• what’s your number one breakfast?

    That’s the question I asked my coworkers in the bakery a few weeks back. We often pass the time by asking each other random questions like, “Top three road trip gas station snacks!” or “If you could put a bustling metropolis anywhere, where would you put it?” or “Best beach drink!” This time, the answers came without hesitation, hilarious in their specificity:

    Luke: Fresh sourdough toast with sliced tomato, soft-boiled egg, crumbly dry cheese, basil and other herbs and a balsamic vinegar and oil drizzle, plus coffee. 

    Morgan: Toasted ciabatta or sourdough, cream cheese schmear, heirloom tomato, soft-poached egg, bacon, arugula, chives, and brown butter drizzle.

    Hugo: Huevos rancheros — my mom’s.

    And what was my favorite breakfast, they wondered? A big ol’ hot latte and a plain Magpie croissant.

    But then we dug in a little deeper because there are different kinds of breakfasts, donchaknow. It all depends on the situation because a number one weekday breakfast morning is different from an out-on-the-town breakfast is different from a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast. And it depends on one’s mood as well. Hoo boy, tell a bunch of foodies to pick a favorite and watch them light up!

    The other day I made breakfast out on the grill. Halfway through my meal I was like, Hang on a sec — We freaking made all of this.

    Sourdough bread that I made.
    Butter I churned from cows that my husband milked.
    Jelly canned from grapes that we grew (or rather, that happened to grow on our property).
    Sausage from pigs we raised.
    Eggs from my daughter’s chickens. 

    And that — getting to geek out over just how well I know my food — was the actual best.

    Now it’s your turn. What’s your number one breakfast?

    P.S. Speaking of best beach drinks, Morgan fixed us a killer one this week: Coconut La Croix, juice from some leftover blueberry compote from the diner, lime wedge, vanilla, and a splash of Bai Coconut Water. It tasted exactly like how sunscreen smells: of sunshine and wet bathing suits and freedom.

    Rum was the next logical addition, and we debated long and hard about whether or not to fetch a bottle from the bar, but in the end we decided against it, seeing as it was 10:30 in the morning and we were at work and all.

    This same time, years previous: the quotidian (5.22.23), on being a family of four, popovers, garlic flatbreads with fresh herbs, the quotidian (5.20.19), a problem, pinned, sautéed lambsquarters with lemon, ice cream supper, the basics.

  • the quotidian (5.13.24)

    Quotidian: daily, usual or customary;
    everyday; ordinary; commonplace

    Down to the last drop.

    Burger buns.

    Pizza buns.

    Veggie buns.

    Racking jack.

    (It’s actually called “cyser” but I don’t like how that word sounds.)

    Sun ripples.

    Naptime.

    Farmboy.

    She loves her chickens!

    Gearing up.

    Senior self portrait.

    It’s officially GREEN out there!

    Couch cuddles.

    Magical.

    This same time, years previous: civil rights learning tour: Jackson, currently, when there’s “nothing” to eat, the quotidian (5.13.19), Thursday snippets, driving home the point, on getting a teen out of bed in the morning, the quotidian (5.12.14), maseca cornbread.

  • spicy water

    “Spicy” is how my children used to describe carbonated beverages.

    In my house, seltzer is one of my pantry staples. Nothing fancy, just liter bottles of plain, storebrand fizzy water. I sometimes make cocktails with it, but more often than not, I simply pour a couple tablespoons of homecanned fruit juice into the bottom of a pint jar, fill it with ice, and then top it off with seltzer. It’s a good way to get fancy drink vibes without an excess of sugar, and it’s wonderfully refreshing. 

    IMG_4778

    But I’ve always felt kinda bad because: all those plastic bottles. Even though we reuse some of them as water bottles, most of them are a one-time use product. And I wasn’t too keen on the cost of the seltzer, either. It was usually only about $1.29 a liter, but that adds up. Plus, it’s water, something I can drink for (almost) free straight from the tap. 

    I did look into getting my own carbonator, but the cartridges are expensive and seemed like such a hassle, having to return them and get fresh ones so frequently. They’d save on bottles, yes, but cost? Not so much. 

    But the other week when I was visiting a new-to-me friend I’d met at Ultimate, she mentioned that they had a carbonator that her husband had “hacked” to hook up to a whole freaking tank of CO2 and I was like, YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. 

    I wasted no time. I ordered a carbonator ($110) and an adaptor thingy ($32), and then I drove to Airgas and purchased a five-pound tank of CO2: the tank itself cost about $90 and then the CO2 was $30 on top of that. 

    It felt like a big investment — $263.98 is a big investment! — but now that it’s all set up, it feels perfectly reasonable. It costs $30 to refill the tank and each tank should last for about 100 liters* of carbonation, somewhere between six months to a year, depending on our guzzling speed. That’s a freakin’ lot of spicy water.

    cold beverages carbonate better; thus the ice

    Plus, just think of all those plastic bottles I won’t be buying. 

    We put the carbonator on the coffee stand (which is rapidly getting overrun with all my beverage paraphernalia — electric kettle, coffee pot, coffee grinder, and now the carbonator), and we tucked the tank of CO2, like a taller, skinnier fire extinguisher, down in the corner between the wall and the shelf. 

    Having carbonated water at my fingertips is a never-ending source of joy for me. It’s a simple way to treat myself, and I think our homemade carbonated water tastes different — better — than the store-bought. Sweeter, perhaps. 

    But maybe that’s just my happiness talking.

    *Someone on reddit said that they carbonated 157 2-liter bottles from a 5-pound tank which comes down to about 10 cents per liter for CO2. 

    ***

    P.S. WARNING: If experimenting with carbonating iced coffee concentrate, make sure to FULLY release the pressure before unscrewing the cap.

    Because if you don’t, you might spend a good hour of your afternoon scrubbing your carpets, floors, fridge, stove, computer, cheese press, cheese, ceiling, clothes, notebooks, phone, chairs, etc, etc, etc.

    What are my thoughts on carbonated coffee, you ask?

    I do not like it. Not at all.

    But maybe that’s just the rage talking.

    This same time, years previous: civil rights learning tour: montgomery and selma, eat more spinach!, milk, the coronavirus diaries: week nine, our sweet Francie, settling in, the quotidian (5.8.17), Moroccan carrot and chickpea salad.