Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Eggs’ Category

Mom's Wisteria.

Spring Fling.

Piling Up.

Which Way?

Cuppah Joe.

Color Me ___.

Tradition.

In Bloom.

Make a Wish.

A Home Cooked Meal.

Finito.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Farm Life

Take a chance. Take a road trip with a nearly stranger. Take too much candy and plenty of music. Take a pit stop through Augusta, GA — have an espresso, sit in the sun, stroll down by the river, spend an hour in a used book store reciting poetry and falling in love with the yellow smell of old weathered pages.

Arrive on a farm in the middle of Georgia. Catch up with an old friend. Make a few new friends while you’re at it. Drink a lot of wine, let the road roll off of your shoulders. Sit quietly with a bowl of pasta. Let your full belly lull you towards sleepiness. Fall asleep before your head hits the pillow.

Wake up to rooster calls, fresh eggs that need gathering, plants that need watering, hot espresso that needs sugaring, and toast that needs buttering. Sync your pace with the rhythm of farm life. Lose track of time. Feel like you are exactly where you belong.

Make lunch with freshly picked greens and a handful of those just laid eggs. Sit down, eat, chat, savor, rest. When the hottest part of the day has passed and the mud on your boots has begun to crust and flake off, return to the fields until your arms and back are spent and it’s time for another meal.

Open a bottle of wine, thinly slice some radishes, mash fresh marjoram into soft, salty butter. Toast a baguette and cut it into thick crostini. Layer each slice with marjoram butter, radishes, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and a few drops of olive oil. Crunch on that while the lamb stew bubbles on the stove and the bottle of Slovenian Cabernet opens up a bit.

Sit out on the porch and recount your day with your new farmer friends. Have a smoke, ok have two — relax, dinner is almost ready.

At midnight when the last drop of wine is emptied from the last bottle and your eyelids can hardly remain open any longer, grab a flashlight and head down a gravel path, through the greenhouse, past the chicken coop, and around the anthills with your hand tucked warmly into the hand of someone who is no longer such a stranger.

Climb into bed and hurry to sleep — another day on the farm awaits you.

Read Full Post »

(more…)

Read Full Post »

When I come home from the store with a dozen fresh, hormone-free, cage-free, organic, big brown eggs, the very first thing I do is poach them. Two to be precise.

Then I put them on toast, or a few thick slices of a juicy tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper, or perched on top of a crisp leafy salad.

Textures — I like them.

Runny yolks — I love them.

Runny whites — I hate them. I just got the chills thinking about them.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Christmas Frittata

You know what I love about the holidays? The colors… I love the way the lights reflect off of the streets, I love hanging my bright red stocking over the fire place, I love decorating cookies for my Mom’s annual cookie exchange, and I love the way a fresh Christmas tree even smells green.

I also L.O.V.E. a German Christmas Market on a cold winter day. For the past 2 years I have overindulged in my fair share of brats smothered in curried onions, jumbo pretzels, and hot alcoholic beverages that warm the cockles of the heart while snow falls all around and toes begin to numb.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I miss Florence in the Springtime

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I was one year ago today, and where I’d like to be at some point in the future. I’ve also been having vivid dreams of people and places from my past, yet the dreams are set in the future… it’s really starting to screw with my head.

One year ago I was longing to be here, and now that I am, I’m longing to be back there. Ridiculous right? I used to wonder if I felt incomplete while living in Italy because some sense of home and belonging was missing. Now I’m back in the US, and I still sometimes feel that same sense of loneliness. How long will I wonder “What’s missing?” until I find it?

This guy was like mixing a cocktail with champagne -- seems like a fun idea at the time, but boy does it knock you over the head the day after.

Maybe I should have prefaced this self-pitying with the fact that I recently decided to stop seeing someone who I knew would be no good for me. I’m trying to learn from my past mistakes and break away from the wrong person/people before I’m so attached that I can reason why it’s right. I liked this one, but he was not a keeper, so I’m trying to respect what’s best for me in the future instead of indulging in what feels good for now (easier said than done). I’ve been there done that, and swore I wouldn’t do it again — the pleasure isn’t always worth the pain. As Ray said… Bye bye love.

On that note, I’m ready to get out of my head and into my work — I have FINALLY started a full time job that is right up my alley! I’m working in the Specialty Dept. of an organic supermarket that supports local farmers and does not support products containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, sweeteners, antibiotics, bleached flour, animal by-products and inhumane treatment of the animals providing our food.

Bucheron, blackberries, sun dried tomatoes and a bottle of Cotes du Rhone after work

What do I do in the Specialty Department? I play with cheese, wine, beer, olives, and coffee. Our cheese counter is a foodie’s dream, and our beer selection could make a grown man giggle like a little boy with a brand new remote controlled airplane. I’m surprised by how many types of Prosecco we carry, and pleased by the variety of Old World wines that I have yet to try.

