April 23, 2006

What's for Breakfast?

I usually try to make breakfast in at least once during the weekend. Not only is it a whole different range of cooking from my evening adventures, but it helps keep the budget under control. Like everyone else, I have my favourites - the frequent fliers that I turn to when adventure is out of the question - when the day is scheduled too tightly, for example. This is yesterday's breakfast - fairly self-explanatory in the main, but still worthy of a little explication.

I make steamed eggs fairly often - it is my go-to "basic breakfast" choice over fried, scrambled, or boiled. I often top the eggs with hot sauce before they go into the steamer - cooking in a layer of flavour. Yesterday, however, I wanted to try out my new Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, so the eggs remained pristine until they hit the plate. The verdict on the salt was - delicious! The crystals are much coarser than kosher salt, but with a flat, shingle-like appearance. Unlike my other fancy salts of the moment, Fleur de Sel and Brittany Organic Grey Sea Salt, the grains do not clump together at all, allowing for easy placement on a plated dish.

For those of you unfamiliar with the delights of a southern breakfast, the creamy mass shown at the bottom of the picture is hominy grits with cheese and sliced chile peppers. Enormously easy to make (I use Alber's Quick Grits, which I have to buy in Bellingham, because most grocers up here don't even seem to know what they are, let along stock them), grits fill in the role of potatoes in other breakfasts - although a true southern breakfast might have both, I suppose.

The first time I ever had grits was in New Orleans - at
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. I wouldn't have naturally stumbled into a place that was clearly a tourist-trap in many ways, but the daily noon downpour had just begun, and we had ducked into the restaurant in time to get a seat rather than ride out the darkened sky and hour of skin-piercing rain huddled in the doorway looking hopeful and trying not to shiver. The menu contained "Shrimp & Grits" and it seemed like as good a time as any to check them out. I've become quite a fan. I can't even listen to Jimmy Buffett without thinking of grits, such is the power of association...

I should confess that I do not usually pile the bacon onto my plate with quite such abandon. I could tell you that it was for photographic purposes, as the two strips I usually have would look paltry in comparison, but the truth is that I was working from frozen, and didn't have the time or patiences to defrost the bacon to just use what I needed. I slung the extra few strips into the pan, and we simply forced ourselves to eat them! Fortification, you know, against a day where food would be something of an unknown quantity.

This leaves only the toast left for analysis:
Healthy Way's organic whole wheat bread, made without flour, but instead using ground, sprouted grain and vital wheat gluten to adjust the texture. The breads are good - although I fancy the Alpine Chipmunk Loaf more than the plain whole wheat, which may surprise those of you who are used to me avoiding anything whole or crunchy in my bread. There is no glucose/fructose (better known as High Fructose Corn Syrup) in either of these loaves, and no refined white flour. They are very tasty. The website linked above claims that the organic breads are only available in Atlantic Canada, but this is clearly out of date.

So, no smoothies, yesterday - I was out of fruit - so now I'm pretty much craving one. Perhaps today for lunch...


Randi said...

Omg, I love grits. I get mine in MI because no one here stocks them either. Have you ever had stone ground grits from an old fashioned grist mill? Those are amazing. Lex Culinaria loves grits too. A few months ago, she sent me a check and I sent her 3 containers of grits. LOL>

Dawna said...

Hi Randi - it's great to have friends with access to the good stuff! I have American friends whom I occasionally ask to bring me stuff when they come across the border, and when I manage to go myself, the border guards always roll their eyes at what I'm claiming for: hot sauce & grits!

I haven't tried the old fashioned grits yet - the only stoneground grits available here are really polenta, and are not made from hominy. I'm pretty fond of polenta, but it's not the same deal, at all.