazy to go to the store. And egg salad is delicious! This particular batch of egg salad was extra delicious, as I had the genius idea to add in bacon and caramelized shallots. These additions transformed the egg salad into something special. This is not your typical soggy deli egg salad. No, my friends, this is egg salad all grown up. You must try it for yourself! I beg of you.

So, there you have it…

This week I helped throw a fundraiser dinner, escaped to the coast, returned home, and made a damn good batch of egg salad. Oh, and I helped put on this food swap. I didn’t do much in the way of cooking or writing, but that’s OK. I wasn’t blogging, but I was busy doing a lot of wonderful things. All that to say, I had a really fantastic week. I hope you did too.

Pictured: Egg Salad Sandwich on Dave’s Killer Blues Bread with Spring Greens and Tomato

Egg Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Shallots, and Whole Grain Mustard
Note: This is what I would call a German style egg salad. The egg salad has all the classic flavors of german pub food. It is bold, smoky, and full of flavor.

4 strips bacon
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
10 eggs
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey mustard (or yellow mustard)
2 dill pickle spears, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste

For sandwich:
Dave’s killer bread (or other tasty whole grain bread)
Slices of heirloom tomatoes
Greens, such as arugula or spinach

My tips for perfect hard boiled eggs: Place eggs in a large pot and cover with water, until eggs are covered with about an inch of water. Place pot on stove and heat over high heat until water just barely begins to boil. Once the water boils, turn the stove off and remove pan from heat. Cover the pot and set your timer for 15 minutes (allowing the eggs to sit in the hot water during this time). After 15 minutes, pour off hot water and rinse eggs with cold water to stop the cooking process. You should now have perfectly hard boiled eggs.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon and shallots. For the bacon, cook strips in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered. For the shallots, cook in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Allow the shallots to slowly brown and caramelize. If they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down to low. The shallots should caramelize in 15-20 minutes. Set aside bacon and shallots and allow to cool.

To assemble the egg salad:
Peel and dice all the hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Mix in the mayo, mustard(s), salt, pepper, paprika and dill. Adjust mayo & mustard levels according to your personal preference. The egg salad should be moist but thick (not runny).

Chop bacon strips and dill pickles into a fine dice. Gently stir in the bacon, pickles, and dill until just combined. Serve egg salad on a piece of toast with lettuce and tomato.

18 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful table and great new take on egg salad. I will be trying both! Thank you so much!

  2. Lacy says:

    Gorgeous place settting & what a delicious looking/sounding egg salad. I definitely have to give this a try!

  3. You have been busy! This egg salad looks delicious! Love the idea of the onions and bacon in there – whole new level for a classic!

  4. Susie says:

    It looks like a damn good egg salad. How can you go wrong with bacon and caramelized onions. I’ll have to make this for my son he will totally love it.

  5. I agree, Lindsay, with the importance of living first, blogging later. There just isn’t enough time to spend reading blogs which are posted so frequently that the content becomes the myopic “then I breathed in, then I breathed out, then I baked a cookie” drivel. Time is too short to read a bunch of stuff that doesn’t add value. (Including the guilt-ridden apology posts for not blogging… not to be rude, but, how dull?) I assert that when we bloggers get beyond being caught up in some self-imposed posting schedule, that is when our blogs have the chance to reach their creative potential! It is so much more fun to anxiously await the next post of someone who really has something to say; to begin to miss their work, and wonder what exciting stuff she/he is up to, or what interesting things she/he has been pondering.

    Egg salad… it is one of the best meals, and often forgotten. Thanks for reminding me, and I love your delicious additions. But I especially love all the cool stuff you’ve been up to!

    • rosemarried says:

      Pam, thanks for the kind and thoughtful words! I completely agree with you. I used to feel this pressure to post a couple of times a week and then I had to step back and remember that I write this blog for fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable! I don’t want schedules and pressure. I want to enjoy life…and when the writing happens, it’ll happen. There’s no need to stress about it. So glad you agree. :)

  6. danielle says:

    i didn’t know that was what the fundraiser before! i myself have utilized their food stamp matching program and i am so so so grateful for it!

  7. Life’s WAY too short to feel guilty about blogging! Glad you had a lovely week.

  8. What a greay twist on egg salad! I think I am going to try it with this new smoked paprika I just picked up at the farmer’s market. Love the place setting too :)

  9. Wow this egg salad sounds delish- its like a grown up version of the one we used to eat when we were little. I love everything from the caramelized onions and bacon. Sounds good!

  10. I so love visiting you. It’s like a big exhale. I always feel like your blog is the equivalent of ‘taking a load off’. I think blogging is a means to convey life but should not replace it. By this point those who will read us will and taking a hiatus doesn’t matter. With quality work like yours it’s worth waiting for!

    Your dinner sounded great and those events really take it out of you. The place settings were so perfect, and so you! The coast sounded great and reminded me of a New Years trip my husband and I took when living in CA to Mendicino and it poured the whole time. The tiny inn had a selection of movies and we ended up watching the entire Godfather series. It was simple and perfect. Love the egg salad too. Earlier this year I put bacon in egg salad and asked myself why on earth that had never occured to me before?! xo

    • rosemarried says:

      Toni, thank you SO much for your kind words. They mean a lot. I feel the same way about your blog. You have exciting and meaningful content that is sincere and well-written. Also, I’d totally forgotten you put bacon in egg salad! I’m sure yours was subconsciously the inspiration for mine! :)

  11. I’m using the rest of my bacon to make this egg salad. I bow to you. LOL.

  12. chefdennis says:

    wow, now that’s egg salad! you really added so much flavor to your egg salad, those caramelizled onions and bacon won me over that’s for sure! It sounds like your dinner was quite the event, and yoiur place setting was perfect!
    hope all is well, I’ve missed coming to your blog!

  13. Ann says:

    The egg salad sandwich looks delicious, but what a BEAUTIFUL table setting you chose – absolutely stunning and I’m sure everyone raved about it!

  14. I love your blog – great recipes and beautiful photos. And yes, life gets busy. So we do what we can to get by. Good on you for dumping the guilt factor and just getting on with it! :)

  15. Dylan Range says:

    cool blog, rss following now and hope to see some similar posts soon.

  16. pearlandpine says:

    Sounds like you have been perfectly busy- sometimes I love when life gets in the way :) I’m totally bookmarking this recipe- love the addition of bacon!

Leave a Reply to Lacy