By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
As things move slowly toward reopening, and I mention this tongue-in-cheek, since no one really knows what that means, I look with a forlorn eye to my dog.
If you do not know already, I love my dog Winston. He is the most pitifully adorable maniac of a doodle who has adorned and blessed our home for almost three years.
Every time I look at him, my mind immediately goes to two thoughts.
First, he is beside himself with having a house full of humans at his beck and call. He is friendlier, more gregarious and now will sit with us, unlike the days of yore when we were at school and work all day and night. Perhaps it was out of spite, but he was not the friendliest of dogs.
Nevertheless, having us all back around has been a godsend for the mutt. So far, so good, right?
Well, the second thought that crosses my mind, especially with those pitiful puppy eyes of his staring straight through me, is how absolutely heartbroken he will undoubtedly be when we are once again only around on occasion.
In the grand scheme of things, this is hardly the least of worries, but it still makes me sad for the little guy.
So many things have changed since the pandemic started, and we can all but wonder what the end result will be.
Some know for a fact (read believe) that this is all a hoax, while others lean much further to the other side of that argument.
This has, in many ways, become more divisive than politics, with politics naturally at the basis of many of these discussions.
It is all so tiring, and by the end of the day, I often find myself wanting a drink … or two. Then we have our Zoom happy hours (who ever thought this would be a thing), laugh and talk to friends, many of whom I haven’t talked to in years.
And by the end of it, I realize that there is a distinct possibility that I just might have a hangover in the morning.
Many mornings pre-pandemic, I would venture to a local diner to get that skillet full of eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese, butter and hot sauce as the cure-all, of course with a mug o’ joe, reminiscent of my military days.
As we used to say with great confidence, “Yes, you can run 6 miles at 5:30 in the morning, still drunk. It is a thing.”
And at the end of said runs in the glory days, we would clean up and head to the chow hall.
Invariably, this was the hearty meal that we fed our starved bodies on the regular. It was filling, would get us ready for a mundane morning of weapon cleaning, comm gear maintenance and even a trip to the motor pool if we were super lucky.
Ah yes, the halcyon days of 95 percent ennui, 5 percent action. Usually, we were fortunate enough to have afternoon PT sessions at the pool or in the ocean.
On some occasions, we could even be found at a skate ramp in the middle of the desert. That was bizarre, but still a welcome break from the boredom.
But it always came back to the hearty breakfast. Regardless of where we were stationed, we were always going to have to run, go on forced marches (rucks or ‘humps’ as we called them), swim countless miles while being put in near-death drowning and rescue scenarios, and then hit the e-Club or the beaches in Southern California for a little R&R.
And when the morning would swing back around, that ‘skillet’ would be there; hearty, delicious, unwavering in creativity and perfect in every way.
I guess in a way this stay-at-home reminds me of days on-base. We are just sitting and waiting for the word.
What that word will be, who knows? But for my beautiful boy Winston, it could be only a matter of time before he is once again as bored as we now find ourselves.
But for now, I’ll give him all the attention he needs. And he can lick the skillet clean when I’m done.
1 Tbsp. Clarified butter or ghee
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 ea. Blanched red potatoes, large dice
1/4 c. Julienne red onion
1/4 c. Julienne red peppers
small handful kale
2 strips cooked bacon, chopped
3 cloves roasted garlic
3 farm fresh eggs
1/4 c. Shredded Tillamook Cheddar
Tri-mix, as needed
- Heat a pan with the butter and oil, and when this is sizzling, add the potatoes, cooking and turning until they are nice and golden.
- Add the onion and pepper and cook for two more minutes.
- Add the kale, bacon and garlic and cook for another two minutes.
- When the vegetables are cooked through, add the eggs whole and break up with a fork or rubber spatula. This is the way that my mom used to scramble eggs, and I guess that I am a wee bit nostalgic on occasion.
- When the eggs are cooked, sprinkle the cheese on top and serve in a skillet. If you don’t have one, you might just have to go pick some up. Somehow, it transports you to that ubiquitous American diner known for these culinary morsels of delight.
- Serve with Hank’s Hot Sauce … the best!
Paul G. Suplee is an Associate
Professor of Culinary Arts
at Wor-Wic Community College.
Find his ePortfolio at