Monday, April 14, 2014

Dear Self, Twenty Years Ago

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday. When all the eating and drinking and cake and story telling were over I found myself looking at a photo an old friend had sentme as a birthday card. On the left side, the  two of us, no more than six or seven years old, politely smiling to the camera. On the right side, another of us laughing at a party a few weeks ago. Her note read: you're still taller. I found myself looking through more albums and thinking back to how it felt to be at each age, oblivious of what's yet to come, or what will fade with time. One photo struck me especially. In it I gaze admiringly at my mom and her friend, who at the time the photo was taken were not too far from my age today. How grown up and settled people look from a 7-year-old-kid's-eye-view. I wonder what 7-year-old me would have thought of this me, here today. I wonder if the grown ups of my childhood felt as I do now: always on the cusp of something... but what?

Dear Self, Twenty Years Ago

Drink Water and floss. Habits form harder with every year that passes. Keep your journals in one place. Some years from now you'll find yourself craving a look at things you only partially remember and it would be nice to find them then. Your kid sister will grow to remember every time you stuck up for her and it will make you proud. Keep doing that, and do it even better if you can. Call grandma every week and let her tell you all the stories of her heart. She will be the first to go. In a few years you will have to leave the world as you know it and start all over somewhere new. Write down the names and numbers and mailing addresses of the friends you love the most. It is difficult to find people from half way across the world.

Sometimes it's hard to stir the pot but you still have to do it. Say what's on your mind even if you think it will get you in trouble. Let those around you grow by dealing with your feelings and ideas. Trying to protect people is sometimes selfish. Being unsure is not the same as being wrong. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. And there's more to every story.  

You're one of the lucky ones who will always have a loving home to fall back on. Learn to give back and feel less guilty about what you receive. Those fortresses you build out of the books you stay up reading will grow bigger and stronger. At times you will use them to escape but every time you will emerge stronger. You know that big guitar you carry everywhere, that's as tall as you are? Don't put it down. Music will be your solace.

Love will not be easy. You will find yourself heart-broken and defeated one day and you'll wonder how something you worked so hard for could slip through your fingers. Then you will slowly see that not every challenge is one you deserve to win, and in loss you will learn a different kind of love: one for the time and effort spent, memories had, and lessons learned. Once you shed your anger you will find beauty even in what is lost. Those who nurse your broken heart and help you build yourself again will Teach you the art of true friendship. You'll bake them lots of cookies and cook them many dinners. They'll remind you that there is no shame in failing, and as you fall asleep on their couches you'll know they meant it.

Good butter, good coffee, and sharp knives. Don't buy what you can make, and for god's sake write down your recipes. And remember, sometimes you have to do the thing first and worry about explaining it later.

The recipe I'm attaching to this post is for cream puffs. They were my favorite treat as a kid, and I still love them today. The recipe is simple but precise. So read it through once before you begin. Bon chance!

Pâte à Choux


1/2 C water
1/4 C unsalted butter
pinch of salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 C all purpose flour
2 eggs
For Filling
1 1/2 C whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

Heat water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small pan until butter melts. bring just to a boil and remove from heat, so as not to boil off the liquid. 

Stir in the flour and mix well until no lumps appear. Then return to heat for no more than two minutes, cooking the dough while turning it with the wooden spoon. Move quickly to avoid too much exposure to heat on any one one side of the dough. The result should look like a ball of smooth mashed potato.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes and cool down. Then crack eggs in one at a time, mixing well with spoon or spatula, until you have a looser, yellowy, and smooth batter that just falls off the spoon. 

Preheat oven to 425

Fill a piping bag with this mixture and pipe circles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Each circle should be between two and three inches in diameter and about an inch in height. Smooth any pointy tips with a wet finger and bake for 20-30 minutes or until substantially risen and golden. When done, these babies are super light and if you tap them they sound very hollow. 

While they bake, you can whip the cream with the sugar until it is firm and fluffy (but don't overdo it and make sweet vanilla butter) and fill a second piping bag. I use a long skinny piping tip for this and you will see why in the next step. Chill the cream in the piping bag until the shells have cooled completely. In fact you can assemble the cream puffs up to a day later if that's what you'd like.

