Kick start your day with a good breakfast

‘Morning, Sunshine!

A LIRR conductor who rode the rails on the night shift would say this to me as I traveled early morning from Manhattan to Garden City. It made what was a tiresome commute so much easier. How are you going to greet someone this morning? 

“G’day, mate!”


“Bonjour, madame.”

“Buenos dias!”

However you do it, say it loud and clear!



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OK, about reading ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE? I lied. I recognize Marquez’ status in world literature and I will continue to admire from afar, without an intimate knowledge of his masterwork. Someday….

In the meantime, I finally read R.J. Palacio’s Wonder which has been on the New York Times children’s bestseller list for quite some time.


Just beautiful. Auggie Pullman’s a character that will stand the test of time. And the book’s message of kindness–in a world where a girl was just stabbed to death as her classmates went, unsuspecting, to their first class–couldn’t be more meaningful. I welcome a sequel to Wonder: Auggie as a teenager, a college student, a father himself. 


The Bread of Life

Yesterday’s New York Times Dining section was devoted to bread: how to make your own flavored bread crumbs, tips for perfect toast, the edgier bakers and their exquisite loaves, and so much more. A keeper because of the recipe for whole wheat English muffins, something I’ve been dying to bake since we sold The Model Bakery Cookbook at The Good Cook.

model bakery cookbook

Since I’ve met and enjoyed Melissa Clark who wrote the recipe for the Times, I’ll give hers a try soon.

My history with bread is probably the model of anyone born in the mid-twentieth century. It starts with Wonder Bread, in my case, two puffy slices with Underwood deviled ham inside. Loved the stuff!

underwood deviled hame Every Sunday, we had Thomas’ English muffins with our scrambled eggs and bacon.

I finally had a decent slice of bread when I went to Paris during my junior year abroad. Even the low-rent B&B I stayed in served a nice baguette with butter and jam. The tuna niçoise sandwich I had every night for dinner from a cart on the street put all American versions to shame.

french boy with bread

Photograph by Willy Ronis

I’m still learning to bake yeast breads; it’ll be a totally enjoyable lifelong pursuit. And think of all the slices I’ll have to sample to learn about crumb, crust, and taste–gosh, what an ordeal!

array of breads

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Thank You, Jesus!

Just as almost the best thing about Thanksgiving is pie for breakfast, almost the best thing about Easter is the egg salad afterwards.

Since Earth Day came hard on the heels of Easter, I felt guilt loading up my local landfill with more plastic , so I kept it simple and made our Easter centerpiece out of recyclables. 2014 easter basket

This morning’s egg salad sandwich on whole wheat toast puts me in a spirit of renewal and resurrection. After all, bathing suit season is almost upon us!

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Good Cheap Eats Blog

Here’s a great idea for easy breakfasts from Jessica Fisher whose Good Cheap Eats blog I stumbled upon at work yesterday (Harvard Common Press, the people who brought you Mom’s Big Book of Baking, is bringing out a book this September).


Since I’m just one, I think I could make the Bacon and Broccoli Egg Bake and the Cinnamon Apple Oat Cakes to alternate on weekdays until they’re gone and the time I save will be devoted to finishing a photo scrapbook on Lulu.com for my nephew’s college graduation. Only 17 days before I fly down to Chapel Hill, N.C.!

Two years after his sister (at left) graduated, John will make his way into Kennan Stadium in a sea of Carolina blue.

Two years after his sister (at left) graduated, John will make his way into Kennan Stadium in a sea of Carolina blue.



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No Bread? No Problem!

A literal example of “man does not live by bread alone:” with not a slice, not even a heel, in the house, I’ve had to make do with puff pastry–poor me!

apple tart easter 2014

Yesterday, it was a hot dog rolled in pastry, spread with Dijon mustard and sprinkled with celery salt. This morning, it’s Red Delicious apple on apricot jam with a little dried rosemary.  I think I’ll survive.

Happy Easter to all!

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Save the chickens!

If Sylvia Saye wants to keep chickens so her daughter Scarlett can enjoy their hormone-free eggs, I say change the rules! Let the Sayes and their black copper marrons and silkies be pioneers in Forest Hills Gardens which, since 1913, has not allowed its residents to keep poultry. Phooey! Learn more here and let’s bombard Mitchell Cohen, the president of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, with support for chickenkeeping in Queens. I have the perfect card, an image from Storey Books’ adorable illustrated book, Farm Anatomy. I will write to him at 2 Tennis Pl, NY 11375 right now. Hormone-free, cage-free eggs for all!


Sylvia gave away her rooster to keep peace in her neighborhood–she’s no radical!



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Coffee and a Chewie

Grace enjoys a rawhide “cigarette” while I savor my morning cup of Joe. Ah, the simple life!



And afterwards, my favorite “playing hooky” activity: strolling through Central Park with the tourists while all my fellow New Yorkers are working. Perfect spring morning!

The Glade Arch East 70s

The Glade Arch East 70s

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Tiny Pie

There is an adorable children’s book written by Mark Bailey and Michael Oatman, illustrated by Edward Hemingway called Tiny Pie. 

tiny pie

That little elephant discovers a tiny TV studio inside the walls of her house in which that mouse is hosting a cooking show. Alice Waters provided an apple pie recipe for the book. It’s for anyone with a pie fixation, from six to sixty.

While this is not Alice Waters’ recipe, I made a tiny apple pie in my muffin tie of which I am inordinately proud!


Pastry from Ms. American Pie and apple filling from Mom’s Big Book of Baking. Looks luscious, no? In all humility, it was.


I’m seeing peaches, cherries, blueberries, and more inside that crust–a whole summer’s worth of goodness.

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Morning Walk–East River

When I worked on the west side, I strolled through Central Park every weekday morning, watching the trees come into leaf and leaves turn into fall’s flotsam and jetsam and all of that get buried by snow.


Now I work on the east side and the way is considerably less bucolic…except when I go, as I did today, from 71st Street down through Sutton Place South.


On my left is the East River (we’ll ignore the roaring FDR Drive to my right). Ahead of me is the 59th Street Bridge. On a too-long-in-coming spring morning, I was definitely feelin’ groovy.


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