Our dog Atticus Finch is responsible for our buying an alpine cabin. Before adopting him, we rented a small chalet for a week every summer, and most autumns too, on the west side of the Sierras in Sequoia National Park. Then in the fall of 2012, after adopting Atticus and thus being transformed from a couple into a family, we found ourselves feeling guilty hiking in the mountains while he was languishing in a kennel. He loves trekking, but dogs aren’t permitted on the trails in national parks. When we returned home, a google search showed that dogs are welcomed on trails in the Inyo National Forest, on the East side of the Sierra.
Before long I found a little house that sounded too good to be true—a real log cabin, high in the mountains above Bishop California, nestled amongst Aspen trees, with a stream in the backyard, mere minutes from hiking trails. And, it allowed dogs!
Honeymoon Cabin turned out to be every bit as perfect as the online description and photos, and we returned with Atticus over and over again for 8 years. Until the pandemic, when we purchased our own cabin (see About Cabin Life for that story).
We were accustomed to staying in a place with a name, so we wanted to give our own cabin a moniker too. One day while hiking it came to us, The Atticus Mountain Retreat! After all, Atticus loves the Sierra more than anyplace else on earth (I do too) and he brought us to this community.
The local high school shop class created a custom steel sign for us, which we picked up on our 10th wedding anniversary- appropriately the metal anniversary. After a little naming ceremony, I whipped up a new favorite, Poached Eggs with Mint Yogurt and Aleppo Butter. I’d been seeing recipes for Turkish eggs, and was intrigued by the combination of Greek yogurt, poached eggs and Aleppo pepper butter. Our neighbor Fran, the same Fran who rented us Honeymoon Cabin, had dropped off a dozen local eggs that morning, so…
Poached Eggs with Mint Yogurt and Aleppo Butter
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, any percentage fat
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- ½ shallot, minced, or 2 tablespoon minced red onion
- 2 teaspoons chopped red chile or serrano or jalapeño chile
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Pinch of coarse kosher salt
- 2 to 4 large eggs
- Toast or toasted corn tortillas
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until bubbles begin to burst. Add the Aleppo pepper, paprika and cumin and stir until the butter is wonderfully fragrant and reddish. Remove from the heat and let the spices infuse.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and oil. Place the mint, shallot and fresh chile on your cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Mince everything together (this technique helps bring out the flavors). Add to the yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the yogurt between 2 plates. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the mixture and create ridges to catch the butter and eggs.
- Fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the vinegar and a big pinch of salt. Adjust the heat so the water simmers. Working with one egg at a time, break into a cup and gently slip into the water, holding the cup close to or even just under the surface of the water. Quickly repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook until the whites are firm and yolks cooked as you like, about 3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs one at a time from the water and touch the bottom of the spoon to a clean kitchen towel to remove water, then gently place the eggs onto the yogurt. Spoon the butter over and around the eggs. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and serve with toast or corn tortillas.