Timelines and a Fried Egg Sandwich

Ages ago, food writer M. F. K. Fisher wrote a book called Among Friends. Two things made the memoir dear to me: (1) she talks about living in Whittier, California before WWI among my beloved Quakers, and (2) she introduced me to a fried egg sandwich. I made a Mindful Grilled Cheese and Egg sandwich today and thought about why we do things sequentially and, when writing and cooking, we do them mindfully.

Slide1After the distractions of returning from Colorado, a friend in the hospital, friends in town for a high school reunion and jury duty, I’ve returned to working on the short story/novella Jack Fell Down. While in Colorado, I sketched out a timeline for the story which led to listing the scenes and discovering who abducted Jack and why. As I entered each scene title in its time slot, I’d write notes that’s helping immensely now as I immerse myself again in the story. The timeline also showed me why the story needed to go from Day One night to a long Day Two and finish in an almost epilogue fashion on Day Three morning.

A Mindful Grilled Cheese and Egg sandwich follows the same method but quicker and with more panache on my part. I take one slice of Trader Joe’s Sprouted flourless whole-wheat berry bread, and butter liberally on one side with organic extra virgin coconut oil. On the unbuttered side, I place basil leaves from my garden and top with a slice of cheese. (I like extra sharp cheddar but used Swiss today. Raw cheese is fabulous.) Broil or toast or bake in oven.

While that’s sitting on its parchment paper, cheese melting, I crack an egg in hot coconut oil and break the yolk. I sprinkle some South African smoke seasoning and fresh cilantro leaves on the translucent egg. Turn when ready. Onto the melted, bubbling cheese, I add the egg, thinly sliced cucumber from the pastor’s garden, green zebra tomato slices from my garden, and a roasted tomato slice with thyme from a friend. I then slice the stack in half to create an easier-to-handle sandwich. Open face may do as well.


For an accompanying salad, I top arugula with diced apricot and Peter Honey figs from my garden, crushed pecans, French tarragon leaves also from my garden, and lemon olive oil.

A  timeline should help a story fall in place just as easily and deliciously.  That’s what I’m hoping.

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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5 Responses to Timelines and a Fried Egg Sandwich

  1. Rebecca Lang says:

    I like how your griled cheese sandwich is mindful. It sounds tasty. I’m sorry for all the difficulties you’ve been going through lately, but I’m encouraged that you’re able to push through it anyway and get some writing done.

  2. mlknowlden says:

    Forgot to mention that my eggs comes from the Brea Farmers’ Market. Tony’s shown me pictures of the chickens and where they live. Very nice chicken coop condos and a huge yard for them to scrabble around.

    Sometimes writing takes a backseat, and that’s okay. I’ll be hunched over the laptop tomorrow! Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Kaye Klem says:

    Jack Fell Down is a great title. : ) Your fried egg sandwich makes my mouth water, though you’re a much more elaborate cook that I am. All those great sounding ingredients!

  4. mlknowlden says:

    Thank you for the kind words about the title. Poor story has gone through about six names–hope this one sticks. Not sure about the cooking being elaborate, but thank you again. I’ve timed making the sandwich and the salad, and it only takes 11 minutes. Not counting gathering and cleaning some of the ingredients from the garden.

  5. Pingback: Touring Five Breakfasts | Michelle Knowlden writes…

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