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rhubarb and biscuits

By on Jun 16, 2011 in breakfast, experimenting, love | 3 comments

Rhubarb, that most recalcitrant of vegetables, unapologetic about its tartness that can veer almost to the point of being inedible until the intrepid cook bribes it with sugar. But too often the sugar overwhelms the rhubarb’s voice, devolving into a sugary mush that is shoveled off into a pie crust and labeled a “spring treat.” Many people claim to hate rhubarb, and with good reason. They have not been introduced to its true character, they only know it as a minion of the succulent sweet strawberry. It demands more respect, not a slathering of sugar. It needs to dance with other flavors, be a partner in a tasty tango, tripping lightly along the tongue, not saddled with cement shoes made of sugar and dragged down as that sad soggy piece of pie left at the end of a spring picnic. So here… rhubarb is gently yet swiftly stewed with grapefruit, arguably on par with...

grilled chocolate french toast indulgence

By on Jan 22, 2011 in breakfast, experimenting, for one | 0 comments

January in the Midwest invariably comes with ice cold winter mornings, where thermometers shiver in their bindings, looking pale as the red mercury falls into single digits, even negative ones. Weekend mornings in such weather seem to slow, time freezing along with everything else. This is the time for deep, rich foods, the kinds that keep you happily drowsy while hibernating indoors, swaddled in wool sweaters and thick socks. An early morning grocery store trip invites the sleepy brain to buy a quick muffin or some such thing from the deli. Slowly but surely, a voice inside the head begins to whisper then howl the ingredients hiding at home, if you would just give it a few minutes. Homemade bread, strawberries, egg, and there, quietly in the pantry, wrapped in plastic… dark Belgian chocolate. The muffin is ignored. Home again, home again, jiggety jig, it is time it is time to...

apple-cranberry mini-galette for the new year

By on Jan 1, 2011 in baking, breakfast, for one, love | 0 comments

Resolutions generally abound about dieting, generally in a very self-flagellating manner. The usual suspects arise, declaring things like butter bad, then a hand dips into an overly processed box of non-fat cookies. These never make sense. Why not resolve eat well, eat real food, just don’t eat as much, and just basically be mindful of what you eat? Every so often, indulge. As the old nugget goes, moderation, and even moderation in moderation. Don’t waste a single moment on guilt, on naming foods as good or bad. Robbing a bank is bad. Food is just… food. And I mean real food, not powdered drink mix or boxed cake mix or tortilla chips covered in frighteningly bright orange dust. Treat yourself to small tidbits of goodness that nourish your soul as well as your body, eat them mindfully, savoring every last flavor, making it last. You will eat less, which is a side...

french toast

By on Dec 3, 2010 in breakfast, for one | 0 comments

Thick moist slabs of homemade whole wheat bread are cleaved from the loaf, releasing a subtle sweet scent of molasses. A fresh egg is cracked into a bowl, followed by a flow of creamy white milk and a splash of vanilla, then vigorously whisked together into a sweet emulsion. Bright orange zest is added, sparkling amidst the smooth beige liquid. A quick pinch of salt to balance it all, then left to sit quietly. A pan clatters to the stove, followed by the quiet poof of the gas as the flames pop up, quietly blue. A fresh pat of yellow butter hits the pan where it tosses and turns, writhing down to a slippery foamy mass. The dense bread is dipped briefly in the milk and eggs, then gently nestled into the sizzling buttery pan. The heady aroma of vanilla and orange twist upwards out of the pan, causing the salivary glands to immediately activate. A swift flip of the bread reveals a...

eggs in a basket

By on Nov 11, 2010 in breakfast, for one | 0 comments

Sun broke on that glorious morning. A brief cough, a good nose-blowing, a languorous stretch, and then suddenly… a sense of smell. The kitchen, long ignored during the pouty reign of the flu, was awakened. Out of the fridge emerged a loaf of homemade wheat bread, which had been happily hibernating up until this point, and a single, glorious egg. The burner was lit, the pan slapped down, a pat of butter melted away. A single thick slice of the heady sweet whole wheat was gutted in the middle, then both portions thrown into the just melted butter. The single egg was cracked into the wound of the bread slice, and over a low, low heat, slowly, it cooked. The delicious warm scent of molasses from the bread mingled with that sharp hit of a freshly frying egg. Sea salt and ground pepper were sprinkled over all. With great trepidation, the bread and egg were flipped as one, miraculously...

solitary rewards

By on Oct 11, 2010 in breakfast, for one | 0 comments

Another solitary Sunday morning. The Saturday spent coaxing the apples into buttery submission would soon merit a reward. Butter was melted, flours both white and whole wheat were sifted with ground ginger, a hopeful complement to the cloves and cinnamon stewed into the apple elixir. Buttermilk was whisked into the butter. A solitary egg was brought forth, the perfect amount for pancakes for one, and whisked in, followed by a luscious deep hit of vanilla. Everything was gently folded together. Water skittered across a blazing hot skillet, showing its readiness to prepare the fluffy breakfast cakes. The pancakes lofted in the heated pan. Another pan was brought out, and thick slabs of bacon were slapped in. Soon there was the soft sigh of the steam from the cooking pancakes and the sharp sizzle of the cooking bacon. And suddenly… it was ready. Pancakes were lovingly laid on a...