Assembly will present you with two options: 1. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each puff  open and pipe a turban of cream in the middle. Then place other half on top and serve as little cream puff sandwiches. 2. Flip each puff and poke the bottom with your long metal piping tip and squeeze some filling inside until the cream puff feels heavier. I use the second method because I find it less messy and easier to eat. Should you want to make a little chocolate ganache, you could always dip the tops for a little extra excitement but powdered sugar will also dress these airy treats adorably. Serve with a pint of berries and you're done. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Renewing My Vows

There's an old folk tale about an old man with a long white beard. One day his friend asks him if in bed he keeps his beard under or over the covers. He can't seem to remember so he decides to check. In bed that night he tries it over, but it feels wrong. He goes for under, and he feels strange. He stays up like this all night cursing the question that got him in this mess. In the morning his friend asks if he has the answer and the old man says no, and I don't even know who I am.

This blog has been one my favorite adventures ever, and my absence for a while is what makes me think of the old man's beard. When I went back to school last year after a leave of absence I knew I needed to change my thesis topic. When I changed my topic to food, writing, and hunger, I had no idea it would interfere with the most pertinent activity in my life. I should have thought of that I guess. It's like when medical students develop acute hypochondria. I've been reading so much theory about food and eating and blogs and I think inadvertently I've been plugging myself into every idea wondering if I cook like that or think like that or write for that reason. It sounds trivial but trust me being so self-conscious like that makes it hard to write. It's not something they mention much in academia. I feel in so many cases, people write about topics so distant from their own experiences that they don't face this predicament. It's a shame because I think it's a good one. It makes me try harder not to force a line-of-best-fit through thousands of individual examples just for the sake of making a neat argument to present to my supervisor. Sure it's a slower process but I wouldn't want it any other way.

 Maybe in another post I'll write more about just what it is I'm starting to understand about what we do when we write about food, but for now I'd just like to find a way back into the stream of my own food narrative. I'm starting to think of this last pause not as lost time but rather a necessary beat where I gained some insight and found in spite of my new critical perspective that I am still as thrilled as ever to be writing right here, about food and all my other hungers.

Of course I've still been cooking and eating and feeding people, so there will be no shortage of stories to tell and recipes to share. This one seems especially appropriate with all this talk of renewal and return. It's a salty pear after all; not the inaugural salty pear of so many years ago but a new one, lovingly poached in pear juice and white wine with mulling spices and served with chopped pecans and salted caramel. It goes really well with bourbon and it's up to you to decide how you'd like to use that information...


For Pears
2 Ripe Bosc or Anjou pears peeled and cored
1 C Pear juice (I got a juices for Christmas so I juiced a few but you can use nectar or another fruit juice)
1.5 C Riesling (or white wine you have open)
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
mulling spices (I used a stick of cinnamon, clove, star anise, 1/4 vanilla bean, and dry Orange slices)

For topping
1/4 cup chopped roasted pecans

For Caramel
(Recipe here)
1 C Sugar
1/4 C Water
3/4 C  Cream
3 1/2 tbsp unslated butter
pinch of your good salt

Peel and core the pears using a vegetable peeler or paring knife and a melon-baller. Cut the base of each pear slightly. This will allow them to stand.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in the smallest saucepan that fits your two pears and bring everything to  medium heat. Cover pears and simmer for 15 minutes making sure not to boil them rapidly as they will split and lose their lovely shape. Test with a toothpick to see if desired softness is achieved. Remove pears gently and serve warm or cold with chopped nuts and the salted caramel sauce or reduce the cooking liquid with an extra few tablespoons of honey, strain, and use in place of caramel. An extra flake or two of coarse salt? Maybe...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In Time

