butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Reunion Breakfast

Forty years ago, on the first day of college, I met Paula. We were about 18, two sheltered Catholic girls who were looking forward to lives filled with excitement. Well, we got that, with a lot more to come.

Paula lives in Denver now. I hadn’t seen her for a few years. On a trip East this week, we fell right back into the old rhythms. Today, we wandered over to Roosevelt Island on a foggy, drizzly morning, a perfect backdrop to visiting the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital.

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We couldn’t eat our picnic breakfast on the actual Four Freedoms Park grounds, but there were tables set out by the East River, so we sat and reminisced and caught up and saw what’s new on the Long Island City side.

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It was like those groggy college mornings, after long nights of studying and laughing and arguing and sharing, where we fueled ourselves for another day of pushing forward into a future filled with promise.

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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!

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Cuteness Alert!

It’s the first day of spring. I couldn’t help myself.

baby bunny

baby chick

baby goat

lamb

calf and cow

piglets

baby birds in nest

Make this morning’s breakfast a healthy, happy one–things are looking up!

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Breakfast Love

I love Rita Mae Brown: her novels, her essays, her memories of family and animals. If you haven’t read Southern Discomfort, you absolutely must.

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In Saveur’s October issue, she writes about the hunt “breakfast,” a meal after fox hunting that can happen any time of the day and how her great-grandmother served it with such care.  “My tablecloth is rubber. It will stretch to feed a few more.” This sausage and cheddar breakfast casserole will definitely be on the menu for my next choir brunch.

This is the type of invigorating morning when to be outside, drinking a toddy from a pewter cup, walking under and over leaves in every stage of decay, is pure heaven. The powers-that-be in NYC frown on the public drinking part, but the leaves blaze just as brightly here as anywhere, so a stroll can be just as intoxicating.

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TGIF Treat–Fall Picnic

North end of The Mall, Central Park, NYC

North end of The Mall, Central Park, NYC

I have the best commute in the world…well, maybe not as fine as someone who can walk barefoot from her kitchen to her home office in jeans and a T-shirt or the lucky so-and-so who only needs to put on a jacket and wellies to tromp along a leaf-strewn path to a nearby studio.

I walk through Manhattan’s Central Park nearly every weekday morning so I can take a straight shot on the #1 train to my office in Herald Square. Right now, I look forward to watching this glorious tree glow brighter and brighter every day.

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I’m always excited to see where the next shot of bright red will come from in various bushes along the path to Strawberry Fields.

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Of course, I’m usually racing to get to the office on time, but this week I could feel that very first hint of colder, wetter weather to come and planned a picnic while I can still eat outside without my gloves on.

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Looks like I’m running away from home, doesn’t it?  Peanut-butter and honey sandwiches and a carton of milk like I used to pay 5 cents for in my second-grade classroom make me feel like a little kid again. Actually, I’d love to play in the park and run away from work!

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Breakfast From the Freezer

And I don’t mean an Eggo.

Clarence Birdseye, where have you been all my life? (I was born on June 9, 1956 and he died on October 7 of that year, so we did share this planet for four months.)

Clarence Frank Birdseye II

Clarence Frank Birdseye II

You mean, thanks to his observations of the Inuits’ and the sub-zero Labrador climate’s ability to preserve fish, I can have a delicious sweet dark cherry smoothie in the Northeast U.S. in late October? And a rich-tasting strawberry-blueberry version in January? With all their nutrients raring to hit my system? What a concept!

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Having been brought up on frozen vegetables, I don’t know why I didn’t explore the freezer section of the supermarket more thoroughly. Not that long ago, I finally poked my head in there for an inventory (and of course, heard my mom’s voice in my head, “Close that door; you’re letting all the cold air out!”). I can’t wait to take advantage of all the sweetness on offer, any time the spirit moves me.

inuit on ice

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Farmer’s Breakfast

Today Chuck, Grace, and I leave for Richfield Springs, N.Y. and Chuck’s brother Leigh’s grass-fed beef farm. Just outside of Cooperstown, G&T Farms is quite the operation!

G&T beef on the hoof

G&T beef on the hoof

I need to learn a lot more about the grasses the cows eat, the breeds of cattle Leigh raises, and how to cook the beef. There’s a big, beautiful, fully stocked, complete-with-fireplace  kitchen in his old Victorian house up there. I’ll post photos next week.

Be sure we’ll be enjoying grass-fed steak and farm-fresh eggs every morning!

Mobile coops spread the fertilizer and keep the bugs down

Mobile coops spread the fertilizer and keep the bugs down

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Seed to Sidewalk

This is a little digression from breakfast, but it’s still about fresh, good food. The New York Times ran an article about my home town of Chicago (just to prove my bona fides, here I am on the shores of Lake Michigan).

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“A Church in Chicago Sees Justice In Land’s Bounty” by Samuel G. Freedman shows how one pastor’s family feeds his flock and the ways his care ripples out to touch many lives. This’ll make you feel good about humanity, for a change.

Further on the subject of urban farming… the other morning, I spotted this squash on First Avenue at East 70th Street.

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By the time I got back to take a better snapshot, the squash had been snapped off. I captured its blossoms in living color, as well as a bush of basil (fertilized by dried tobacco, courtesy of Marlboro). Amazing what Mother Nature can do!

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Oh, and that morning glory I was wondering about…?

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Glorious!

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Breakfast on the Water

The birds have scattered, the fish have flown...Beth is on the water!

The birds have scattered, the fish have flown…Beth is on the water!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning in Rumson, NJ on the Navesink River. I packed a little breakfast of a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a crisp apple, slipped out before almost anyone else was up, and floated off for a little exercise.  Life is good!

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