After being back and settled in the DelSo for a week, I thought I’d share what I missed this summer while away. Some of the items on the list, I may take for granted when I’m home, while others are always appreciated. The list is not in any order, although alphabetical would naturally be my first impulse. I’m a librarian, remember?
- My pillows. I wish I could bring them along on the vacation, but there just isn’t enough room in the car – and there are only two.
- My coffee bean grinder. What do you mean not everyone grinds their beans freshly each morning?
- My griddle pan. Traditionally, I bring my waffle iron along on the trip, but next year I may need to find some space for my go-to pancake/grilled cheese making surface. Making either of these items individually makes no sense when you can make three at a time.
- Our sweet old lab, Cassidy Bono Lilly, especially when I read stories like this gem from Paul Grondahl.
- Him. Because I like having him around.
What do you find yourself missing the most when away from home?
Filed under Albany, breakfast, Cape Cod, Cooking, DelSo, family, favorites, friends, Martha's Vineyard, Summer, travel, vacation
A recipe for you, courtesy of Quinn Lilly, for a fast breakfast treat for the whole family. Here’s the “list*” of ingredients:
Lacking punctuation – it’s ice, milk not ice milk
Place together in blender and push the button. Simple!
The chocolate mustache tells the tale.
Seeing as how we’re (finally) done with foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs, I imagine we’ll be modifying this recipe. What will remain consistent is the absolute joy this boy gives to me.
*Some may call it a recipe, but Q prefers list.
We’ve all heard of, and perhaps even experienced, the “Continental Breakfast.” On occasion, I’ve encountered it in hotels and it has generally left me unimpressed with its often dried out bread items and unimaginative accompaniments. If I were from “the Continent” and was presented with one of those bastardized versions of what should be the most simple and satisfying meal of the day, I suspect I would be inclined to drop the uber-American phrase “Have a nice day!” liberally, and with increasing sarcasm, throughout the day. You see, bad food makes me cranky.
During our visit with family last month we were spoiled by a version of the Continental breakfast. It began with a trip to the bakery in town where we pointed, with increasingly difficult to maintain restraint, at the array of baked goods in the glass case. Our chosen items were placed in a large, low-sided wicker basket to make keeping track of our selections easier. Personal favorites were the pumpkin seed topped rolls and the pretzel bread. It ain’t all pumpernickel and rye, my friend.
Once back at home, the breads were placed on the table along with a dazzling array of meats and cheeses. The meat selection included a smoky Black Forest cured bacon, ham, pâté, pimento studded bologna, and liverwurst. Basically, more German cold cuts than can be found in any single Capital Region locale other than Rolf’s. Also on the table were some cheeses, although these were primarily French except for a semi-firm Black Forest cheese which was pleasantly mild with a thick thread of smoke in the center. I need to talk to the Cheese Traveler about that one. The other cheeses were a St. Andre triple cream, a bleu and a camembert, each beautifully spreadable and delicious.
To round things out (my stomach, more specifically), there was some fantastic yogurt with way less sugar than its American counterpart, cereal, fruit and some sweet cherry tomatoes from Spain. This type of breakfast is leisurely – one has a small plate and fills it maybe a couple of times. The coffee is strong, with a nice crema layer on top, and each cup is brewed to order. It all has a very Continental feel to it and I think it buries the French petite de jeuner. Frühstück – it’s breakfast.
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a kick ass bialy from All Good Bakers. Ok, people, you must know about our DelSo Farm to Bakery restaurant, right? Britin does a great job promoting their efforts and if there is a discussion about locally sourced produce or dairy, you can be sure she’ll chime in. She and Nick happily brought their business to the neighborhood where they also reside and have inspired others to follow them, be it literally, as in the case of their former Farmer’s Market neighbors who have taken the space to their right, or more philosophically, as evidenced by some thoughtful changes to the menu at their neighbors on the other side. Make no mistake about AGB being exclusively a spot for baked goods – their menu is much more comprehensive than mere carbs! So, go for breakfast or lunch and take some of Nick’s baked goods home for later. And seriously, if one of Nick’s bialys inspires words of love, wouldn’t a holiday gift of a share of All Good Baker’s Community Supported Bakery Program prompt something along the lines of flat out adoration? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.
Filed under Albany, baking, breakfast, Brunch, Christmas, Delaware Avenue, DelSo, Eating, favorites, ideas, Local, Recommendations, soup
There’s something about a frosty morning that inspires me to turn my oven on and get busy roasting and baking. An apple pie seems the perfect quick project to accomplish three tasks – warm up a cool kitchen, fragrance a cozy home and use up the last of those damn apples now that my box of citrus is filling my fruit crisper.
