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Relax. And Pull Up Your Swim Pants.

I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.

~Kanye West, October 16, 2010

Friends, sometimes the universe of things we feel responsible for just expands and expands, and it gets to be too much.

Take a few deep breaths and let yourself off the hook.  Take a sip from your water bottle.  Or not, depending on your situation.

Do something that makes you relax today.

For me, that’s swimming.  I’ve been able to swim in public ever since I was a kid and the History Channel was added to our cable package.  That’s when I discovered the “cumbersome dress and pantaloon combinations” popular among lady swimmers at the turn of the century.

If you’re not familiar with that look, my girl Anette Kellerman is pretty much nailing it in this picture:

The famous Australian swimmer was rocking this outfit in 1907 when police arrested her for indecency on a beach in Massachusetts. From a law enforcement perspective, the arrest backfired because Anette went directly into nude film and ladies everywhere started wearing string bikinis.

Unfortunately, cumbersome pantaloons aren’t available in stores anymore so you have to make your own.  I like to go with a combination of sturdy shoes, leggings, night shirts, and sometimes a floppy hat and a windbreaker.

Cumbersome pantaloons have several advantages over the modern-day bathing suit, and I’ll give you an example.

In the summer of 1988, one of my friends had a birthday party in his back yard.  Twenty kids and the boy’s labrador retriever were bouncing around in the pool when someone screamed.  Everyone leaped out and squinted into the shallow end.

Behold, a Piece Of Poop.

In the hours that followed, each child had to prove he was not affiliated with the Piece Of Poop in any way.

The prime suspects were announced: the kids who had been on the steps. (This was carried by a vote.)

Then there was a discussion of whether a third-party had sneaked in, deposited the Piece Of Poop, and left before anyone noticed.  (This was deemed unlikely but not impossible.)

And then there was a group attempt to re-examine the evidence.  (This was shut down by the birthday boy’s mother, who secured the perimeter, retrieved the Piece Of Poop with a net, and confiscated it.)

Eventually, it was agreed that the Piece of Poop belonged to the birthday boy’s dog.  But here’s where my cumbersome pantaloons really came through for me: I hadn’t wanted to get them wet, so I had been sitting on a deck chair, tanning in a little SPF 45, while all this was going on.  There was zero point zero possibility that the Piece Of Poop had anything to do with me, and everybody knew it.  Huzzah!

My point is this: if swimming is the activity that makes you relax, make the experience even better.  Try cumbersome pantaloons.

If swimming isn’t your thing, don’t worry about.  Do something else awesome.

Whatever you choose, I recommend a protein-packed lunch of delicious egg salad sandwiches.

The noble egg salad.  I like it on thin Pepperidge Farm bread, as a tea sandwich, but who am I kidding.  Most of the time, I eat these on regular white bread with lettuce, standing over the sink.

I checked with a police officer in Massachusetts and there is no rule saying you have to wait until summer to eat egg salad sandwiches.  So try one.

Crunchy Egg Salad

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/4 c. mayonnaise (or mayo substitute)

1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cider vinegar

2 stalks celery

2 tbsp. chives (chopped)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. dry mustard (can substitute prepared mustard)

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

hearty dash pepper

(optional) Worcestershire sauce, capers, olives, pickles, relish . . .

Directions:

Boil the eggs.

{Note about boiling eggs: I put the eggs in cold water and bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a moderate boil and cook for about 10 minutes. When I remove the pot, I immediately dump the hot water out and run very cold water over the eggs to cool. This keeps the yolk bright yellow.}

Chop the eggs up and put in a bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Eat on sandwiches or over lettuce, or on crackers, or stuffed in a tomato.

It’s been raining a lot here, and that means Thunder hasn’t gotten to play outside as much as she likes.  First she got indignant about it.

Then she started moping like someone put a water bottle next to her and like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.

Eventually, she gave up.

And she went to sleep.

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44 Comments Post a comment
  1. I adore egg salad sandwiches. One of the best egg salad sandwiches I ever had was at a little restaurant, now closed, in my little town. They combined the egg salad with a thick slice of ham and apricot jam on sunflower seed bread.

    By the way, I just made your apple butter cake. By just I mean just took it out of the oven. It smells divine. I used agave nectar instead of honey because I had already made one special trip to the store for apple butter and didn’t want to go back for the honey. They already think I’m a little nuts at my store.

    January 13, 2012
    • Sandy, have you tried it yet? I hope it’s good– let me know! We just finished ours two days ago. Tomorrow if you microwave a slice for abut 20 seconds, it’ll taste like it does when it’s just come out of the oven.

