processing: thought and food

12 04 2010

It’s early.

M and I walked for miles this morning and he even has me jogging now – interval training. I am a bit stiff and sore but feeling good and I am ravenous!

For the last 40 minutes, I’ve been standing on the balcony with my coffee, watching the trees sway in the cool wind and trying to come up with a name for the exact grey of the sea. I came inside to find something tasty and easy for breakfast and stood surveying the pantry shelves. Nothing inspired me and I thought I’d write about it.

I have such clear and determined intentions when it comes to my daily food choices and I try to anticipate all manner of mood contingencies when I am shopping, so that I might have a wide range of meal options. Still, there are days like these where I am stuck.

If I could have anything to eat right now, it would be a chocolate croissant from the small pâtisserie in St Thibéry, Languedoc – Roussillon.

There is something so perfect about the way the pastry peels back in many layers to reveal the rich chocolate heart. Combined with a bowl of freshly brewed coffee and a small fruit salad of plum, pear, apricot, orange, apple, pineapple, berries  and banana – it is a simply wonderful breakfast. My small island, however,  is not renown for it’s delicate pastries, although muffins and cakes are well represented, so I will not be indulging in a sweet chocolate treat this morning.

The freshness of the market produce in France and the reverence with which the French prepare their food is so inspiring to me. I met a French guy, several years ago,  in the communal kitchen of the Auberge de Jeunesse in Quimper – Brittany. Antoine was circumnavigating France in the opposite direction to Zuzu and me and we shared travel stories and he generously gave me some culinary travel tips.   I was eager to learn easy, healthy meal options that required few ingredients and could be whipped up in a hurry for a hungry little 4 year old. One of the best, in my opinion, was Antoine’s delicious, creamy mushrooms and I am forever in his debt. Merci Antoine.

Step 1: Place a dollop of lite sour cream in a small pan.

Step 2: Add nutmeg, basil and a little salt and pepper

Step 3: Add sliced mushrooms (I use button mushrooms) and some chopped garlic. Antoine suggested adding a little balsamic vinegar at this stage but I usually prefer the less complex taste.

Step 4: Sauté the mushrooms in the sour cream, stirring frequently, until they soften and release their delicious flavour and colour. The sauce becomes creamy and light brown and it tastes incredible.

Step 5: Serve on toast with fresh basil or with scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh basil.

I shall have a French breakfast, after all. The process of thinking through my menu options, from ideal to real, yielded a delicious outcome and I am looking forward to preparing and devouring Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Tomatoes and Antoine’s Creamy Mushrooms.  I will appreciate, also, the memories that accompany it.


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