Having been a daughter all my life, and a mother for over a quarter century now – my understanding of what it means to be a mother has broadened, as has my deepening reverence for observing Mother’s Day.

I loved my mother reading to me evey night before bed

While I don’t remember being a baby, I do vaguely remember sensations and scents. Chanel #5 is what feeling adored and protected smelled like. My mother has always offered her hand in support, loved me no matter what (believe me, as a teen I did not make that easy), and been the first person I turn to to share my excitement whenever good things happen.

Jewels & Tatjana

Jewels & Tatjana

As a mother myself, there is not a better feeling in the world than when that tiny hand reached out and wrapped her little fingers around mine for the first time. Motherhood has given my life profound meaning and purpose. In Tatjana I have found the fortitude to weather life’s challenges, in addition to the intense joy and pride she has brought into my life. This weekend I will be celebrating both my mother and my daughter, and grateful to be sandwiched between their generations. What does motherhood mean to you?

Eggs in Purgatory

Devlishly yummy eggs

The first meal I ever cooked was breakfast in bed for my astonished and somewhat alarmed parents, since I was only four at the time. After observing my mother make scrambled eggs morning after morning, and being allowed to help stir while under her watchful eye, I decided I was quite capable of doing it alone. When I make mom breakfast in bed again this Mother’s Day, I’ll be serving up another surprise I learned from watching my friend Chef Joe DiMaggio Jr – eggs in purgatory. This is my rendition I’ve been making ever since that day he whipped up this spicy, oozing yumminess for me before taping the Lost Chronicles of Food here in Los Angeles, dipped toast soldiers into it, and popped it into my mouth to my great delight!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Eggs in Purgatory

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 28 ounce canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices ciabatta bread toasted and sliced into soldiers


Eggs in Purgatory

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, then minced garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and wine, simmer for 15 minutes, stir in fresh herbs. Season to taste.
  2. Crack open each egg, and let it slide into the simmering sauce whole. Let it poach just long enough for the whites to have turned opaque, but the yolk should still be jiggly.
  3. Spoon some of the sauce from around the edges into a bowl, and carefully slide a spatula under the egg and place on top. Season to taste and sprinkle with more herbs if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with toasted soldiers on the side, and Tobasco sauce for more heat if desired.

Heat To Eat

You can make the sauce in advance, and spoon desired amount of sauce into a large skillet over medium heat. Bring sauce to a bubbling simmer for at least 5 minutes before cooking the eggs in it.

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  • May 10, 2013
    3:34 pm

    I can see measurements but it looks like the food fairy made off with the ingredient part! I love the colour of this dish. It looks like an egg being hugged!

    My mom bandaged my knees, read a million stories and let me help in the kitchen. She must have been beyond frustrated during my teen years as I was opinionated, rebellious and outside the box. There have been many sleepless nights which were amplified because she was a born worrier.

    When I became a mother myself, it becomes clear that we can quite quickly switch to momma lion mode when our babies are threatened in any way – regardless of their age. I’ve always had a bad temper when pushed but with age I’ve kind of mellowed a bit but something to do with harming my girls then the red mist is quick to come down.

    In the end I think being a mom means inspiring, teaching and giving wings even if the wings part is bittersweet.

  • May 10, 2013
    8:33 pm

    Thanks for pointing that out Rachel – all the recipe ingredients are there now, and I couldn’t agree more about “giving wings even if the wings part is bittersweet.”