      That egg salad you described sounds divine. I happen to have both apricot jam and some ham in the refrigerator, and we just boiled 6 more eggs. So I’m going to try to capture even the slightest hint of what you’re talking about. Thank you! (Like you, I’m not going to the store for the sunflower seed bread. Have to draw the line at 2-3 trips per day. 🙂

      January 13, 2012
  2. Lady Sisyphus #

    Cheers to pantaloons! I’m in!

    January 13, 2012
    • Right?? Glad you’re on board, sister.

      January 13, 2012
  3. When you fly on a plane with your 2 kids, one on either side, it’s sheer terror in the drink department! I’m constantly moniotring the drink’s location to ensure that it is safely tucked inside the pre cut drink indentation on the tray. If the drink leaves it’s ZONE…….I tend to get a little edgy! Cheers to Friday, and kisses for Thunder!!!

    January 13, 2012
    • Happy Friday to you, too! I just had a flashback of the many plane rides my family spent covered in Sprite. Honestly, I should probably STILL be using a sippy cup, but whatever. Have a fantastic weekend!

      January 13, 2012
  4. Poor Kanye – he really has the weight of the world on his shoulders…
    I am also a fan of egg salad sandwiches but I have an unfortunate memory of coming back home after a NYE party on the town many years ago with a hangover of mammoth proportions to discover my mother who was baby-sitting my young son had decided egg and onion sandwiches were just the thing to have as a hearty New Years day breakfast….
    Not a great aroma for my delicate yet self inflicted condition…I am convinced she did it on purpose

    January 13, 2012
    • Uuuugh. That sounds horrible. I have a similar memory involving crab omelets that I still can’t talk about without getting queasy. Best of luck to you as you overcome this and join us on back on the right side of history.

      January 13, 2012
      • i do make some amazing deviled eggs with a little parmesan cheese and paprika in them – so eggs are great – just a little wary of egg salad LOL

        January 13, 2012
        • I love deviled eggs. I have a whole cookbook dedicated to deviled eggs. I have never put parmesan in them, though! Will have to try it, thanks!

          January 16, 2012
  5. Enjoyed the heck out of this. Love the way your mind works. Annette! Was her waist really that small? I also got a kick out of the background the photographer used. With the rocks and all and the picture of the ocean that looks like a huricane’s abrewin’. Back in 1907 everything looked kind of scarey. And I love egg salad. Thank your for the recipe.

    January 13, 2012
    • Hi Linda! Apparently her waist wasn’t always that small. Check out her wikipedia page, top left. I think she looks awesome as a nude. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_Kellerman
      It’s weird to think the butterfly stroke wasn’t even invented until later, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, glad you like egg salad– I know people tend to feel strongly about it one way or the other, so it’s good to hear!

      January 13, 2012
  6. Thanks for posting! I never liked egg salad as a kid, but grown-up barbecues replete with deviled eggs always make me think, “if these are delicious, egg salad must be fantastic.” I resolve to make egg salad soon. Very soon!

    January 13, 2012
    • That was my progression too– I never ate egg salad until I realized I was making deviled eggs every weekend in the summer. I decided that made no sense, and pretty soon I was on the egg salad train. Never looked back!

      January 13, 2012
  7. mommysaidaswearword #

    I now know what I will be having for lunch. Thank you for your assistance.

    January 13, 2012
    • I hope it’s delicious! Let me know if you make it and would suggest any changes or twists.

      January 13, 2012
  8. I totally hear you about the awesomeness of cumbersome-dress-and-pantaloons. My bathing togs include a trench coat and fedora.

    And I must say, Thunder’s “indignant” face is MOST intimidating. The cheek-pudge action in the subsequent shots completely gives her away, though. Maybe a dollop of delicious egg salad would cheer her up?

    January 13, 2012
  9. That indignant face makes an appearance at least every 40 minutes. In these pictures, she’s sitting on a BRAND NEW chair. We put down two layers of blankets so she doesn’t try to eat the upholstery, but the real problem is that she will not freaking get off of it. It’s kind of like we didn’t get a new chair at all. So. . . no delicious egg salad for her until I get at least 10 minutes relaxing on that thing. In my pantaloons, of course (and fedora! Excellent addition.)

    January 13, 2012
  10. Will regular pantaloons work? Or do they also need to be cumbersome?

    I always rocked the shorts over the swimsuit plus a large t-shirt. I have very, very fair skin and I’d rather not have any sticking out of clothes as that requires more sunscreen and more risk of getting burned.

