Tag Archives: breakfast

Putting the pumpkin back in pumpkin spice.

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Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

I got riled up the other morning.

This does not happen often. I am typically pretty happy-go-lucky, but Facebook took me over the edge.

It wasn’t a political statement, first-world problems or one of the uglier -isms, no it was pumpkin spice. In  a world where we increasingly vilify real food in favor of weird, processed and extracted things like the powders, bars and Big Macs that are slowly killing us, I hit my wall at this autumn’s onslaught of pumpkin spice.

The aforementioned lattes, scones and pancakes are delicious, I’m sure, but they owe their flavor to pumpkin as much as a green Jolly Rancher gains its tart/sweet bite from apple juice. Rather than stew, I stood up and entered the kitchen, pulling a container of freshly roasted Galeux d’Eysines pumpkin out of the fridge. I combined it with oatmeal and baking spices, two tablespoons of maple sugar and a pinch of salt.

And…? Success! Pumpkin spice that tasted like pumpkin. A breakfast with enough fibre to make every dietary organization in America faint with delight. Most importantly, it was hearty and delicious, the perfect start to a crisp fall or brisk winter day. You could even enjoy it with a latte.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Serves 4

Fresh pumpkin makes his extra special. Roast a peanut pumpkin, Speckled Hound, Long Island Cheese or Hubbard. Or open up a can. Just make sure there’s real pumpkin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 3 tbs maple or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground all spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  • Mix together all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring as oatmeal thickens.
  • Cook to desired thickness, remove from heat and serve.

Surprise!

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Easter EggWhen I was four or five we had a jellybean hunt instead of an Easter egg hunt. File that away for later.

At the age of fourteen, on the Saturday before Easter, I snuck out of the house at 10pm, after everyone had gone to bed, and rode my bike down the hill to the local Dairy Mart. I purchased four dozen eggs, several dying kits and one package of those plastic, shrink-wrap collars that cling to the egg when submerged in boiling water.

Back home at 11:00PM I hardboiled and decorated each of the 48 eggs. They were dyed brightly, names added with the clear, wax crayon, and the Paas stickers, including the turtle and the little, golden cross, placed carefully.

Well past midnight I snuck quietly out into the backyard and hid each of the 48 eggs before creeping up to my third floor bedroom and drifting off to sleep, smiling, knowing I would wake to greet my family with this wonderful surprise.

I rose Easter Sunday about 1 hour after my dad, who was up early to let the dogs out. I came down and announced, beaming, the prior night’s mischief. Dad, looking worried, walked me out into the yard. “Do you remember,” he said, “when we had the jellybean hunt for Easter?”

“Of course,” I replied. It had seemed so different and magic at the time.

“We had planned an outdoor Easter egg hunt that year too, but when we let the dogs out, they ate each and everyone of the eggs. I suspect they did the same thing this morning.”

Sure enough, the eggs were gone. Every one of them. All that was left were pieces of shell and the chewed plastic shrink-wraps. Dad and I walked back inside, and he let me help hide the two dozen eggs we had decorated as a family the afternoon before.

NOTE: For those of you worries about the dogs, our two labs were just fine, despite looking a bit smug that morning.

Spinach Frittata

Spinach FrittataIngredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound spinach leaves, stemmed
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp cream
  • 1/2 tsp
  • nutmeg
  • cayenne
  • white pepper

Directions:

  • Warm oil over medium heat in a 12″ skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add spinach to pan and cook until wilted and most of the water has evaporated. About 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove spinach to cutting board and chop finely.
  • Whisk together eggs, and cream. Season with salt, a few grinds of pepper and a pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne.
  • Return pan to medium heat and melt butter, swirling to coat the bottom and edges of the pan.
  • Sprinkle the spinach over the bottom of the pan, and gently pour the eggs over the top. If the eggs don’t spread evenly over the pan, gently tip the pan to distribute.
  • Now, stop messing with the eggs. Don’t stir them. Cover the pan with a lid and let them sit for 5 minutes or so. Take a quick look, and if they are nearly set, move a rubber spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the frittata. Return the cover and cook until the eggs on top are set.
  • Once finished, remove from heat and loosen the frittata with a rubber spatula and slide it onto a cutting board or serving plate. If it feels like it won’t loosen from the pan, cut it into wedges or squares and remove it piece by piece. Either way, it tastes awesome!