I woke up hungry this morning. Not just “gee, I could eat something” but “WE NEED TO GO TO CRACKER BARREL WHERE I CAN GET THE OLD TIMER’S BREAKFAST WITH EXTRA BISCUITS” which here in the Deepest South, is not called “hungry” but “HONGREE!”
I am never hungry first thing, and certainly never HONGREE. Normally,I am a little bit queasy, and only want hot coffee to wash away the cobwebs.
I am meant to buy groceries this morning. It is a dangerous (and likely expensive) mistake to go to the store HONGREE. It is actually more economical to go to Cracker Barrel and get the Old Timer’s Breakfast (2 eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits, hash brown casserole for $7.99) than it is to wander the aisles of Bi-Lo, blithely tossing anything that looks appealing (marinated mozzerella balls,smoked gouda, proscuitto, croussaints, rib eye steaks, mangoes, orange sherbet, ) into the buggy, and that is exactly what will happen, if I go to the store HONGREE.
I refuse to say I am starving. At 5’5″ tall and on the north end of …well…my weight limit. (sigh)… I am a solid 6-8 weeks of ability to survive in the wild with only clean water being necessary,so I am not starving.
Maybe the HONGER is a result of catharsis. I have been walking on philosophical eggshells (broken lightbulbs, coal cinders) for a very long time. A resolution and a compromise was reached a couple of days ago, forgiveness was given and tears were shed, and…I am breathing again. Maybe that’s why I am hungry.
A couple of days ago I made a loaf of spiced sweet bread. It could have used some currants, but I am out of those. A toasted slice of that, with some butter, is a poor substitute for Old Timer’s Breakfast at Cracker Barrel, but is a tasty poor substitute. Here’s how you make it (bread machine style):
1 cup warm milk
1/4cup softened butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each (ground) cinnamon,allspice, cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups white bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
Put it all in the bread machine in the order listed, punch the button to start and that’s it.
If you don’t have a bread machine, put it all in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook, and let it mix for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Coat with oil, and let rise (covered) ina warm spot for about 2 hours. Punch down, shape into a loaf and put in an oiled loaf pan (or on cookie sheet,or shape into buns), let rise 45 minutes, and bake at 375 until fragrant and brown. When you take it out of the oven, rub a stick of butter all over the top (but don’t use the whole stick!)
*Edited to add as I hit publish on this post, CJ (he’s 20) came blasting in (he’s never quiet), and offered to take me to breakfast! “IHOP?” he queried. “Cracker Barrel?” I countered. “Sure!” said he.
It would appear he may have inherited his father’s ability to read my mind. It has yet to be determined if this is a good thing or a bad thing.