    I love egg salad in all forms so I’ll have to give yours a try…perhaps with a slice or two of bacon 🙂

    January 13, 2012
    • I think regular pantaloons would be okay as long as they are an extra-large. If you can get a few layers of garments under the regular pantaloons, you should be able to accomplish the same objective.

      I, too, wore lots of sunscreen. So many layers of it that it created an oil spill effect when I got into the pool. I was the liquid equivalent of Pig Pen, in Charlie Brown.

      Scott says YES MORE BACON.

      January 13, 2012
  11. sarah #

    Last summer on one of our family trips to the pool I did not put a “rash guard”, as they’re called, on my son, (A rash guard is a super tight ridiculous shirt for boys to swim in) And you would have thought I allowed him to swim nude. A mother actaully made a comment about him getting too much sun. Um, pretty sure boys have played outside in the ummer without shirts for years, (also we use sunscreen) and at that his trunks cover more skin than most girls swimsuits. Anyway, I hope that this doesnt lead to him becoming a nude model when he gets older.

    Also, with regard to egg salad. A bit of finely chopped cucumber and just a pinch of dill. Impossibly delicious. My mom puts smoked paprika in hers, beacuse that’s how she likes her deviled eggs.

    January 13, 2012
  12. Sarah, this cracked me up. Clearly that woman was just getting on your case because she has low self-esteem. Clearly, she left her kid at the mall last week by accident, and is now trying to deflect attention to others.

    (Sidebar: I think nude modeling might pay really well. Like, REALLY well. But I understand where you’re coming from.)

    Cucumber and dill sound amazing. We boiled more eggs this morning so we’re gearing up for another round. I’m also going to take Sandy’s idea above, about apricot jam and ham. It’s going to be intense.

    January 13, 2012
    • sarah #

      Changing my approach now that I have new information. Nude model is fine, nudist is too much. Also, I dont want him to tell me the source of his pay, in my mind he is wealthy from excellent investing. (This is a future world where he is a nude model bringing in huge paychecks and buying his mother cars and houses)

      Not related to egg salad, but country cured ham with orange marmalade (or apple butter) on a biscuit is amazing, so maybe ham should get more credit than it does, but NOT my grandmas ham salad sandwiches which are terrible.

      January 17, 2012
      • Sarah, I think you’re a very reasonable woman. I support this approach 100%.

        Also, I had no idea how awesome everyone orange marmalade was until these comments about it. I have a big jar of it because I made a pretty good white cake with orange peel and orange extract in it, with orange marmalade filling a few months ago. I didn’t post it because I needed to work on the icing. Maybe I’ll take it up again, or at least dig back into that jar with some ham!

        January 19, 2012
  13. I don’t wear bathing suits. I don’t believe in them. Well, I KNOW they exist, I’ve seen them before. Not like fireflies and seahorses – those are totally made up. Anyway, I don’t swim nude or anything, I just don’t swim. I’d rather give up water frolic than wear a bathing suit. I’m betting Kanye is the same. I mean, who the hell wants to be responsible for a bathing suit? Cripes. But now I’m thinking I should just wear a pantsuit or something. With sensible shoes. Not suede, of course. That would be stupid.

    (Also, that sammy looks awesome.)

    January 13, 2012
    • I was going to say that I bet Kanye only wears disposable bathing suits. Like you say, all that washing and wringing out of chlorine from your trusty suit takes some committment, and I bet that pisses him off. But then I remembered: Kanye tweeted that he hasn’t bought luxury products (cars, jewelry) in 2 years. The same might go for disposable bathing suits.

      I lost my train of thought.

      I don’t know where this leaves us, but I don’t think it’s good. So we should probably just save our energy and tuck into these sandwiches and the amaaazing caramel brownies you posted recently.

      January 13, 2012
  14. April was in CT now CA #

    Egg salad…I love it. Love it. Love IT. Love Thunder, too. Do NOT love bathing suits and don’t even own one. Seeing as how I don’t know how to swim I guess it’s ok, less to be responsible for, right?

    Egg sallied (that’s how it sounds when you’re from GA and you say salad) with a little dijon is good eats.

    January 13, 2012
    • April, I agree. Dijon in anything makes it better. Except, maybe, cake. Good for you on owning no bathing suits. You are probably saving a lot of money, because each bathing suit costs about one billion dollars.

