Smoked Salmon on a Sunday Morning


There are some days when you get extra doses of Inspiration and you sit down and write 50 blog posts and have to save them all in your drafts lest you frighten the world with an overabundance of zeal, which to the blog-reading public might come across as “too much free time.”

On other days, the creative juices decide they’ve been flowing too freely and they’re just going to take a break and dry up for a few days. During this period, it’s really impossible to post anything, and even if you look back at the plethora of filed drafts, they all seem stale and lifeless.

Then, on a Sunday morning, you wake up and the sun is very bright and the fact that breakfast is your very favorite meal is enough to remind you that it will be a beautiful day. And just like that, Inspiration returns …in the form of smoked salmon.

It doesn’t matter that there’s no smoked salmon in the house because today is Sunday and there’s nothing keeping you from bundling up, stepping into the cold sunshine, and walking to the store to buy some. Then you remember that Inspiration is relentless when she strikes. She doesn’t care where you are or what you’re doing, so you have to run back inside to get your journal.


At this point, you’re walking and writing at the same time and simultaneously trying to lift your face to the sun to catch its rays and absorb a winter’s portion of Vitamin D. This is obviously too much activity at once, especially for someone entirely inept at multi-tasking, which is why you trip into a car that’s pulled over alongside the road. It’s embarrassing until you realize that its just your brother sitting there with the coffee and newspaper that he’s just picked up from the local deli. He is clearly amused and offers you a ride, but you decline because “A ride? O please, can’t you see I’m enjoying my walk?”

When you reach the store it takes concentrated effort to ignore the bounties of food that A) you don’t need, B) you didn’t come for, and C) you can’t afford. Eyes on the prize, Marie.

The guy at the fish counter sees you eyeing the oysters that you really should have enjoyed on Valentine’s Day this week if you were not single. He sweetly asks if he can help you find something, and for a moment, the way he is positioned there in front of all those gorgeous seafood varieties makes him look like an ideal catch himself until reality hits in the form of your rumbling stomach and you quickly grab the smoked salmon and scurry to the checkout line.

There, a light of divine intuition strikes and you call home to ask that someone preheat the oven to 425.° And thus begins the preparation for the simplest, most perfect little Sunday meal.

Rub some asparagus in olive oil and minced garlic and throw it into the oven to roast. On second thought, add some brussels sprouts along with it. On the stovetop, combine a little vinegar with some boiling water and poach an egg or two. Lay the roasted asparagus on your plate, top it with some slices of smoked salmon and lay the egg(s) on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!!


(^^Cora misses her Sunday afternoon football^^)


A Celebration of Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Frittata

I believe Gertrude Stein is credited with saying “If you enjoy something, you understand it.”  Sweet potatoes, I understand you.

For awhile, my only knowledge of yams or sweet potatoes came through Thanksgiving and Chinua Achebe.  My cousin prepares a spectacular dessert version of mashed sweet potatoes every year, and that was really my only first-hand experience of them.  I did develop a fascination with them for awhile after reading Things Fall Apart because they seemed like the lifeblood of Achebe’s novel, tying the people to the land in a cycle of deep respect and reciprocity.  There were also a few pages in The Invisible Man when the narrator comes across a yam vendor and orders a buttery syrupy yam that brings him back to his childhood and even challenges his self-perception.  I don’t know what spiked my curiosity to try them again outside of Thanksgiving Day, but my reaction after Bite Number One was something like WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE???

Oh the sweet potato.  Packed with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and resounding with all sorts of goodness from potassium to vitamin C to B vitamins, this wonderful root vegetable offers better eyesight, disease prevention, stress relief, healthy skin and even helps to ward off depression.  And it tastes like happiness.  And its pretty much available all year round.

I can’t get enough of the sweet potato and apparently it can’t get enough of me because it keeps re-surging in all different forms on my plate.  I like it mashed with coconut milk and maple syrup and a bit of butter…or walnuts and cranberries…or topped with almond butter.   I like sweet potato pie with a walnut and hazelnut meal crust.  I like them boiled or baked in their skins as a snack with some butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.


I like them roasted with carrots and capers and beets and fennel.  I like sweet potato fries.  I like sweet potato soup.


And I like eating them in the morning in an unusual but tasty, custardy frittata.

Breakfast Sweet Potato Dessert Frittata


1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp honey
2 cage free eggs
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup boiled, mashed sweet potato with skin removed

Optional garnishes: shaved coconut, crushed walnuts, dried cranberries

Stir the chia seeds into the coconut milk and let them sit overnight in the fridge.  The seeds will expand and give the frittata a custard-like consistency similar to tapioca.  In the morning, add the eggs and sweet potato to the mixture and whisk together.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Melt the butter in a small cast iron skillet or frying pan and pour in the mixture to fill the pan.  Transfer to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the frittata is firm.  Remove it from the oven and drizzle with the honey. Garnish as desired. Enjoy!

Serves 2


Note: Sweet potatoes should always be served with some fat, as vitamin A is fat-soluble and will absorb better in the body.