The first time I tried to make Bolognese I nearly broke into tears. I was cooking for six: a few of them I knew well but the others weren't close friends of mine and the whole day at work I was going through ideas of what to cook in my head. By the time I left work I had gone through at least ten ideas in my mind, ruling out each for a different reason: this one would take too long, that one would make the whole apartment smell like fish, another needed so much cooling and assembling, and what if they didn't like sharp cheese? Then I got this lovely image in my head of serving a beautiful fresh pasta with one simple and gorgeous sauce, a bowl of arugula and crusty bread. Everyone would drink lots of red wine and we'd have cheese for dessert and it would be like one of those underexposed rustic Bon Appetit editorial spreads called Rustico Italiano. Two hours later, my whole life covered in flour, I realized I had no wine at home. My Bolognese, which I started making way too late, because I was compulsively changing outfits for a half hour while everything sat in grocery bags on my kitchen table, was runny and not deep red and fragrant and effortlessly brilliant like I had  imagined. to say I was flustered would be an understatement. I turned the burner way down and jumped in my car to go to the liquor store and when I got back I smelled the gas and realized that the wind had blown the flame out; ergo, sauce was soupy and apartment smelled like... gas. I frantically tried to get the gas smell out and i turned up the burner to help my godforsaken sauce along and while I emptied the dishwasher and tried to think of a record to put on, there was another smell: Burnt sauce.
This happened years ago.

Now I know that when sauce starts to burn you turn off the heat and transfer the sauce as swiftly as you can, and whatever you do, you do not stir the pot. Now I also know not to entertain people I don't really like. That night when I smelled the burning meat i quickly stirred, in disbelief, and mixed the black burnt meat into the sauce rendering it completely unsalvageable. I also overcooked my pasta and broke two wine glasses.

I didn't give up on bolognese, though. I tried again and again and I'm not exactly sure at what point over the years this happened, but I can do it now. Here is the thing with repetition: while you repeat that dish, time passes, and as time passes you learn so many things. I now know how to tell good meat from bad, I prefer smaller onions, I know when meat has browned enough, and I know exactly who to share my food with. These days I don't try to stage romantic magazine dinners anymore, but I do make big bowls of pasta and pots of Bolognese that I eat with my favorite person and we soak up the extra sauce with chunks of bread and do the crossword at the dinner table. We even dip right into the pot sometimes. I don't know if you have a Bolognese recipe that you like, I hope you do and I hope it took you many years to get to it, but if you need a little help along the way, here is mine. 

Bolognese Sauce

1 Pound ground beef (my butcher gives me what he calls lean but he winks when he says lean so It's probably medium)
2 smallish medium onions- chopped finely or grated 
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 can best tomatoes (pulverized)
1/3 c tomato paste 
1/3 c red wine
1 c stock
dry basil and oregano
salt and pepper

Brown the meat in a few tablespoons of oil and season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Add onion and cook together until onion is translucent and everything is mixing up. Add tomato paste and cook for another few minutes. In go tomatoes with juice, garlic and wine.

Finally, add a cup of stock and one cup water and simmer covered for one hour. Taste and season as you go. Uncover and cook on low until you like the consistency. Serve to your favorite person, with your favorite pasta and grated parmigiana, and if it's terrible... try again.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

At this Very Moment

I work on the upper floor of the library by the windows facing south east. There have been days when I've been there from early morning until after sunset: reading, writing, or failing to do either. From up there I see the rooftops of so many houses and buildings. Some are arched, some pointed, some flat. I see churches, schools, chimneys, and far in the horizon even the lake. Working at the library isn't easy. It's a public place and the fluorescent stale feel of it can be alienating. Sometimes when I feel fear and doubt creeping in I look away from the blinking curser on the screen and out of the window and imagine that it is a different city I'm looking at. 

On clear sunny days I focus on the churches and look at the blue line of the lake and imagine that this is somewhere in Italy. I look at people on bicycles and give them names like Francesca and Luigi. On rainy days I let my eyes hover unfocused in the few inches of fog that blur the tree tops and the pointed tips of some of the Tudor and Victorian buildings. This is London. The tops of the umbrellas move in small congregations of bright coloured circles and headlights double in puddles. When it snows and everyone down below has to deal with dirty slush on streets I am the lucky birds-eye daydreamer thinking of St Petersbourg. I listen at the tip of the hour for the University bell tower and imagine the snow covered domes of the church of Isidor and Nicholas: Ladies with fur collars and sun blocked by the snow clouds.