      January 16, 2012
  15. Tracy #

    I just made this today for lunch. Celery is on my list of banned substances (long story) so I substituted Sarah’s suggestion of diced cucumber and added some of my new food obsession, Wickles pickles. Wickles are spicy dill slices that are made in your neck of the woods, Dadeville, Alabama. I seriously cannot get enough of them so I diced about six slices (they’re thick). I also substituted pickle juice from the jar for half of the cider vinegar and cut back a tad on the cayenne to compensate. It was delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    January 14, 2012
    • Tracy, that sounds awesome. I am so glad you made it and thanks for telling how, because I am totally trying that. I love pickled veggies, and will be on the lookout for Wickles Pickles (great name). I love cucumbers and often have them around for salads, so next time I will throw some in. (Have you ever sliced them and put salt on them and refrigerated them for a few hours, so they expel their water and get really crunchy? Love them that way– I do that before I mix them with yogurt for dips, etc.)

      January 16, 2012
  16. mallory #

    Made this for lunch and, because I am such a non-conformist, added dill in place of chives. (actually, I did not have any chives, and who am I kidding, I’m from the Midwest: I can’t live with myself if I don’t follow every rule put before me) At any rate, it was stupendous and my new-favorite sandwich salad. Which is saying a lot, because I spent many years as a poor starving young architect — perfecting the use of eggs, tuna, and chicken in money-stretching ways was de rigueur. And yet, I have thoroughly been bested. Bravo!

    Am completely loving your blog, and not *just* because you enjoy Kanye’s antics or because you are a non-Southerner living in the South, both of which as I am. The lion’s share of the love may, admittedly, come care of Thunder. She reminds me of our 11 month old French Bulldog, Freddie Mercury. Indignancy can be endearing, it turns out, huh?

    January 15, 2012
    • Hi Mallory! So many things:
      1) When I was straight out of college and making very little money, I would take a can of tuna, drain it, and squirt honey mutard in it. DELICIOUS. It is still my favorite way to make tuna salad.
      2) Seems like everyone is switching dill for chives, so I am going to try that. I’m so glad you made it and that you liked it! Thanks!
      3) Where in the South are you and where were you before? Horray for that.
      4) Thunder’s birthday is February 10, so it sounds like they’re the same age. And they both have fantastic names. Isn’t it a blast? Does Freddie Mercury eat your couch too, or is my dog just a late bloomer?

      January 16, 2012
      • mallory #

        My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I still love canned tuna. Makeshift tuna salad + Ritz crackers = heaven.

        I’m in Beaufort, SC by way of Miami Beach and a few other places before it, but I grew up outside Chicago. Needless to say, there was a bit of a culture shock that went on for a while when we got here almost 8 years ago. And now I have grown a Southern accent. Like a verbal goiter. But otherwise, I’m perfectly content to stay forever. It helps that it is awfully beautiful here, and you are encouraged to add butter to all foodstuffs.

        Fred’s birthday is January 27th, so two weeks apart! Ha. Though, he does not chew on the couch. He *does* refuse to follow house toiling rules vis-a-vis we do not attend to his bell-ringing-as-signal-that-he-wishes-to-be-let-out fast enough. Freddie don’t wait for nobody. I am going to have to replace a LOT of rugs, eventually. Gosh, I hope that “eventually” doesn’t equate to his life span. Gaaaaaaaaaaah.

        January 16, 2012
        • mallory #

          Uh, “toileting” not “toiling” though if he could start to earn his keep a little better around here, maybe I’d be more willing to turn a blind eye to the rug situation.

          January 16, 2012
        • Oh Mallory! I took Thunder home to my parents’ house for Christmas—fully potty trained. Except just not in my parents’ house, apparently. It was ridiculous. It was like she was three days old. She had no idea what was going on, and my mom had JUST had the rugs cleaned. I was lucky everyone was in the holiday spirit, because other than making those cocktail puffs pretty much every day, and that marinated mushroom salad twice, I was a terrible house guest. That’s awesome about the Southern accent! I love them. Don’t have one yet.

          January 19, 2012
  17. Wordfiender #

    Eggton, where the HELL did you get SPF 44+?

    I’ve never seen anything higher than 30+ and I’m an Australian – seriously, that’s incredible!

    January 15, 2012
  18. There is something ridiculously delicious about celery and mayo. Love it in potato salad, but sounds fantastic in egg salad too!

    January 15, 2012
    • Yes! I actually love putting eggs in potato salad and vice versa. It’s ALL good!

      January 16, 2012
      • sarah #

        Are there people who dont put egg on potato salad? The creamy kind, not the vinegar kind.

        January 17, 2012
        • I think yes, but (shhhhh) those people are misguided.

          January 19, 2012
  19. I love your blog! Your dog is adorable.

    February 16, 2012
    • Hello there! I’m so glad you stopped by. But I wish I hadn’t seen the photo of the thai red curry you link to on your site because I don’t have the ingredients for it and it’s now what I want for dinner.

      February 17, 2012

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