My free time is practically non-existent these days, but I also know how important it is for Nigel and I to eat good quality, nutrient dense meals; AND more than just once a day. I have too often tried to squeeze too many tasks into the same half hour; washing dishes, straightening up, checking emails all while cooking dinner. And you know what? I have all too often burned or over cooked those meals.
At the opposite end of the spectrum I will be the first to tell you the magic of cooking happens when you leave your day behind and get into the zen of it all. More than once have I experienced a complete reversal of a day’s worth of aches, pains and stress (I think the glass of wine I usually sip on while cooking helps a little!) while standing in front of my cooktop, it is true bliss for me. But there are those times when I really just can’t stand the mess and chaos around me, so I choose a meal that can cook low and slow.
It is Sunday morning, I worked the market yesterday and am more than exhausted. It was a busy week and there is laundry to fold, still have cleaning up from Friday night and general tidying up to do, but I want a good hearty breakfast. I have decided on grits (aka less fancy sounding Polenta), a bit of chopped up Damn Fine Bacon, spinach sautéed in the bacon pan and two eggs light fried on top of the spinach.
I am actually writing this while that is all cooking. The first thing I did was start the grits, I used 1/2 cup grits to 3 cups of salted water, brought to a boil and immediately turned it to low, stirring often in the beginning. Then I chopped the bacon and threw it into a pan heated to medium warm. While that was cooking I washed a good handful of spinach. Once the bacon was mostly cooked I threw the spinach right on top of it. In between and around these steps I have washed dishes, straightened up the counter and now while the spinach is cooking I am writing this!
While performing other tasks I try always to pay attention to the smells coming out of the kitchen. Your nose is one of the most important cooking tools you have, whether you are stove top cooking, roasting or baking, scent will tell you a lot and can quite often save you from the brink of disaster!
Now I am going back to my breakfast, will quickly cook a few eggs right on top of the spinach and bacon. Put some grits into a large bowl and top with bacon/spinach/egg. A little zest of lemon will make it particularly special OR use some Eatwell Lemon salt. Bon Appetit! - Lorraine