Yesterday we traveled up along Massachusetts’ North Shore brimming with purpose. Brimming also with coffee because that is a central element of a Saturday morning in this household. We were on our way to visit Turkey Shore Distillery, to learn more about the distilling process and to pick the owner’s brain of everything he knows.
But first came a requisite stop along the beach for a walk and a picnic. We wiggled our toes in the sand, waded brashly into the water (followed by an expeditious exit back onto the shore), and enthusiastically dug holes. Well, some of us dug holes. Some of us stayed on the sidelines and cheered.
Then it came time for distilling 101. Mat, the owner, showed us around vats of molasses, their still, the hydrometer, the barrels, the bottling, the labeling. We had a blast, soaking in all the information along with the heavy perfume of rum in the air, and we were so thankful to Mat for giving us so much of his time. Squid amused herself with licking up molasses splotches from the floor. She thinks she’d make a good distillery dog.
Joel and I are actually considering starting a distillery. It’s still just a floating idea, but one that has been tugging at the skirt hems of our minds for some time now. The opportunity to take our work more in the direction of craft. We have daydreams of creating things rather than just wordprocessing them. Powerful enough dreams that some spreadsheets and research into licensing have grown out of them. But, for the moment they’re still daydreams.
We loved yesterday’s concrete view into the whole sticky business though.
Before hitting the road, we fortified ourselves with a mushroom and goat cheese frittata. Whenever I get into the subject of breakfast, I have the same response. I’m overcome with the desire to yawp, all barbaric like, “I LOVE BREAKFAST!!!!” Over the rooftops of the world, even. It’s inexplicable, how very much I love breakfast. But, love it I do. Each night, I go to bed eagerly looking forward to getting up and having breakfast (and coffee. Always coffee.).
As a result, I have been known to get up on a weekday morning and make a production. Crepes, muffins, omelets, eggs with any variety of sauteed vegetables. It’s an affliction. And, I recognize that this behavior is generally considered quite unnecessarily chipper and excessive for a weekday. On the weekend, of course, it is quite acceptable (though I know some people in our household would find it slightly more acceptable if I could contain my excitement at least until after 7:30. I say, they’re getting breakfast made for them, so they can just put up with my timing), so I feel no shame in sharing this frittata.
Of course, a frittata is a breezy enough task that it really isn’t all that ridiculous of a thing to make, even come Thursday morning in a busy week. Just whisk some eggs, deposit them in a skillet with whatever cooked vegetables you have left over from last night’s supper, sprinkle on some cheese, finish it in a hot oven, and voila. Pillowy eggs, studded with tender vegetables and melty cheese, all produced in barely more time than it would take to find the granola, pour it into a bowl, and cover it with yogurt.
The frittata is endlessly adaptable, and can be all about using what you have, or about showcasing a clever combination that you have dreamed up. I have to say that I am particularly fond of this combination of mushrooms, chevre, and a fresh sprinkling of thyme, even if it was born more of leftovers than of innovation. No one needs to know.
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Frittata (serves 2)
- 1 Tbs. butter
- about a cup of sliced mushrooms
- 4 eggs
- 1-2 oz. chevre, crumbled
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- In a medium small frying pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and foaming. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle them with a bit of salt. Saute them, stirring occasionally, until they have given off their liquid and it has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk the eggs along with a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. When the mushrooms are ready, turn the heat down to low and pour the eggs over them. Sprinkle the crumbled chevre and the thyme leaves evenly over the top.
- Allow to cook over low until the eggs have partially set, a couple minutes. Then, transfer to the oven and bake until the eggs are completely set, another 5 or so minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before serving. Frittata can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or even chilled.