I don't seek escape in this. It is not a lack of love for my city or my life in its present place and time that I let my mind wander to places far away. It's something else. I think I find a humbling comfort in imagining so many lives in so many other places simultaneously existing and unfolding, each with its own sorrows and joys, hopes and desires, secrets and woes. When my sister was a child, my Dad would drive her crazy with a phrase he always offered when she was unhappy with something. Her tooth would be aching and he would say "do you know at this very moment how many children in how many different places in the world have toothaches?" Maybe back then her four-year-old heart found no comfort in that thought, but here I am, years later finding some relief in all the singularly significant features of all of those lives that my imaginary landscapes allow me even for just a moment to think about.

The recipe that follows is for a dish whose playful name will surely invoke the exotic for some, while it's humble origins and ingredients have for years brought simple comfort to many others. It takes some time to prepare but the depth of flavour achieved from layering all of these wonderful vegetables will add up to something bigger than their sum. You have my word. Just do me a favour: while you make it imagine how many people around the world are making ratatouille...


2 stalks of Celery 
2 small carrots
1 onion
2 red bell peppers (roasted, deseeded, skinned, and chopped)
1 can Crushed tomatoes
1 clove Garlic
2 aubergines 
1 green zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
2 firm roma tomatoes
salt to taste
pepper to taste
herbs de Provence to taste (savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender)

Finely dice celery, carrot, and onion and saute until soft and coloured. Add finely chopped garlic and cook another minute. Add the chopped red pepper that you have roasted (on flame or in oven), deseeded, and skinned. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, season to taste, and bring everything to a boil. Simmer some of the liquid off and process using a hand blender or potato masher to get an even and slightly bumpy red sauce. 

In the mean time slice the chinese eggplant (aubergine), zucchini, and tomato into thin rounds (as thin as you can mange without cutting yourself- or use a mandoline if you have one). If you have a sister around tell (or ask) her to do this part. 

In a cast iron pan or baking dish a few inches deep, spread a healthy layer of red sauce and begin arranging the vegetables in concentric circles starting from the outside. Alternate between the vegetables, though not obsessively because that would take ages. Try to pack them in really tightly and only slightly tilted (almost standing right up in the sauce) because they will shrink as the liquids in them cook out. Season with salt and pepper as you go. Fill any gaps with extra vegetable rounds or red sauce.

Mix some Herbs de Provence with a few tablespoons of olive oil and pour over the top when you're done.

Cover with foil and cook in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours. Uncover and cook for another half hour in a slightly hotter oven and you're good to go. It makes a good vegetarian dish with bread or potato, but we love it most as a steaming side scoop to a roasted chicken. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Mornings, Subtle Distinctions, Soufflé.

"Delight in diligence / Watch over your mind"
I come to write here for a number of reasons today. The first few are predictable. They have to do with my love of words, my passion for feeding myself and others, my fascination with the science and mystery of food, and the joy in feeling  -even if briefly- connected to like-hearted wanderers in the vast unknown freeways of this virtual world. But a little further down the list, hiding timidly behind other reasons, is an equally important one that I feel I should explore: put simply, it is a need to get my hands back into something I know I have done successfully in the past. I wrote that last sentence and paused to look at it. My mind wanders.

Another writing project has been weighing somewhat heavily on my heart and mind for some time now, it is no secret. My master's thesis has been testing my strength and ability and passion; it's true. But for a moment last night while I lay in bed, in that gentle and brief time between thought and sleep, I wondered if I have let the insecurities and doubts of my academic self penetrate the rest of me. The mind needs attention -as strange as that sounds- not to let one thing bleed into another.

