Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Breakfasts of Champions

We take breakfast pretty seriously, chez English. I've long been the kind of person that wakes up completely ravenous (I'm starting to think Huxley may have inherited this trait from me because dude wakes up really wanting to chow down, stat). Since Hubs needs a bit longer to rouse himself when the sun is making its climb in the sky (I'm the morning dove, he's the night owl), I typically let out the chickens and give them fresh feed and water, feed the cats, let the dogs do their thing in the yard, get Huxley out of his overnight diaper and playing in the kitchen with me, drink a glass of water, put the kettle on, grind some coffee beans (more often than not with a bit of fresh cardamom seeds), check my email quickly, and then eat some yogurt with berries and honey while feeding Huxley some plain yogurt with fresh fruit.

If I didn't start with that glass of water and that bowl of yogurt, I'd be a grouchy, cantankerous, curmudgeonly lady. I gotta eat, or I'm just no good. After Hubs wakes up, has his own glass of water (we drink water first thing to re-alkalinze, as the body does lots of restorative work overnight and renders the blood ph a bit acidic come morning), and a few sips of his coffee (I make his mug up just like he likes it and keep it ready and waiting for him), then we get down to the real business of making breakfast.

Pictured above are two breakfasts we had this past weekend. On top you'll see drop buttermilk biscuits smothered (because biscuits, you see, get "smothered", not "covered") in homemade herb sausage gravy, partnered up with a poached egg, and topped with fresh cilantro. The sausage was from nearby Hickory Nut Gap farm and is transcendent. The eggs were from our ladies. The cilantro (as well as the thyme and marjoram used in the gravy) are growing in our herb beds, and the tomatoes are from our kitchen garden.

The second photo shows a steak & egg sandwich. Again, we turned to the wonderful Hickory Nut Gap for our meat, our flock for the eggs, and our garden for the lettuces and tomatoes. The bread is locally made and was lightly toasted. I've yet to truly conqure bread-making, but it's on my life list and I'm hoping to get my skilled bread-making buddy Natalia-who is French and gorgeous and does things like make her own sauerkraut and render her own lard while homeschooling her three equally gorgeous daughters-to teach a class out here that I can learn from, too.

Both meals were crazy delicious and really pretty easy to make. I feel amazingly fortunate to both live in an area that provides such wonderful foods, and to have a spouse that gets into food and cooking as much as I do. Or maybe he just does so in order to stave off the morning hag...;^)


Cat K. said...

Girl, you are making me drool all over my keyboard. Breakfast food has got to be the most fun to cook, and you're right--we are certainly blessed to live in a land of plenty where all of this is concerned. :)

Lauren Jamison said...

Yum, yum and yum. That makes my pitiful lunch salad seem so unappetizing :)

Liane said...

my oh my. way to do brekkie. as for the bread, you cannot mess up this recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html and it's so easy huxley could make it. i've substituted up to half of the white flour with various other more nutritious flours with success.

Alison said...

That looks so good! I love me some poached eggs. And HNG breakfast sausage is the best! Any chance you'd share the herb gravy recipe?

6512 and growing said...

I would love a recipe for the sausage gravy. We make our own sausage and gravy would be divine.

moment to moment said...

mmmmmm, sound so yummy, and though we do not eat a whole lot of meat, I do miss that yummy sausage from Hickery NutGap farm, nothing like knowing where it all comes from...

Liz said...

Oooooh gorgeous. Minus the meat, that is our kind of breakfast!

I second the no-knead bread suggestion. It's a dream - easy and absolutely delicious.

elisa said...

just heaven. and such a delight when the young ones start joining in on the feast! you will love baking bread together. x

Kayla said...

Wow, both breakfasts look champ worthy. I am partial to the gravy smother, of course, being from the South. Awesome idea about grinding cardamom with the coffee! I'll give it a try in the morning!

Baby By The Sea said...

Thanks for the reminder to drink water in the morning. And, yup. steak.and.eggs. I really like that first meal of the day, too. It's my favorite to go out and eat...

Jamie said...

I LOVE,LOVE Breakfast foods!!!When my son was in ps I would make him a big fresh breakfast NOT cold cereal and now that we homeschool I still make them but we can have them for lunch as well.
I enjoy getting fresh eggs from our hens and making eggs in the morning.

Stephinie ~ Gypsy Forest said...

YUM!! Just found your space after finding your books. I've been recommending Canning & Preserving to every new canner out there. Love it ;)

penelope said...

that steak and egg sandwich is beyond. it really reminds me of a breakfast my dad used to make...or lunch..where he would use left over venison steak and cheddar and my mom's homemade bread. (i don't think i had a slice of store-bought bread at home my entire life) thanks for nice post!

ashley english said...

for those of you that asked, here's hubs' gravy recipe, in his own words:

1 lb sausage
1 tbs butter for cooking the sausage
2 tbs butter for the roux for the gravy
3 tbs flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white or rose wine
1 tbs fresh chopped thyme
1 tbs fresh chopped marjoram
1 tbs fresh chopped sage or a tsp dried sage.
A pinch of salt
A few grinds black pepper
1 tbs chopped cilantro or parsley

Melt a tbs of butter over medium heat in the pan, and saute the sausage with a pinch of salt and a few grinds black pepper.
Crumble the sausage as much as possible, and stir frequently till it is cooked through.
Remove sausage from the pan, and set aside.
Melt two tbs of butter into the pan, and stir in the flour.
Add a few tbs of the chicken stock and stir that in.
Add the rest of the chicken stock and stir that in.
Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring it in.
Add the wine, and stir that in.
Stir in the sausage.
Cook down for about 15 minutes, then add the thyme, marjoram, and sage.
Cook for a few more minutes, till desired consistency is reached.
Ladle over biscuits, and top with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley if you like.

Apseed said...

You're so lucky! Breakfast looks so delicious!

Linda | Garden Betty said...

This is my kinda breakfast!! I can almost taste the gravy!

Love how you narrated your morning routine... it sounds just like my hubby and me, only in reverse. So nice to wake up to a hot cup of coffee (single-filter Vietnamese for us, with a dollop of condensed milk) and a slice of jammy toast already on the table for me...

Suzanne said...

ooooohhhhh...so delicious!