Archive for the ‘breakfast’ category


May 6, 2013

A half-cup of beans, sown in the soil, will likely return 30 or 40 plants, each heavy with pods of new legumes…or the same quantity can be cooked and consumed in one siting.

So why is it that beans for dinner gets filed under “frugal” while flowers for breakfast seems ridiculously decadent?Image

salad days

July 3, 2011

thursday morning harvest

greens with home fries

arugula fennel frittata

lettuces w/marinated strawberries & toasted squash seeds... frittata on the side

not on the breakfast menu at the cooperstown diner

June 28, 2011

Strawberries with fennel and black pepper cornbread

raiding the pantry

January 6, 2011

It’s taken me awhile to figure it out, but now I know: eating well in winter is more about planning than canning. Shell beans, winter squash, potatoes, garlic go from the ground to the pantry with no processing required. So I planted lots of them. This December, I spent more time in Roseboom than anywhere else, so it was a great opportunity to enjoy the fruits of my labors.  

I. Spicy peanut-squash stew. Hack a giant squash in two and set it to roast in the oven, along with a head or two of garlic, anointed with oil and wrapped in foil. On the stove, soften chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, then add spices (I used cumin, coriander, cayenne) and toast a bit. Scoop in some peanut butter, plus maybe a little water, and stir until melted; turn off heat. Squish the roasted garlic into the pot. When the squash is manageable, peel and chop into cubes. Add these to the pot, along with enough water to get the consistency you want. At this point you can puree into an elegant bisque-like creation (maybe add some cream or coconut milk) but I prefer a chunky, inelegant stew. It is especially good with brown rice added, but all I had was crushed wheat, and that worked pretty well. Something green added just before serving is always a good idea, and I was able to dig some kale out of the snow—at least the for the first few servings.

II. Black beans, brown beer, purple potatoes. I once read a recipe for black beans cooked in dark beer until the beans were soft and the beer reduced to a syrup. With company expected for dinner, I needed to stretch the recipe a bit, so while the beans simmered in Ommegang I sauteed onions in oil, followed by spices, then added water and some chopped purple potatoes. (Regular potatoes would work as well, but they take on an unappetizing gray color in black bean soup.) Combined the pots, added some garlic, and voila: a nice hearty supper. I also chopped up some of last summer’s dried tomatoes, added them to warm olive oil, and served on homemade bread provided by my guests.

III. Extravagant lentils. Sometime in January, my kitchen is going to be gutted. So this business of cooking from the existing larder is not just about feeding myself and avoiding the trip to the market. It’s also about spending down the stores before I have to move the contents of my kitchen into the living room. This makes me feel a lot better about decimating supplies of luxury ingredients like dried porcini mushrooms. I put them into a stew of lentils, roasted garlic, celery, and leftover red wine.

IV. Bean, tangerine…  Cook chopped-up tangerine (with peel) and onion until carmelized,then throw in some chopped ginger and red pepper flakes. Add squash seeds and cook til toasted. Green beans can go straight from the freezer to pot.

V. Nightshade elixir. Ground cherries were this year’s garden discovery. They look like small tomatillos and taste something like a tomato crossed with a pineapple. Starting in August, my one plant threw off a handful or two of ripe fruit every day. Just before the frost hit, I picked it clean, gathering more than 700 full pods, some more ripe than others. I put them in jars with vodka and honey. I’ve read that this kind of preparation should sit for six months, but I threw caution to the wind served them in shot glasses following a recent dinner. They taste like strawberries.

VI. Cornmeal mush. I’m glad the Quaker company has retained the traditional name for the most basic recipe on its cardboard canister. The Italian title may be more musical, but cornmeal mush is good enough for me. I had it for breakfast with butter and maple syrup, for lunch (after a freak thaw revealed perky greens under the snow) with kale and carmelized onions.

VII. Something Asian….ish. On New Year’s Day, my friends up the road host a party in their sweet little straw house. Guests are asked to bring an Asian dish to share. I had a few relevant ingredients on hand—a lime, ginger root, coconut, sesame seeds—but I couldn’t figure out how these might combine with the other ingredients in my winter pantry. So I mixed them up with an egg and some sugar and made macaroons.


August 11, 2010

Squash is not a vegetable I’ve ever sought out. I plant it mostly because I like to throw impromptu dinner parties and it’s nice to have a reliable source of abundant, fresh foodstuff. But abundance has its challenges, especially when it comes to something you don’t lovelovelove. Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a few strategies for overcoming squash’s cool blandness–searing it on the grill, burying it underneath a blizzard of herbs, drowing it in a curry, etc. 

Maybe I’m beginning to develop a new appreciation for the subtleties of squash. Or maybe the string of sultry days is having its effect on my appetite. Either way, a dish of plain steamed squash now seems like heaven. 

A dollop of plain yogurt, olive oil, chives and mint helps.

Still, I continue to look for new ways to serve squash to unsuspecting dinner- and house-guests. A couple of days ago I made an amazing squash-coriander loaf. The recipe, adapted from How to Cook Everything, made enough batter for a few muffins as well. I had some leftover grated squash, so I improvised a squashcake: about a cup of squash, an egg, a spoonful of flour, herbs. Squashcake with a squashmuffin and a handful of fresh tomatoes: that’s what I call breakfast!

good morning, sorrel!

May 16, 2010

You’re looking lovely today. That shade of green really suits you.

Come inside, I’d like to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine.This is Butter. And here comes Eggs.

Bread and Coffee have been waiting to meet you, too!

And you already know Chives, of course.

See, I knew you’d all get along.

a crust of bread…plus

August 11, 2009