I feel a bit more tentative, a bit more apologetic these days and I don't like it. This morning while I was drinking my coffee and looking out at the muffled, snow covered street, I thought about these fine and delicate separations: between prudent and afraid, pensive and withdrawn, ambitious and self-deprecating. I've decided to to pay more attention to these subtle distinctions, as they almost seem to prevail much more in my life than those stark dichotomies that are easier to notice. They seem just as important, if not more. After all, the difference between luscious whipped cream and butter lies in only a few extra shakes.

The recipe I am attaching to this post is here because it is the breakfast I make myself on such slow and introspective mornings when I have the luxury to spend time in my favorite room in the house and cook and eat and think in the blue light. Also because anyone who has tried to make a good soufflé appreciates the importance of recognizing the fine line between perfectly enough, and too much. The same action that assures the airy height of a soufflé, in excess, can cause it's downfall. The cook needs no special skill or equipment, but only to pay close and loving attention.

Pineapple Soufflé
(for two)

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
100g pineapple juice
50g finely chopped pineapple flesh
4 eggs (separated)
2tsp caster sugar
butter and sugar for ramekins
icing sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 175/350 degrees

Prepare two medium ramekins by spreading butter and sprinkling sugar on the insides.

Melt butter over medium heat and add flour and stir for a minute. Do not brown the flour. Add juice and pineapple flesh and stir for a few minutes letting small bubbles form. Remove from heat and add egg yolks, whisking them in one by one. Add sugar and whisk until smooth. Leave off heat to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile beat egg whites with a dash of caster sugar until stiff peaks form but not more. Over-beating the egg whites will reduce their ability to lift the soufflé.

Fold egg whites into the pineapple mixture in three additions. Make sure to do this in a large enough bowl. The first addition should be mixed thoroughly to lighten the colour and consistency of the batter. The next two additions should be gently folded to leave white streaks, using a spatula. Over-mixing at this stage will be to your detriment. Trust yourself to do it in a few strokes and resist over-doing.      

Fill ramekins almost to the rim, but not quite.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the soufflé has doubled in height and is beginning to gain some colour on the edges.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.   


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mimesis and Midnight Chocolate Cake

I read somewhere that Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin impersonation contest and did not win. I don't know if this story is true but I like it. Something funny happens when we try to be ourselves. Now the Chaplin situation is more complicated I know. He would be impersonating an act, but still. I think about how complicated that could get, and my mind wanders. He would be competing against impersonators who have obsessively "perfected" their outfits, make up, acts... Did their immaculate re-enactments of his work make him uneasy? Did he overdo it or was he too casual? did he get out-Chaplined by the mimics?

Then I think about how strangely we sometimes act when our awareness of ourselves is heightened for some reason. I've struggled to explain this before. I still find it hard to articulate how easy it is to turn into an imitation of yourself when you are in fact aiming for the opposite. It's almost as if when you try to isolate whatever it is that you are, in order to be it, you interrupt the flow of the process of being. I've caught myself in such moments before. I don't like the feeling. It's like wearing wet jeans.

A few weeks ago when Steve was coming to visit me in my little town for a few days I started thinking about this. Just before he got there I looked around me and wondered what my life looks like; what I look like in it. But I quickly distracted myself to help the moment pass for fear of ending up in that hyper-self-conscious state of awkward and anxious mimicry. At midnight Steve told me he was really craving chocolate and I said I'd bake a chocolate cake with the rest of our bottle of red wine. 
-Right now?
-Right now. 
And as we ate our chocolate cake with spoonfuls of whipped cream from a mason jar at two in the morning whilst discussing faith or religion or rationality or god knows what, I thought: If we ever have to audition as ourselves, we should do this scene. I'm pretty certain no one else's rendition could even come close.

Chocolate Red Wine Cake 
(bake this cake when someone craves it, for it does not keep well.)

6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup  white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup red wine (we used chianti)
1 teaspoon good vanilla
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup good cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a medim round cake pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and mix until fluffy: 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and mix well. Then add the red wine and vanilla. The batter will look a little strange but that's fine

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. Spread batter in pan. 