The chalky center is what the French refer to as the "soul" of this creamy goat cheese. Bucheron comes from the Loire Valley and delivers a tang on the tongue. I not only love the flavor, but the texture as well -- creamy around the rind like Brie at room temperature, but claylike in the center. This crumbles nicely into salad and dissolves on the tongue.

As part of my training, I am reading The Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins. Not too long ago I interviewed Steve, and we have continued to keep in touch since then. It’s a funny sensation to be reading a book written decades ago by someone who has become something of a mentor to me. It wasn’t until getting to know Steve that I even considered the grocery business, but as he said, “It’s the only way to get to know the products!” And it’s true — I’ve only worked two days so far and I have already been exposed to at least 3 dozen cheeses I’d never met before in my life, and I’ve finally met a cheese I do NOT like.

This cheese from upstate NY was like death wrapped in a baby diaper… like an exhumed grave full of shit. It was rude, and foul, and it had the staff in painful hysterics as we all laughed at each other’s tortured faces.

Roasted Eggplant & Bucheron Crouton

I think I’m going to like it here. I just need to get the hang of being on my feet all day, and I need to become comfortable with our products so that I can advise customers from a place of knowledge and experience. Perhaps I’ve found my niche… somewhere where I can stay and grow and learn over the next few years while I make plans for my own little cafe (where I will serve salads like this…)

Bucheron & Arugula Salad with Warm Asparagus & Honey Citrus Vinaigrette (if I ate bread I'd add a nice crusty chunk or a fresh roll on the side).

Dill, Sweet Red Onions & Swiss Chard Frittata

I’m also eager to throw myself into a project that will be a time consuming commitment to say the least; I’m going to write a book… or two.. or three. I haven’t decided yet how the story will play out, but I’m thinking it could be a series. My one concern is the research — I’m going to have to do some digging into my past, the contents of which I long ago boxed up and left behind.

Something tells me these crazy dreams are here to stay (like this frittata recipe I threw together this evening).

Ingredients

3 eggs

1/2 red onion

swiss chard

fresh dill & thyme

pinch of salt & pepper

splash of milk

serves 1

heat pan with a spoon of extra virgin olive oil

slice onions thinly and sweat over low heat until they become caramelized

add thinly cut swiss chard & a pinch of salt

while the leaves are wilting, whisk 3 eggs, coarsely chopped dill & thyme, salt & pepper together

add to the pan, turn heat to low, cover the mixture and let it set (takes 5 minutes)

when the egg mixture is almost cooked through, turn the frittata out of the pan onto a plate and slide back into the pan to cook the other side — turn heat off and give this side just 1 minute to finish cooking

serve immediately with a garden salad of fresh arugula and a cheese plate

don’t forget the wine

I just think frittatas are the prettiest thing

 

Read Full Post »

“What We Hunger For”

It’s my day off. I woke up early, but of my own accord — not to the sound of my telefonino beeping and vibrating across my bedside table, which makes all the difference. I willingly peeled back the covers, opened my windows, and pushed the shutters back to find a fresh and sunny fall day waiting for me.

I set about making myself an orzo caffe with a slice of orange peel and a spoon of zucchero di canna, and a spinach and feta frittata. I’d fallen asleep reading “Best Food Writing of 2009” the night before. Marcella Hazan was describing her Roman greengrocer, called a primizaro because “Primizie in Italian are the earliest, and by extension, the finest and sweetest-tasting fruits and vegetables.”

On my days off I’m always inspired to cook, to take the time to fix myself a proper meal and to really consume it —  to sit down and take my time, enjoying all the nourishing flavors, textures, and aromas. I picked up my book and lingered with Marcella and M.F.K. Fisher over breakfast, and then I prepared dessert — tangy green apples with chestnut honey. I think both of these ladies would have applauded my effort towards a slower and healthier lifestyle.

 

Orzo coffee with one slice of orange peel and a really good book.

 

 

Spinach and Feta Frittata

 

Beat 1 egg and 2 egg whites together

Add salt and pepper

Saute spinach in a small pan

Pour eggs in over the spinach

Cover the pan and cook eggs over very low heat

Add feta just before the eggs have cooked through

 

Granny Smith & Chestnut Honey

 

“I think of the fragrance and juicy, sugary flesh of the primizaro’s fruits, of the concentrated flavor of his vegetables, and I wonder why we in America can’t have better-tasting produce. Why aren’t we showing the people who raise our produce how to be better farmers? Not necessarily organic farmers, or more efficient farmers, just plain old cultivators of good food. If our vegetables had taste and cooks were shown what they need to do with them, which is very little, everyone would eat more vegetables. Italians don’t eat as many as they do because a government agency or the press tells them how healthy it is for them. They eat them because they taste so good. It is through irresistibly good taste — never mind “organic” or other fashionable categories — that food makes people happy and healthy.” Back to the Old World, 1962-1967 By Marcella Hazan

Read Full Post »