Egg and salad sandwich, upsized coffee and The Phantom of the Opera

Sam's egg and salad sandwich

It is egg and salad sandwich, not egg salad sandwich. We had leftover salad from last night’s dinner and I told Sam that we should consume it before the vegetables went bad. But I’m jumping ahead of the real story. Let me organize it a bit better.

After dinner last night, Sam stationed herself beside me in my home office. Sam and Alex both do that when they’re home but not together. There’s a stool beside my office chair where they’d sit and we’d browse the web together. Food, photos, videos, house designs… whatever we’re in the mood for. Mostly, it’s a time to talk and be together. To bond. To connect. The times when Speedy removed the stool, they got upset. It’s their station and they want the stool there permanently.

Last night, the stool was Sam’s, and we browsed food blogs looking for good (and doable) baking projects. The short-term plan was to bake something last night; the long-term plan was to start baking and blogging holiday cakes, cupcakes and cookies. For the short-term project, we agreed on meringue-topped cupcakes.

But it was already around 10.00 p.m. and I told Sam I would get too sleepy to bake anything unless she made coffee first. Of course, she knew very well that I wouldn’t get sleepy. I’m such a night owl and I am at most most creative in the dead of night. It was just a joke — in Filipino, naglalambing lang. But she was in a good mood, I’m sure she wanted me to be in a good mood so she could have her cupcakes, so she made coffee. To say that it was an upsized coffee would be an understatement.

upsized coffee

On the left is my empty cup of coffee; on the right, the coffee that Sam handed me. That’s not a coffee cup that she used — that’s a soup mug. She definitely didn’t want me to get sleepy. She definitely wanted cupcakes.

While thawing the butter, Speedy and I watched a couple of episodes of Season 2 of Fringe. By the fourth episode, Speedy was asleep on the couch and I just knew that TV time was over. I preheated the oven, checked the recipe one last time then started preparing the ingredients.

To my dismay, I discovered that we were almost out of white sugar. That’s one thing about being semi-empty nesters. While we used to buy everything in bulk when the girls were still staying at home everyday, with just Speedy and me in the house five days a week, we started buying everything in small amounts — sugar, rice, flour… everything. And while we used to keep a reserve of everything (i.e., when we opened a bag of sugar, there was always an extra bag in reserve), these days, we just buy what we can consume.

So, I had to turn off the oven because there was no way I could bake cupcakes with less than half a cup of sugar. I told Sam, I knew she would be disappointed, I hoped she wouldn’t start a tantrum so I offered to make pancakes for breakfast. But she wasn’t interested in pancakes. She came down from her room sometime between 4.30 and 5.00 a.m. (yes, she is a night owl too), asked if I was hungry and if I wanted eggs. I said sure. And that was when I told her to use the leftover salad.

The thing with Sam is that no matter how simple the meal, she has to make a presentation out of it. She’s artistic, okay, and she’s going to be a professional artist soon, and she expresses her artistry even in mundane things like making a sandwich. Too bad that the lighting doesn’t do the sandwich justice. But it was before dawn and only the reading lamp was on. As bad as the lighting might be, the sandwich was delicious. Probably more so because my daughter made it for me.

My girls aren’t angels, heaven knows they have moods that I don’t even have names for, but they’re… Okay, this is the part where I have to talk about Alex.

Alex came home last weekend talking excitedly about having gotten group discounted orchestra tickets for The Phantom of the Opera. She said she could still get me a ticket but I told her to just enjoy the show with her friends. Then, she said, “What if I told you that I already bought a ticket for you?” She was dead serious. She told me the date and to just show up before 8.00 p.m. I was so touched. I reached out to hug her but she just smiled and wiggled away. And I went straight to the bathroom so she wouldn’t see the tears. Later that night, we watched Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables together. The sun was up when we finally fell asleep.

Aaahh, my girls. My precious, precious girls. Life is good. It really is.