Bake 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar and eat with whipped cream. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Charm in Beginnings

-Hi! There's music at the bottom of this post, just in case you wanna press play before you read-

 I was fixing my flat tire just off the trail near the university the other day and saw the procession of enrobed graduates walking in a distracted queue toward the convocation space; high heels poking holes in the grass and tassels hanging off the sides of serial manufactured graduation caps. The caps that no one outside of the movies can even keep on their heads, let alone throw up into the air in excitement (for in real life there is wind, and you never have a bobby pin when you need it). Anyway it got me thinking about all the similar ceremonies I have attended in said ill-fitting attire. Elementary, middle school, high school, university... there may even be another one on the horizon soon. As I changed my tube with the happy grads in my peripheral, I tried to remember: I'm sure there were speeches, I'm sure my parents were there... I'm sure I wore dresses, maybe even heels, but I really couldn't remember the details. I figure for most of us it's an awkward moment anyway... I mean, if what you do is anything like what I do, graduating usually signifies the following: Your funding is going to stop, your loans are going to start accumulating interest, your part-time job is now your full-time job (and yes it's the same job), your membership at the amazing library where you do most of your actual learning is going to be revoked, your ideas are still only partly developed, and you no longer have access to the brains of the awesome people who get paid to sit there while you're wide-eyed and under-slept and freaking out about "how amazing that sentence really is". Did I mention the point about library access?

 Jokes aside, though, I think I have more visceral memories of the first days of all the aforementioned experiences than I do of their respective graduations. I'm not sure if this speaks to my particular temperament or some kind of experience that is shared, but just to stay on the safe side (avoid sweeping generalizations: i learned that in school) lets say it's just me. I think I prefer beginnings. I think the vulnerability and excitement of the forward peek is more memorable than the retrospective gaze at the end. So on that note (kind of), here are some of the more memorable breakfasts of the last few weeks. Not just because breakfast constitutes a beginning, but also because I think above all I value making every day important. Because graduation may never come, I guess, and it would be a shame not to have celebrated a little every day. 
Blueberry-Bran-Yogurt Breakfast  Muffins 

1 2/3C plain or vanilla or berry yogurt 
2 tsp baking soda 
3/4C brown sugar 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup oil or melted butter 
1/2 c applesauce 
a little bit of vanilla 
lemon zest  (of like half a lemon)
2C bran 
2C whole wheat flour 
4tsp baking powder 
pinch of salt 
1C or more fresh or frozen blueberries 

Preheat over to 350 degrees and line your muffin sheets with muffin cups or grease. 

Mix yogurt and baking soda. Let sit while you mix everything else. it will bubble! That's totally fine. This will make your muffins spongy and airy and awesome. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla and zest. Add bran and mix well. 

Whisk  flour, salt, and baking soda in yet another separate bowl. 

Add the yogurt mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Gradually mix in the flour until a you have a uniform batter. 

Fold in berries, scoop, bake 20-30minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the centre of muffins comes out clean. 

(these muffins are moist so if you're keeping them around, refrigerate them. You can brush the tops with milk and pop them in the oven for a few minutes and they're like fresh.) 

Poached/Fried Eggs over bitter greens with spring asparagus 

2 good eggs (look at the colour of those yolks)
a bunch of rappini 
some asparagus 

Discard the bottom few inches of both rapini and asparagus stalks. 

Bring a shallow pan of salted water to a boil and have an bowl of ice water ready near by. Cook rapini and asparagus for 4-5 minutes. Then drain and submerge in cold water immediately. Allow to cool for a few minutes and drain again.

Poach or fry eggs to your desired doneness. I like my yolks runny over these greens, personally. Sauté the greens in a little bit of olive oil to warm them up. Place eggs on top. Season to taste. Want some toast? Up to you. And coffee, probably.

NOTA BENE-  here's another kind of beginning: my friend Jos Fortin recently released his debut album, Typewriter, which is so so charming. Have a listen, you'll agree! My favorite track is King Midas at the moment. The whole record just makes me smile. In fact, it's a great wake-up-and make-breakfast album I think...