Lazy Mornings

June 17, 2003

Lazy Mornings

Our usual hectic pace in the morning gets everyone out the door. Yet, summer vacation has started and camp has not yet begun. With only one person trying to leave at a set time every morning, the morning is much less of a blur at the moment. The kids are still in their pajamas as Adam leaves for work. Lately it has been chilly in the mornings, and sometimes even rainy. It reminds me of being in Maine, when the day starts off slow and chilly, only later warming up to a regular summer day. It is that chill in the air that has me thinking of being at one of the two places that loom large in my memories, of summer in Maine.

Hmmm… Camp Four Winds in the morning, where we would go to breakfast in turtlenecks and jeans, and maybe even sweatshirts. We could look out of the windows of the dining hall, over the lake. The kitchen would get cheered on the mornings when we had blueberry pancakes. That kind of breakfast was a treat. By lunchtime we would be in shorts and t-shirts, and after council meeting where the girls would choose their afternoon activities, we could laze in the sun on various porches.

The last 10ish years have put us off the coast on the island of Vinalhaven where we have rented one of several houses owned by one or another of an extended family (not ours, but one we’ve come to feel a part of). We love the place dearly and have enjoyed our time there thoroughly. Crockett’s Cove will live on in our family as we even used it as Eli’s middle name. It is a place where we have lazy mornings and with the chill of the morning on the island, it is great to cook something special there for breakfast too. There is usually a small crowd to devour whatever treats are made, so it is fun to cook things there. A slow trickle of people rising at different times, sleepily coming out onto the porch to sit in the morning sun and mull over plans for the day. Some want a warm breakfast, others seem to be fine with simple cereal, toast and coffee or tea.

So these last two weeks have been feeling like Maine in that slow start to the day sort of way. When I have time to make something a little indulgent in the mornings, and we have time to enjoy eating it as well. The rush is gone, even though we know it will return. It is these mornings of blueberry corn muffins, chocolate chip waffles (Bisquick plus chocolate chips in a good waffle iron!), sour cream coffee cake and even savory waffles, that feel different and special simply because we have the time and I can use it to indulge a different part of our day.

Blueberry Corn Muffins
These are quite tasty. I made these the first time up in Vinalhaven, and had brought 2 batches of the pre-mixed dry ingredients in baggies labeled with what to add. This made it really easy to make a breakfast treat.. -from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk ( or dry buttermilk plus water)
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 2/3 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease muffin tin well.
2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl (if using powdered buttermilk, add that too). Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk (or water, if using powdered buttermilk), butter, and egg into the well. Stir just until combined.
3. Fold in the blueberries just until combined.
4. Fill each cup two- thirds full with batter. Bake until firm and golden, 20 to 25 minutes..
Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

One of Eli’s favorites… From the Joy of Cooking. “Fluffy and light, yet rich and not overly sweet”.

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9-inch pan.

Make streusel mixture for topping and set aside:
In a medium bowl, mix together thoroughly- until crumbly:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup cracklin oat bran cereal, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp butter, melted

Make coffee cake:

Whisk together thoroughly:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in another bowl:
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3-4 minutes:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup sugar

Beat in one at a time:
2 large eggs

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed and stirring until smooth.
Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Sprinkle with streusel mixture.
Bake in lower 1/3 of oven, until a toothpick comes out clean, 25- 30 minutes. Let cool briefly in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.

Savory Waffles (a.k.a.”Funky cakes’)

Originally I made the waffles and the mushroom sauce as it was written in the magazine. Excellent!! But ever since then, I have made these as pancakes or waffles, served buttered, and they are great- and much easier! Adam’s brother Jay called them “funky cakes” when I made them in Maine. The name stuck and that’s what we call them now.
When desperate- I have made them just by adding ground rosemary and dried shallots to bisquick mix- cooking them as pancakes and rolling them up with butter. They smell wonderful when cooking, and are a tasty change of pace.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots or red onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
3 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
Mix all together and cook in a waffle iron. Serve hot topped with the following creamy mushroom sauce, or with eggs on the side.
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds cremini or white mushrooms
1/2 cup sweet sherry or marsala
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Saute the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms in the oil. Add the rest of the items and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or so.

Food & Wine magazine Feb ‘98.

Blueberry Scones
From Glamour’s Gourmet on the Run. Easy and tasty too. I’ve been making these for years. There is no reason not to make these when you have a little extra time some morning.

3 cups buttermilk baking mix (Bisquick)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
For glaze:
1 egg, well beaten
2 Tbsp sugar (try using a large-grained coarse sugar, it adds a nice touch- try sparkling white sugar from the Baker’s Catalogue)
Heat oven to 400°. In medium bowl combine the baking mix, blueberries and 2 tbsp sugar. Pour milk into measuring cup, and add the eggs to the milk and beat with a fork until well mixed. Stir liquid into baking mix until moistened. (Dough will be crumbly) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 9” round about 1/2” thick. Brush the dough with the beaten egg, then sprinkle on the sugar. Cut the round into 12 wedges. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve scones immediately with butter or jam and cream.

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