Saturday, January 25, 2014

Strange day

You know those nights when you go to bed early, then are up two hours later, two more hours later, an hour after that (at which time you stay up and play a couple of computer games), only to be catapulted out of bed in another two hours by a calf cramp so severe you still feel it twinging at dinnertime?

Yeah, one of those.

I moved so slowly after such a rude beginning that breakfast could be called brunch, or even, given the time I finally ate, lunch. It's become a regular thing for me to make a pretty big Saturday breakfast. This morning, the execution took careful planning. Cook several slices of bacon first, while a potato is spending a minute or two in the microwave. Chop the potato up. Put the bacon on paper towel to drain. Pour most of the bacon grease into an old tin can.

Most, but not all, since potatoes fried in bacon grease are better than, well, almost anything.

Fry the potatoes. While they are going, chop up the two portabella mushroom caps that need to be used up. Put the finished potatoes and the bacon on a plate, and the plate into a 170 degree oven to keep warm. Add a little butter to the pan; add mushrooms.

While the mushrooms cook, mix up a couple of eggs. When the mushrooms are done, add them to the plate in the oven. Pour the eggs into the hot pan and let cook until almost set. Sprinkle with a little cheese, fold over and roll out onto the plate with everything else on it.


Oh - and as soon as the eggs are out of the (cast iron) pan, rinse it out, wipe out any lingering eggs, dry it, put it back on the still warm burner and wipe some cooking oil over the interior surfaces. This is the only good thing about an electric range; the residual heat on the burners helps make sure the cast iron dries completely.

After that, I spent quality time in the recliner reading with my eyes shut and not really listening to a couple of episodes of Fringe.

I made up for my sloth later, though. About three p.m. I wandered into the studio and got back to sewing down the appliques on the sunflower jacket. This kind of thing is not my kind of thing, if you know what I mean, so there is a bit of a learning curve involved. Though most people won't notice, I can see definite improvement between the first of the three small sunflowers on the back and the one small sunflower on the front. All that is left is the big one in front, and I can move on to the rest of the finishing. I'll try to take pictures for tomorrow.

In the midst of the sewing, the giant breakfast wore off. A couple of weeks ago I'd picked up the Kindle version of Michael Symon's "Five in Five" cookbook. The recipes use five or fewer ingredients, plus pantry staples and cook up in around five minutes. I'd bought a bunch of kale - which I've never had - specifically to make one of the pasta dishes. Why not tonight?

I had to cut it down to a single serving, as I only had one Italian sausage in the freezer (and what is up with that?). Take it out of the casing and fry it up nice and dark. Meanwhile, boil the water and cook up some medium shells. Add some chopped up kale to the sausage, cook for a minute, then use a bit of the pasta water to deglaze the pan. Put the drained pasta in the skillet with the sausage and kale, mix it, then dump in a bowl and add parmesan cheese.

Not too bad. The kale is milder in fall and winter than during the rest of the year, apparently, and it lent a nice, slightly spicy crunch to the dish. The liquid left from the deglazing made a little thin sauce to coat the pasta. I'll make it again, if only because it's an easy way for me to get some green veggies in.

We'll see what tonight's sleep looks like. Maybe the cooking, cleaning up after cooking and sewing have worn me out enough to keep me asleep through the night.

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