The seven-minute egg was first made for me by my cousin Katie and her husband Andre, and it was first made for them by their friend and occasional houseguest Will, who is, as Katie put it, "the kind of person who feels very comfortable in other people’s kitchens." One morning, Will rooted around in their fridge, pulled out a few eggs, warmed up some beans, and seven minutes later, presented them with breakfast. Andre had never been much of a morning eater, but the egg-and-bean bowl felt different: it was easy, for one thing, and quick, and surprisingly delicious, and it carried him through handily to lunch. He stuck with it. He uses canned beans—white, black, pinto, Ranch-style—and sometimes he adds feta or aged cheddar, sometimes salsa, usually hot sauce, and of course, always salt and pepper. Katie, who often takes hers to go, tells me that you can microwave the cooked, shelled egg for twenty seconds to rewarm it. She likes a seven-minute egg for lunch, on a pile of leftover roasted vegetables and quinoa, or on top of a salad.