JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, June 06, 2005

More things for breakfast ...

It's a problem, breakfast, because Lucius is so keen on a traditional fry-up (weekends only), and of course we don't do that any more. Two eggs a week, no sausages, not much bacon. But actually, there's lots of other things you can eat which are much better all round. Tomatoes on toast (wholemeal, unless we've run out, in which case there's generally the children's nasty white sliced); mushrooms on toast (much more delicious cooked with a bit of stock, some sherry or wine, and a little Worcester sauce); scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (that's my favourite); kippers.

I like fruit and yoghurt. At the moment, I'm eating a lot of rhubarb, cooked in orange juice/zest (so from a fruit, not a box), with a little honey stirred in. Later in the summer, I'll go back to my autumn and winter staple, plums halved and baked in grape juice with cinammon and cloves. For a change, I also do dried fruit, which I cook in lots of different liquids, and flavour on a whim with various different spices. Cardamom features regularly, as does China tea. When the gooseberries are ready to pick, I will cook them with elderflower (and if it's over by then, I'll stir a little elderflower cordial into the fruit after it's cooled). None of this takes very long, and I generally do it while I'm cooking anyway. Then I don't have to think in the morning. Stewed apple is an autumn breakfast, but that's more trouble - none of the others needs much preparation. Having said that, it's worthwhile trouble, because you can't buy cooked apples with the delicious sharpness of apples stewed at home (even when you're finishing up the wizened ones at the bottom of the fruit bowl, even when they're all eating apples rather than cookers).

This week I bought a juicer in a sale, because a friend who came to supper gave us a huge quantity of grapes, more than we were able to eat. The grape juice was nicer than any I've ever bought, so it was quite inspiring. My heart sinks at the thought of "healthy" things like carrot juice and spinach juice (both suggested on the box the juicer came in), but I'd quite like to experimeent with tomato juice. I've never been able to understand why commercial tomato juice has so much salt ...

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