An Open Letter to the Public Works Department
Dear Public Works Department,
I have to ask: Did I do something wrong?
It was a good tree. I really enjoyed it at Christmas–which you may recall was thirty-five (35) days ago.
I always get sad when Christmas is over, don’t you? It’s such a let-down, knowing we have to wait a whole year for it to come again.
As you know, Christmas trees fall within the guidelines of things you’ll pick up. Mine’s been on the curb for 3 weeks, but you don’t seem to notice.
You should know that a squirrel lives in it now.
I named the squirrel Lucas.
The longer you wait, the harder this is going to be on him.
You’re probably going to say there was some Christmas tree disposal deadline that I missed.
But that’s impossible. I googled every imaginable angle of that issue. There was no deadline–unless it was a secret, unpublicized one.
You know who doesn’t like secrets? The baby Jesus, whose birthday was celebrated thirty-five (35) days ago.
Let me clarify: It’s not October. I just happen to like decorative gourds and pumpkins, okay? It’s just a personal preference. Like my personal preference for you to pick up the Christmas tree or stop charging me $14.50 per month for allegedly removing my trash.
That’s $14.50 I could be spending on assorted nuts for Lucas, who really appears to be settling in, FYI.
P.S. In case you aren’t taking the tree because you’re hungry, here’s a recipe for some breakfast potatoes. They are super easy. You just slice up some fingerling potatoes, heat up some butter, and cook ’em up. Throw in some ham or bacon, and maybe some chives and cayenne if you like. Simple Breakfast Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. fingerling potatoes (any color)
3 1/2 tbsp. butter dash coarse salt (preferably sea salt or kosher salt)
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
4 tbsp. fresh chives (optional)
5-6 slices ham (optional)
Rinse and scrub the potatoes.
Chop the unpeeled potatoes into rounds no more than 1/4 inch thick.
Melt the butter in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add the potatoes and a hearty dash of kosher salt and, if desired, a little dash of cayenne. Stir to combine and cook, stirring often, 35-45 minutes.
While potatoes cook, rinse and chop the chives (I use scissors to snip the chives into rounds.)
Dice the slices of ham.
Add the chives and ham at the 30 minute mark and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the ham is warmed through, the chives have wilted, and the potatoes are cooked through. If you like them crispy, press them down with a spatula and cook longer. If you like them on the soft side, like I do, start taste-testing them at 35-45 minutes. Taste the potatoes and add more salt and pepper if they need it.
- White or yellow onions: I don’t use regular onions in this because they burn on me before the potatoes are anywhere near done. When the Pioneer Woman makes breakfast potatoes, she sometimes cooks the onions first and then takes them out while she cooks the potatoes, and adds them back in when the potatoes are almost done. So that’s an option.
- Bacon: If you want to make this with bacon instead of ham, you could fry the bacon first and put it off to the side. Then you could cook the potatoes in the left-over bacon fat instead of butter. I’d drain the bacon fat from the pan, reserving it on the side, and add a tablespoon at a time back into the potatoes as needed to keep them from drying out and sticking to the bottom of the pan too much. That way you won’t have them swimming in too much bacon grease. If you run out of bacon grease, supplement with butter.