A Breakfast-Induced Temporary Stay of Execution

13 Oct

This has been a rough week for blogging, for cooking, really for anything outside basic workweek survival – I’ve been so damn tired that I’ve been going to bed at the same time as my four-year-old and only waking up when the alarm jangles me most unwillingly back to my body.

I suspect it is due to some sort of vague mid-life angst, coupled with a pretty strenuous reality, what with full-time work and the whole single-mom-by-choice thing (in my darker moments I call it single-mom-no-child-support) and making three meals a day, dishes and laundry and the rest. Then the awful, dank, depressing nature of current events – if it isn’t the dismal economy, it is the petty irresponsible politicking, or any number of crimes against humanity and Mother Nature (and then of course when the nightly news focuses on something a bit less earth-shattering or relevant — like, say, the Michael Jackson murder trial — with the strange perversity of humankind and folks with graduate degrees in journalism, I rail against the infotainment that passes for news today….really, sometimes I can’t even stand myself! Lighten up, Frances, as they say).

Praying Mantis on my arm, Phillies Bridge Farm, New Paltz area

Then I heard a radio program today in which a scientist began ground-breaking studies of the Naked Mole Rat of East Africa because someone just happened to be talking about it at a dinner party and I wondered why I don’t go to dinner parties where incredibly smart and passionate people just happen to be talking about Naked Mole Rats of East Africa that turn out to hold the keys to curing cancer or some such incredibly important contribution to the betterment of our world. I do remember living in the world of ideas once; it was a very fun place of smoky rooms, lubricated with wine and heaps of good food — not always godly, but good just the same — and populated with all manner of interesting people doing interesting things (or perhaps just planning to do them, but it sounded marvellous and important and stimulating at the time).

So, obviously I am overtired and not at my rational best, but I considered giving up the blog today as a way to reduce the pressures, until I remembered that I had already uploaded the pictures for a new post, so it wouldn’t be too much work, since I am not even including a recipe. And I wanted to remind myself why I love food so much and why it is worth the effort to locate, grow or purchase good food, real food, meaningful food, sustainable and sustaining good food, regardless of whether I feel compelled to write about it (don’t even get me started on whether this blog is an act of exhibitionism, desperation, compulsion or flat out absurdity at this stage of my life).

So the meal.

Simple. Deceptively so.

Scrambled eggs. Smoky bacon. Sliced tomato.

Eggs. The eggs were from Donna’s laying hens at Restoration Farm and she gave me this dozen in a wonderful gesture of friendship and complicity in the sustainable food chain and because Leandro is one of her chickens’ biggest fans.

He was thrilled to get them and we made them together, me holding each egg while he cracked them open with a fork. We admired the vivid orange yolks from all the bugs and good stuff they eat. We added a tiny bit of milk, a grating of cheese and oregano from my container garden in the backyard.

Smoky Bacon from Old Ford Farm in New Paltz, where we had just spend three lovely days renewing my Seminar (Lang) College friendship with Hatti Langsford (the first vegetarian I had ever consciously met; I still remember her dogged — and somewhat bewildering — hunt for virtuous ingredients) and meeting her daughter, Emma, and husband, Chris. She is still a virtuous eater (though not a vegetarian) and we toured a number of local farms, as well as hiking around a lake. The bacon was from her CSA out of an old freezer in a trailer surrounded by mud from the recent floods. There was no one there to take the money; you just leave it in a little box and write your name on a list. And, as it happens, she gave a dinner party with smart and interesting people!

Picking up apples at Jenkins-Lueken Orchards, around New Paltz

Tomato. The last delicious ripe tomato of the season from our successful Earth Box, the one Leandro and I planted together and which brought us a lot of pleasure (and which I have to take down now, but nevermind thinking about all the shit I have to do).

So we had this monster breakfast me and him, and it was so honest and delicious and homey, and talked about Donna’s chickens: “You know why they laid these eggs, Mom? Because they want to say thank you for all the vegetables we gave them.”  And Emma’s house: “We have to go back there really soon. I want to hike that other trail. And Emma wants to play with me.” And the tomato: “You can have it, Mommy.”

So I did. And it was good.

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16 Responses to “A Breakfast-Induced Temporary Stay of Execution”

  1. charmfarmgal October 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Wonderful post on many levels. We’ve all had that day/week/year. Your blog makes me smile, and that’s saying a lot after my day. 🙂

    • nataliadecuba October 20, 2011 at 2:45 am #

      Thanks so much! Hope today is less angst-ridden for both of us!

  2. Cordelia de Rojas October 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Sigh… I’d kill for temperate climate produce.

    So glad you visited my blog, which led me to yours. Your comments on dinner parties really struck a chord and made me laugh which I always need and is much appreciated.

    Push through, it gets better eventually?
    ps. was last line a reference to gruffalo?

    • nataliadecuba October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

      How funny! I think I have internalized the Gruffalo so completely that I am referencing it unconsciously….Hmmm, will have to consider slipping in more of those and see who is a fellow traveller…

  3. donna sinetar October 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    the girls and I thank you for your enthusiasm. we hope you and leandro will please stop by and trade eggs for veggie snacks any time you are at the farm

    • nataliadecuba October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      Glad you had a chance to visit the blog! We love your girls!

  4. gluttonforlife October 17, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Here’s a great story from last week’s Times to let you know you are not alone out there:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/opinion/sunday/i-went-back-to-the-land-to-feed-my-family.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=sunday,%20october%209,%202011&st=Search
    I wish you courage, fortitude, and more delicious breakfasts!

    • nataliadecuba October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks so much for this link! I must say, I feel a bit inadequate after that!

  5. Kendra Loomis October 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    One of my favorites! Recipe is good, but the writing of the story is amazing and clearly demonstrates why you should still be a writer. 😀

    • nataliadecuba October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      Ah yes, for the day that I can garden, cook and write all my days away!

  6. T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types October 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    How lucky to get a taste of some of those eggs – that would perk me up in a minute!

    • nataliadecuba October 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      They are fabulous, TW….so orange-y…..so fresh!

  7. Lorraine October 14, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Cheer up Natalia….the world is what it is; it is up to each of us to make it better, one
    scrambled egg at a time!!!!!! and then just think that your blog, besides delighting
    readers, is also a great “gastronomic inheritance” in the making for your son, when
    he grows up!

    • nataliadecuba October 14, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks Lorraine! The fact that it is Friday and I am planning on a glass of locally produced wine made by some of my favorite people ever (at Paumanok Vineyards) is really making me feel better!

  8. Cara October 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Thanks for a very thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

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