Sunday breakfast

I cut out a recipe from the Wall Street Journal on Saturday and modified it for breakfast this morning. Essentially, you soft boil eggs and cool some eggs, fry sourdough bread lightly in olive oil, sear some asparagus in the oil and lay it on the toast. Cover with burrata or ricotta mixed with herbs, lemon zest and salt. Open the egg on top:

I had to take a picture. Then I had to eat!

Desultory Saturday

A friend asked that I post more recipes, and this morning I made one of my basic breakfast variations–so delicious.

You may not be able to go out and pick greens from your garden, but any greens will do. In my case I picked baby broccolini and my only two asparagus stalks, sautéed onions and garlic, added herbs, and fried an egg on top with a little cheddar cheese. For crunch I used a little leftover brown rice. To get the egg to set before the vegetables burn, I just cover the pan for a minute or two. Continue reading “Desultory Saturday”

Rainy Sunday

Here in rainless Northern California, I woke gratefully to the sound of rain.  The chickens may not be happy about it, but it is such a relief to be having a normal winter day. Luckily, in yesterday’s brilliant sun I did a bunch of yard work including cleaning the chicken coop, so at least they are cozy.

2014-02-01 08_optAnd they are laying. Here were the ingredients for yesterday’s breakfast, although I only used two of the eggs. It made for a delicious start to the day.

The wonderful, golden Cocktail Grapefruit are in season now, a very sweet grapefruit with a zillion seeds, but worth it.  Add grapefruit, and breakfast looked like this.

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Then I decided to try the hot and sour soup recipe from Serious Eats, by J. Kenji López. I was interested to try his technique for rapid chicken broth, which involves hacking chicken parts into bits, blanching them first, and then cooking with a hambone and  “aromatics” (onion, garlic, scallions, ginger).

It worked–excellent broth in a little over an hour, but it involves turning your kitchen into an abattoir, little bits of chicken parts flying everywhere. There’s a reason butchers are always pictured in those blood-smeared white smocks. Definitely not for the faint of heart.  Maybe Kenji knows a way to do this without the grisly bit dispersion, but if so, he doesn’t mention it. nInstead he says “Hack your chicken carcasses to bits before making stock. Not only will it make you feel like a medieval viking-style badass, but it’ll also make your broth come together much faster. The more finely you chop the bones, the more surface area they have, and the more channels for proteins, minerals, and other goodies to get extracted into the broth.” So caveat cook.

Because this recipe required a specific Chinese fermented rice vinegar (“essential to the flavor”), I had to head down to the Asian mall, and as it was Saturday and just after Chinese New Year,  I encountered a drumming, whistling band and leaping tigers:

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Very loud, cheerful and colorful, which made up for the crowds and the ordeal involved in buying my slim bottle of vinegar.

The soup is really delicious, if anyone wants a lovely rainy day project.

We’re back

After a long plane ride (this one was 11+ hours!), it often feels to me like I am still trailing molecules of myself along the flight path, and it takes awhile to feel reassembled in one place. Today, three days at home, I finally feel here. I celebrated by working on a poem and making a real breakfast from the garden enhanced with salt from the Camargue.

Both the literary and the culinary work were satisfying, with the hens still contributing a few eggs. Continue reading “We’re back”


William Burroughs, a guy with a weird imagination if there ever was one (Dr. Benway, I presume?), wore plain gray suits to preserve a certain public anonymity. I feel the same way about bumper stickers. I want my gray car to blend into the flow of traffic, unnoticed by all. Not to mention that if you have a bumper sticker on your car and then drive badly, you’re undermining whatever cause your sticker promotes. Yesterday I was cut off by Veterans for Peace, and aced out of my parking space by Keep Tahoe Blue. Not that it makes me want to turn the lake orange or declare war, but it doesn’t help. And just when I had decided never, a friend brought me this. But I think I’ll post it here and on my fridge, not on my car.

Continue reading “Miscellany”