I really am not much of a baker because I have a tendency to wing it, something that can result in disaster when it comes to baking. Pie, though? Please! Pie is a crust or two and some filling – easy, peasy as the phrase goes. I peeled 7 apples and sliced them and then tossed them in a bowl with maybe 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, a couple of tablespoons of flour (this helps the juices tighten up) and a bit of cinnamon and ground ginger. (Confession: I use pre-made pie crusts. Sorry, but I’m just not into making pie crust and my family isn’t discerning enough to complain.) I unrolled a crust into my favorite deep pie dish, loaded it with my apple mixture and topped it with a second crust. My crimping skills leave much to be desired, but here’s how it looked before hitting the oven for 50 minutes at 375 degrees:
I intended to take a picture of the finished product, but when you live with teenagers it is a challenge to photograph baked goods before they’ve been compromised by ravenous boys. The photo below is the best I could do.
It’s fruit and milk, right?
I’d like to publicly thank Griffin for indulging me by making that serving of pie a la mode the second course of his Sunday morning breakfast all for the sake of my Delso readers. What a guy!
I’m not a vegetarian, but every once in a while I have a dish that tells me I could be
without missing meat at all. Like this fabulous mushroom dish prepared by Jason Baker, the chef at the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark
– where I am lucky enough to work a couple of nights a week. Damn, that was tasty!
|King Oyster Mushroom small plate – by Jason Baker
Thanks to another guy, Jonathan
, at the bistro, I experienced my first savory bread pudding recently. It isn’t often that I request a recipe
from someone, but this bread pudding was unlike anything I’ve ever eaten – earthy, cheesy, and a touch squashy sweet – delicious comfort food perfect for a potluck, brunch or Super Bowl party. I made mine with a molasses sweetened multi-grain bread, which I think added a nice dark richness to the finished product. Next time I make it (and there most certainly will be a next time), I will be a bit less enthusiastic about the amount of bread I use. It was a tad
drier than I would have liked. Nonetheless, the kale released a bit of juice which prevented things from being too
dry and the 5th period lunch crew really seemed to enjoy my Monday offering.
|Bubbly, hot veggies, cheese and bread – oh, my!
There were some leftovers to contend with and, in my opinion, this dish screamed for a fried egg or two to take it to a whole ‘nother time of the day – breakfast. I’m a big fan of getting some fruit and/or veggies servings in early in the day and this recipe does the trick. Don’t be shy – add some ham or smoked salmon, maybe mix things up with spinach or a variety of squashes. Remember – it’s your meal! Or meals, as the case may be.
|The breakfast version. You know I like me a fried egg. Or two.
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. I loved the smells that wafted through the house gently waking me with the promise of turkey, to be followed by pie. No two Thanksgivings were precisely the same, the faces around the table varied, but there was a familiar quality to the day – watching the parade while playing a board game, helping with dinner preparations by staying out of the way until it was time to set the table. There was always laughter and a sense of sharing that transcended a mere meal consumed simultaneously.
I feel sorry for Kristi Gustafson Barlette. Despite being one of the few people “who actually likes her family,” she doesn’t seem to get Thanksgiving. It isn’t about the food being bland or the time of day it is being served. Or even what we’re wearing. The significance of taking a day, (or a half day these days due to the commercialization of our national day of giving thanks), to pause and consider all of the gifts we receive, got lost somewhere on the way to her emotional in-box.
I don’t mean to completely rag on KGB, but she does seem to court criticism and controversy in an apparent bid for attention and blog traffic. There were plenty of comments made on her post about this topic and many were in complete support of her younger, much taller Scrooge impersonation. As I ran a flat, suburban 5k this morning, I counted far more blessings than miles. I decided that what I really loved about Thanksgiving was that it reminded me of a second Sunday – a fat newspaper to leisurely read, more coffee, maybe something with bubbles scandalously early, cooking, football or music, people we love nearby…
I just finished having a late breakfast with my boys. This is the second year I’ve planned a Thanksgiving that did not include spending the entire day with the boys, or the extended family to which they will always belong. The fact that we ate bagels instead of a predictable mix of white and dark meat had no bearing on the value of our time spent together.
After a meal shared with my children, a meal when Liam sang, with tears welled up in his eyes, a beautiful version of a hymn he learned attending church with his grandmother, Griffin shared stories of himself – a 7th grader straddling the intersection of boy and young man, and Quinn shared his bagel and his last piece of pear, Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday of the year.