Breakfast. I love breakfast. We all love breakfast, we just don’t all love to make breakfast. During the week, we don’t want to get up early enough to make a good breakfast. So, what do we do? Well, we either skip it or, maybe even worse, we stop at the local fast-food joint and by a sausage, egg and cheese McMuffin ( a personal favorite of mine!).
Well, no more! I already have the alarm set for 5:30 AM, so I’m going to start getting up then, take the shower and make a decent breakfast. Right now, I keep hitting the snooze button (8 minutes each time) and cuddle with my warm, soft and just comfortable wife Molly. Sometimes, I’m so tired, I fall asleep each time hit the snooze and get a short, different dream before the next alarm (kind of like a CliffsNotes version of each dream). But, I digress.
So, I will (try) to get up each day and make a decent breakfast. Maybe, if I do, I can inspire the rest of my family to also wake up a bit early and have a good breakfast. I now have a source of good eggs, I make a fine pancake, I have bacon from Karl’s and who wouldn’t love some biscuits? No, I’m not going to make them all at once, but with plenty of time, there’s no reason I can’t make at least one of them.
Lurking around some of my friend’s blogs, I discovered one of them had a picture of a half-dozen eggs from a local farm. I then remembered I had just received two dozen of the best eggs in the world! My parents, three hours away in the hills of Western Massachusetts, have access to the very best eggs I have ever had. Coming from the small flock (group? gaggle? school?) of chickens from the mysterious “Heidi”, these eggs are….oh, boy….they’re….they’re just really good! The yolks are a rich, deep orange – nothing like the pale yellow eggs you buy in the supermarket. And the flavor!
Search out fresh eggs – sure, some will be brown, some will be white and some will be pale blue, maybe even green. Also, some will be HUGE, some will be small and some will be just like Baby Bear’s – just right. But, they will also be better and more likely than not, not coming from tortured chickens (where’s Eric Holder when we REALLY need him, huh?)
Does this really have anything to do with food? I guess not, I suppose it could if Michael Symon needed some quick advice about bacon ice cream and called me, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen soon.
I will be getting a new phone for the kitchen (the downstairs phone). This phone will have something the kids just can’t wrap their minds around – a cord! Twice today, I had both of our cordless phones within a foot or two each other – upstairs!
This is just a here and there post – I don’t have anything huge to talk about, just bits and pieces. There’s no pictures because, frankly, I don’t know where my camera is at this exact moment.
- Salsas. I like salsa. I make a good salsa, so maybe that has something to do with it. But, this weekend I made two new salsas. A tomatillo salsa (new to me) and a tomato and roasted chile salsa of my own creation.
- Children’s Chocolate Chip Bars a la Fannie Farmer
- Michael Pollan (my love for whom is almost unnatural) has a LONNNNGGGGG article in the New York Times that I haven’t fully digested yet. The quote that caught my eyes was the average American spends only 27 minutes a day on food preparation - thats cooking to you and me. WHAT? That depresses me…I love cooking and spend 27 minutes a day thinking about what to eat! Sometimes, I just want to cry.
The word barbecue means something different to me than it does to most people in New England. I won’t go into the whole story again, I’ll let this post do it for me. Therefore, I won’t refer to the sauce I made today as barbecue sauce, because it’s too sweet and would never be served anywhere near real North Carolina barbecue. No, what I made today was BBQ sauce and it’s damn fine!
For ribs, pork chops, burgers and chicken, I love a good ole’ sweet, happy BBQ sauce. My mom makes a good one, but I couldn’t remember what exactly went into it, so, when I needed one a few months ago, I searched for a new one. I came across a BBQ sauce from the Food Network’s own Pat Neely. Now, I have never really liked Down Home with The Neely’s. I just can’t get into it – maybe it’s because it reminds me too much of Paula Deen and she drives me nuts! That being said, the sauce looked good and after I was done, it tasted really, really good! It’s sweet and has a great black pepper bite! I really like it. I’ve found if you cut down on the sugar a bit, it’s fantastic!
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons sugar (I use 3 more tablespoons of brown sugar)
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Before the cooking:
I need to take some serious time off from posting. It’s not that I need to, it’s that I’m doing it if I like it or not. For the past few weeks it’s gone like this: I get up early, take a shower, help wake up the kids, make their lunches, help them get dressed and take them to school. A few minutes to myself and then off to work. Come home, often pick up the kids and make dinner. Either pick up, help pick up or get the kids in their baths and off to bed. Then, do work from home. The weekends are busy shopping and more time with the kids. I don’t even read the food blogs anymore, it’s just the same over and over. Hopefully, things will slow down and maybe this summer I’ll be posting again. But until then, it will be sporadic at best.
Well, I’m back. I got my new laptop computer this week and I’ve been setting it up. Also, I’ve been messing around with some food. Today, I made a Dave Liebovitz/Dave Lieberman (I’ll explain later) Beef Short Rib recipe plus I’m making (for the first time) clarified butter.
Look for these posts to appear this week, plus some other silly posts, too.
Pink Salt. What an odd name. At this point in time, pink salt means salt (sodium chloride) with a pink tinge, from Hawaii, Pakistan, Peru, etc. For amateur cooks, it often means “a curing salt containing 6.25% sodium nitrite”, which is dyed a bright pink so as not to be confused with regular salt.
I picked some up today by going to the little hole in the wall,literally called the Sausage Source – it’s like the old office of a closed gas station. In there, I found curing agents like the pink salts, I found meat slicers, sausage casings and more spice combinations for breakfast sausage, corned beef, jerky, etc than you can imagine.
So what? Well, as most of my recent posts, it’s all about Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie. In it, his recipes often reference and include pink salt. It’s the red color we find in store bought corned beef and bacon.
Speaking of bacon, I have a small pork belly portion in the freezer and I intend to make fresh bacon with it and my new pink salt.