Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Well, we had a Crumbs bakeshop in this building, but as of today…wiped away. According to an article in Business Insider on June 5, 2014,

“We need additional capital to fund future cash flow requirements, and we may not be able to obtain such funds on acceptable terms. Raising additional funds by issuing securities or through lending or licensing arrangements may cause dilution to [Crumbs’] existing security holders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish proprietary rights. Management believes that our cash flow requirements will likely consume our existing capital resources and cash from anticipated sales unless we are able to raise additional funds prior to June 30, 2014.”

Does this make David Saks’ new book on food trends more or less credible?


I did enjoy what I read, his take on artisan cupcakes and bacon, heirloom rice, and more. Maybe if Crumbs had piled bacon on the frosting, they’d have brought in enough stay in business. A lost opportunity?

Leave a comment »

Don’t Blame the Eggs!


In honor of this Wall Street Journal article on the incorrect science that drove us away from eggs and animal fats to carbs, I made a frittata with hot sausage, onion, zucchini, and a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Delicious!

“Too much whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast and whole-grain pasta for dinner, with fruit snacks in between, add up to a less healthy diet than one of eggs and bacon, followed by fish. The reality is that fat doesn’t make you fat or diabetic. Scientific investigations going back to the 1950s suggest that actually, carbs do.”

Too much of anything is a mistake. Enjoy a whole variety of foods, in moderate portions, and all should be well.


Leave a comment »

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

Leave a comment »

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!



Leave a comment »

Leftover Breakfast (Again!)–Turkey Hash

In last Wednesday’s New York Times Dining section, Wylie Dufresne contributed his turkey hash recipe which, with its splash of sherry, may not be the wisest choice for Monday morning, but I said to myself, “It’s the holiday shopping season and the bosses will be extra-anxious, so I need a good breakfast under my belt.” I soon thought better of that (recalling my earliest days in publishing when the elevator on Monday mornings smelled like a distillery–not from me at 23 years old, mind you!) and used chicken broth to de-glaze instead.


He calls for diced boiled potato, but our boiled potatoes were victim to the Great Thanksgiving Pyrex Explosion, so last night I popped the one leftover russet into the 400° oven I used to make turkey Tetrazzini for an hour which worked just fine, too. Red pepper added color which would normally come from the two sunny-side up eggs, but I figured I could save a few calories by omitting them. Still very substantial!

This morning’s news about the Metro-North Hudson Line derailment is so sad. The NY Times profiled two of the four people who died: hard-working, caring people who will be dearly missed by their families and communities. RIP.

Leave a comment »

Breakfast on the Big Screen

Hollywood does breakfast well.

breakfast at tiffany

I always breakfast in sunglasses, don’t you?

Jimmy Cagney gives Mae Clarke a grapefruit facial.

Jimmy Cagney gives Mae Clarke a grapefruit facial.

Can we be nostalgic for the 1980s?

Can we be nostalgic for the 1980s?

For me, the best breakfast scene ever is in “Big Night.” After a raucous party at their Italian restaurant the night before, two brothers (Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci) come together in their kitchen–and not a word is spoken. As Roger Ebert wrote, “There is an unbroken shot in which one prepares a perfect omelet and serves it to the other, and we are left suspecting that anyone who can make a perfect omelet can pass almost any other test life has to offer.” Genius.

What’s your favorite breakfast scene in a movie? Indie or foreign or big-budget…I’d love to know.


Baked Beans for Breakfast

I’m choking down B&M baked beans on toast, but I figured I had to recognize the BoSox for their World Series win, being related to a family who’s worshipped the team for generations.

Main Street in Wenham, MA c. 1969

Main Street in Wenham, MA c. 1969

Here are my three siblings and I with the Browns, my mother’s sister’s family…well, a few of them anyway. Nancy and Dick Brown raised seven kids in Wenham, Massachusetts. Dick’s mother, whom we all called Nana, rooted for the Red Sox through the thin years. Even toward the end, darn near deaf and blind, she never missed a game on TV. If she could only be here to see this! She’d say, “Go straight into the bathroom and shave!”

bosox with beards

I love my aunt and my cousins, miss Uncle Dick, and wish we could get together more often. I’m sure they’re beside themselves for the BoSox. All right, this Yankee fan has to say, “Well done!”

Leave a comment »

Breakfast Tribute–Lou Reed


It’s sad to say good-bye to another unique performer in New York’s music history. Patti Smith must be feeling very alone. While I strenuously disagree with Lou’s New York-centric complaint that San Francisco’s Grateful Dead is “tedious, a lie, and untalented,” I couldn’t admire more his unfailing pursuit of new insights into life and love and artistic expression.

Reed’s obituary in today’s Times would no doubt have bored him to death, but I appreciated it for its inspiration for this morning’s post. Today’s generation of iTunes’ buyers don’t know what they’re missing when they buy one song that flies through the ether and lands in their player without context or the graphic talent of a marketer like Warhol.


Leave a comment »

Breakfast Melodies

Dickie Dooda © All Rights Reserved

Dickie Dooda © All Rights Reserved

It just struck me how many songs there are about morning, coffee, tea…and how much I love them all!

“Oh, What a Beautiful Morning”–“Oklahoma” by Rodgers & Hammerstein

“Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens

“Chelsea Morning” by Joni Mitchell

“The Java Jive” by the Manhattan Transfer

“The Coffee Song” by Frank Sinatra

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

I could go on. Think of the Maxwell House jingle to the percolator action (if you were born in the 1950s, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) And there’s the Chock Full o’ Nuts song which was painted in red, black, and yellow on the side of a building just uptown from where I worked at 1540 Broadway: “Coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy.”

What is it about this time of day that has inspired everyone from Rossini to George Harrison? It’s the promise, the chance to start fresh, the feeling that you can tackle anything after a night’s sleep and a cup o’ joe.

maxwell house ad

Leave a comment »

Government Shutdown Breakfast


The bread bare because there’s no government distribution of cheese or peanut butter. The water dirty because inspections are not happening. Thank goodness they saw fit to continue the National School Lunch Program.

When I googled “does the U.S. government distribute food” this morning, the USDA’s web site read, “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.”


Leave a comment »