It’s been a few years since I last worked a real job, yet occasionally I still have work dreams, not exactly nightmares, but not the most pleasant kinds of dreams either. These dreams are one of two scenarios. Either I am toiling frantically to complete a task yet not accomplishing anything, or, the workday is over and it is time to go home but I can’t find a way to leave the building without taking precarious routes which would violate every safety rule in the construction industry.
Friendships and accomplishments aside, I have no nostalgia for the working years. Whenever I drive by a construction site I think, Boy am I glad I’m not doing that anymore! So why did a memory pop into my head of a workday breakfast I sometimes had?
Many of the projects I worked on were in the heart of the city, requiring an hour or longer commute from our home in the country. I despise driving into the city, particularly during rush hour, so my habit was to leave the house early, well before daybreak, to beat the traffic. Of course I also arrived at the job site early, but that was my time to psychologically prepare myself for the workday. Sometimes I would prepare a hot breakfast at home and take it with me to enjoy during this time of relaxation sitting in my truck in a parking lot.
A burrito is the perfect medium for on-the-go food for eating out of hand. Sometimes I would wrap eggs in a tortilla and sometimes potatoes. Sometimes it was a combination of eggs and potatoes for my away from home breakfast burrito. Which ever kind, it was inevitably stuffed with homegrown pickled jalapeños.
Today I replicated potato burritos the way I used to enjoy them (minus the looming prospect of work). This is the way events transpired on a typical workday morning:
I woke up early (3:55 AM) to avoid that feeling of being rushed. Besides, early morning is the best time of day. After a quick sh–, shower and shave I set about preparing my lunch and take-away breakfast.
First of all the potatoes needed to be cooked. That was accomplished by zapping them in the microwave for a few minutes.
Meanwhile I put a skillet on the stove to heat and chopped an onion. With a little olive oil in the skillet I threw in a big three finger pinch of cumin seeds followed by the onion I had just chopped.
While onions were sautéing potatoes were peeled and chopped (or more likely just chopped with the skin on) and added into the skillet.
The potatoes and onions only needed occasional stirring so there was plenty of time to fix my lunch, check the weather report and make other preparations for work.
After the potatoes had been turned a few times and were browning nicely I added homegrown, pickled and canned jalapeños. My pickled jalapeños are usually but not necessarily milder and sweeter than the store-bought jarred ones. The ones I used today were hotter than anticipated, much to my pleasure and Faye’s discomfort. A glass of cold V8 juice helped counter the burn.
30 seconds in the microwave softened the tortillas so they could be rolled without tearing. I toasted the burritos using the same skillet in which the potatoes had been cooked.
Back in the working days I would wrap the burrito in foil and again in a towel so it would still be piping hot when I arrived at work.