Some Sunday mornings The Professor and I attend a country church just across the street from our house; some Sunday mornings we sleep late, wake slowly, have random conversations while still in bed. And because it’s winter here in the Midwest, I usually start the conversation something like this:
‘Did you sleep well?’
‘Yes; how about you?’
‘I slept well too – all through the night as a matter of fact.’
‘What’s the temperature supposed to be today?’
‘Well, the weather-guessers say one degree.’ ‘
For a high??’
(pause) ‘Do you want to go to church today?’
‘Maybe. But staying here snuggled in this comfy bed, having you next to me and wrapped in blankets is pretty nice too.’
‘It is quite lovely, yes. (pause) So one degree outside, really?’
‘I guess getting outside for a hike is outta the question then?’
(pause) ‘Thank goodness . . . dodged that bullet!’
And so it goes. Coffee calls from our newly created coffee bar; I fill the silver kettle with water, set it on the heating element and push the small black lever downward. Two shots of freshly ground beans are measured and spooned into the filter-lined, white ceramic cones; steam from the now boiling water signals me that it’s ready to begin the pour. Water spills slowly from the spout in a labyrinth pattern around the grounds. Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . and the mug begins to heat as it fills with hot liquid; coconut milk with just a pinch of cinnamon warms in an automatic frother and when the red light turns off, I slide half of the creamy mixture into each mug and hand one to The Professor.
‘Mmmmm, it’s perfect’ he says.
‘Music please’, I say.
‘What would you like to listen to?’
‘Can you find some nice Praise and Worship?’
As music fills our space, the grayness outdoors lifts and the sun bounces off the frozen whiteness. I like this kind of light – soft and cool and warm all at the same time. The brightness of the snow acts like a photographer’s bounce board revealing perfectly lit subjects on one side and casting long, dark shadows on the other.
The Professor and I weave in and around each other in our kitchen space, sipping steaming coffee from our mugs; I sing along with the music as I gather jarred tomatoes, feta cheese, garlic confit, eggs and fresh herbs from the refrigerator. Words between us are few but we’re accutely aware of the other’s presence – a touch on the arm, a gentle two-armed embrace around his back, he nuzzles my neck, a soft kiss. As my spirit leans into to the music, I feel my body relax and my head fills with thoughts and stories I want to write, stories I want to share, photography projects I’d like to complete.
I look at the clock; it’s now 11:30 so breakfast is now brunch. Set the table, more coffee, still in pajamas – it’s a simple Sunday in the Midwest.
This recipe comes from Phyllis Grant over at Dash and Bella; I’ve listed only the ingredients here as I’ve not made any significant changes to her original recipe so please head over there to find the instructions for making the dish. She uses diced or crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, I simply use a mix of Jovial jarred diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes – and because Jovial tomatoes are sweet enough, I don’t need to add honey.
Additionally, I only had mild harissa on hand so boosted the heat by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes; the garlic confit is optional but I highly recommend – it’s ridiculously easy to make and Phyllis has a recipe on her site or you can follow the link to mine – either way, I encourage you to give it a try.
And finally, the recipe serves 4 so we heat the leftovers for the next day breakfast; simply remove the cooked eggs, heat the sauce until bubbly, return the eggs to the pan (don’t microwave or you’ll end up with rubber eggs) and continue to heat gently until warm – about 5 minutes. Serve with warmed wraps or homemade pita or tortillas dipped in more garlic oil – divine!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt
- 8 cloves garlic confit, squeezed out of their skins
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
- 3 anchovy fillets, packed in oil (omit for a vegetarian dish)
- 1 jar (18-ounce) Jovial diced tomatoes
- 1-1/4 cups Jovial crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons harissa (I had mild on hand so if you’re using medium or hot, you might want to dial that back a bit)
- 1 good pinch of red pepper flakes (because I used mild harissa; again, if using something with more heat, simply omit)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- A splash or two of sherry wine vinegar, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 6-ounces feta
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup garlic oil from this recipe for garlic confit – Phyllis says you can skip this part – and you can, but I think it finishes the dish perfectly!
For instructions on how to make the dish, click here.