butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

No bread–day 2

img_20170302_081112

This looks pathetic, but tasted delicious. The egg was fried to perfection in unsalted butter, as was the grilled tomato. Really, a grilled tomato is one of the best things in the world. No English or Irish fry-up is complete without it. For years, until their cuisines were improved by new chefs with an interest in quality ingredients and a wider variety of techniques, the only thing worth eating on a trip to either exquisitely beautiful country was breakfast.

Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath reinforced my own doctor’s advice to consume less bread: “According to one expert, eating two pieces of whole wheat bread increases your blood sugar more than eating two tablespoons of pure sugar…. As one of the world’s leading researchers on obesity put it, the next time you consume buttered toast, consider that the butter may be healthier than the bread.”

Rath’s book is filled with safe, sensible advice on nutrition, exercise, and what too many experts ignore–at our peril–how to sleep well. So, that’s my rant for this evening. Good night!

2 Comments »

Roasted Potato Hash in Brown Butter–and more to be grateful for

I’ll be at the farm in upstate NY for the next few days, surrounded by out-laws but grateful to be in beautiful countryside, around well-loved farm animals, and in a fabulous kitchen with a fireplace.

DSC01059

 

So what am I grateful for this year? It spans centuries.

First, as always for Johannes Gutenberg and his moveable type. I can’t go a day (a day? An hour) without opening a book. I’m re-reading The House of Mirth (while amusing it’s not, it’s certainly compelling) and getting ready to read the bound galley of Pig Tales, new from Barry Estabrook, the author of Tomatoland.

pig tales

 

The most recent tech invention I’m thankful for is the digital camera. I’ve gotten more joy out of the one my sister gave me years ago for my birthday than any video game, DVD player, Wii, ATM machine, or smart phone could ever have provided.

I’m grateful for a dog who’s taught me to live in the moment. If she’s got a free minute or two, she’s going to take advantage of it.

DSC02124

I’m thankful for my elderly dad who has so generously removed any guilt I was feeling for going away this Thanksgiving. I know it won’t be easy, but he’s reassured me time and again he’d rather be at home watching football!

I’m grateful to Chuck for about a billion things.

DSC00622

Appropriate to a blog about food, I’ll give him this: he can sure sniff out a great recipe. We’ve made this twice and it only gets better. Thanks really go to Jessica Koslow, chef at Squirl in Los Angeles, who shared this with the Slow Food Fast column in the weekend Wall Street Journal.

Brown Butter Roasted Potato Hash

2 pounds small potatoes (such as baby whites or reds)

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 large eggs

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 scallions, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Bring a large pot, filled halfway with salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add potatoes and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Strain potatoes, halve them and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Toss potatoes with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, then spread them out in a single later. Place in oven and roast, flipping potatoes once halfway through, until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium lidded pot of water with cold water. Add eggs to pot, place over high heat and bring to a full boil. Cover pot, remove from heat and let sit 12 minutes. Strain eggs. Once cool enough to handle, peel warm eggs and roughly chop. Set aside.
  4. Make brown butter: in a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat and cook gently until it turns brown and aromatic, about 5 minute. (Monitor butter carefully to prevent it from blackening.)
  5. In a large bowl, toss roasted potatoes with brown butter, lemon juice, and scallions. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste. Scatter crumbled egg over potatoes and serve immediately.

This covers only an iota of what I feel grateful for: trusted women who are helping me find a new job, friends who keep up my spirits, family who make me laugh, neighbors who enrich my world, readers who like these blog posts. Thank you all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

live turkeys

 

 

1 Comment »

Throwback Thursday–Charlotte’s Web

Illustration by Garth Williams

Illustrations by Garth Williams

I judge books not by their covers but by their opening lines. E.B. White crafted one of the most compelling in all of American literature for Charlotte’s Web: “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” Did I mention this before? I may have because it’s one of the certainties of my life. After a line of dialogue like that, who could fail to read on? Chapter One (“Before Breakfast”) continues:

“What’s that?” [Avery, Fern’s brother] demanded. “What’s Fern got?”

“She’s got a guest for breakfast,” said Mrs. Arable. “Wash your hands and face, Avery!”

“Let’s see it!” said Avery, setting his gun down. “You call that miserable thing a pig? That’s a fine specimen of a pig–it’s no bigger than a white rat.”

“Wash up and eat your breakfast, Avery!” said his mother. “The school bus will be along in half an hour.”

“Can I have a pig, too, Pop?” asked Avery.

“No, I only distribute pigs to early risers,” said Mr. Arable. “Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one, to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly. Let’s eat!”

The moral of this post is: rise early, root out injustice, and avoid bacon!

wilbur terrific

 

Copyright (C) 1952 by E.B. White  Text copyright renewed 1980 by E.B. White

Illustrations copyright renewed 1980 by Garth Williams

2 Comments »

Bloomsday–A Day Late

buck mulligan's twoer

I only just realized it was Bloomsday about four o’clock in the afternoon, long past the time Leopold Bloom welcomed the old lady who arrived with fresh milk in the first pages of Ulysses: “If we could only live on good food like that, he said to her somewhat loudly, we wouldn’t have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts…. Buck Mulligan sighed and having filled his mouth with a crust thickly buttered on both sides, stretching forth his legs and began to search his trouser pockets…. Ask nothing more of me sweet. All I can give you I give.”

And so I give you a taste of Joyce and the essentials of life: brown bread, strong tea, and a story that knows no limits.

brown bread honey tea

Leave a comment »

BEE MINE

William Morrow, 2013

William Morrow, 2013

Sometimes a romance novel does your heart good. I needed a complete rest from work, from contentious world affairs, from issues like loss and grief, bullying and life’s unfairness, so I picked up Sarah-Kate Lynch’s The Wedding Bees.

A young beekeeper moves to NYC’s Lower East Side where she and her bees and their honey make the cynical, distrusting world around them a much sweeter place. Could’ve loved it more if there were recipes included for all the mouthwatering treats she makes and shares: honey loaf, lemon honey cookies, and honey roasted chicken, to name a few.

Now that I have a jones for honey cookies, I found an enticing, quick recipe for One-Pot Honey-Oatmeal Drop Cookies in Nancy Baggett’s Simply Sensational Cookies .

simply sensational cookies

I’ll make a batch (40-45 2″ cookies) to take down to North Carolina this Thursday as a thank-you gift to my Airbnb host and energy for my nephew and his housemates as they run from one graduation event to the next. And they’ll make the perfect quick bite for breakfast on my way to the airport, a place nowadays that could always use a sweetener!

 

Leave a comment »