“What would you like for breakfast?” I asked. “I never met an egg I didn’t like,” said my very dear friend Chris Kliesen Wehrman with a gleam in her eye one morning after she had spent the night at our house.
And so Chris got an omelet. I don’t remember which kind. Little did she know that she’d said exactly what I’d always felt, but never expressed. I loved eggs. I always have. I always will. When I get up in the morning, I never know what that egg will call me to do. It may sing along with me while I sniff out a small bowl of soup from last night’s dinner for Oven-Baked Vegetable Soup with Poached Egg or–if it’s Easter Monday– grab a plateful of grilled asparagus that needs to be eaten so I can make Sautéed Asparagus with Eggs on Top, Garnished with Boiled Eggs.
There are exceptions, but I usually honestly haven’t a clue what I’ll do until my feet hit the floor and I’ve had my coffee. Sometimes even I can’t believe what happens at that stove. Just for fun, because eggs are good pantry items (they keep a really long time) and because you’re probably not going out for breakfast, I thought I’d put together a post showing off some of the egg dishes — not all for breakfast — I’ve made and blogged over the years.
Do you cook a lot of breakfast or eggs at home? Or if you didn’t used to, do you now that we’re in our houses so much more? I’m wondering what’s changed since folks can’t run out to their local greasy spoon or fast food drive-through quite so easily for their egg, bacon, and potato fix. I know there are a slew of humans who are missing meeting their morning coffee buddies, too. One thing’s for sure: people love breakfast, but there aren’t nearly as many breakfast recipes floating around as there are ones for dinner. I mean, how many breakfast cookbooks do you have? Any? And in the food magazines, what percentage of each issue is devoted to breakfast? In their own kitchens, it always sounds to me that folks eat just about exactly the same breakfast every morning. And they like it that way. Everyone is pretty specific about how they like their eggs…or toast…or even their bacon. (Extra crispy, please!) Even Ina Garten eats oatmeal EVERY morning, right?! Maybe that’s all about to change. And, of course there are also many breakfasts without eggs… but we’ll save those for another day.
About the photos and recipes below. Sometimes I just snap a picture with whatever is closest at hand; there’s no recipe. For those, I’ve included basic directions under the photos if needed. One or two like “Avocado Toast with Poached Egg, Tomato, and Salsa” are hopefully self-explanatory. Most times, there’s a real recipe with images I’ve put it right here on More Time or on my now-finished blog, dinnerplace.blogspot.com and you can click on the link in red that will take you to the post and the recipe. The pix are varied–taken with tiny old school Kodak or Sony travel cameras 10 or more years ago, my iPhone, or my newer sleek as _ _ _ _ Canon. Anyway, you’ll get the picture. No pun intended. So if you ever get tired of yogurt or overnight oats, want to expand your eggy repertoire, or dream of feeding friends or family something new for brunch, this is a place you might visit again. I’m hoping that’s the case. Enjoy:
ABOVE: Poached Eggs on Cheesy Tomatoes. Directions: Poach eggs. Meanwhile, run sliced tomatoes topped with a slice of cheese under broiler ’til cheese melts. Top with egg. S/P.
Grandpa : Well let me tell you something now, Johnny. Last Thursday, I turned 95 years old. And I never exercised a day in my life. Every morning, I wake up, and I smoke a cigarette. And then I eat five strips of bacon. And for lunch, I eat a bacon sandwich. And for a midday snack?
John : Bacon.
Grandpa : Bacon! A whole damn plate! And I usually drink my dinner. Now according to all of them flat-belly experts, I should’ve took a dirt nap like thirty years ago. But each year comes and goes, and I’m still here. Ha! And they keep dyin’. You know? Sometimes I wonder if God forgot about me. Just goes to show you, huh?
~”Grumpier Old Men” Grandpa Gustafson: Burgess Meredith. John Gustafson: Jack Lemon
above: GRILLED ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE AND BOILED EGGS
DIRECTIONS: ASPARAGUS WITH EGGS AND LEMON VINAIGRETTE. One of my favorite Easter sides or starters. Oven roast the trimmed asparagus (seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper) 425 deg F for about 12 min (or grill). Place on large round platter in sun burst pattern (or on oblong platter), add chopped boiled eggs at center, and garnish with lemon vinaigrette. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold!!
LEMON VINAIGRETTE: Whisk well together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, a good pinch each of salt, pepper, dried oregano or dill or 1 tablespoon fresh chives (herbs optional), and crushed red pepper. Drizzle in slowly 1/2 cup olive oil, whisking until well-combined or thickened (emulsified.)
ANOTHER VERSION of mine includes tossing the asparagus with orange zest after cooking + before adding vinaigrette. (Perfect with green beans or broccoli instead, too!!)
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
― A.A. Milne
And whether you are inside in front of a fire, candles burning brightly on a wintery day – or outside on a patio enjoying the morning sun – whether you are having a group of friends and family, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace of the whole day.
~Susan Branch, DAYS FROM THE HEART OF THE HOME
“Her cuisine is limited but she has as good an idea of breakfast as a Scotchwoman.”
[Sherlock Holmes, on Mrs. Hudson’s cooking.]”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty
“And now leave me in peace for a bit! I don’t want to answer a string of questions while I am eating. I want to think!”
“Good Heavens!” said Pippin. “At breakfast?”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.”
― M.F.K. Fisher
I’m sure there’s more. Somewhere. I’ll go look. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics of my Icelandic Dark Rye Bread I made last week. You mix up this really simple no-yeast dough and bake it for 8 hours (mine took 6, but my oven was running hot) to imitate the traditional Icelandic baking near hot springs. I sourced dark rye via amazon from Great River Milling (WI) and substituted a mixture of agave and maple syrups for the golden syrup. I added chopped nuts and pepitas to the top of one and really liked it like that. Makes lovely grilled toast for peanut butter, but is good –if a tad sweet — for sandwiches, too. A little winky-dink here to protect your tender tummy: the Icelanders don’t nickname this “Thunder Bread” for nothing. Don’t snarf down a whole loaf in one sitting, ok?
Make breakfast soon.