Mornings

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I love morning on my own terms. The dogs wake me up between 5:30 and 7 (It’s a wide window. They’re dogs. What can I say?) and I make coffee and read, or go outside and take pictures, or sit and watch and listen to the birds. Once the first cup of coffee is done, it’s time to think about breakfast.

This morning is altered slightly. In between going outside to take pictures and say hello to the tiny leaves that are starting to unfurl on some of the plants and my first cup of coffee, I popped a ham in the oven. We’re going to the neighbors’ for Easter dinner (Howdy, Neighbors!) and I’m not sure how long the ham will take. I’m using this glaze from Dave Lieberman:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/dijon-maple-glazed-spiral-ham-recipe.html The ham is a boneless, brined, smoked ham from a local farm, Caton Acres, up Saranac way. We’ve bought half hogs from them a few times, and are always really happy with the meat. I wish I was going to be serving it with something I had grown, but it’s still too early for that. Hopefully not this time next year, though.
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I’ve been walking and staring at our property since the other day, and have been mentally placing new trees and shrubs. I also bought the supplies to build a small greenhouse, based on the model in Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman’s book, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook. (You can see the plans at fourseasonfarm.com.) I’m excited about this next step, since it will do wonders to extend our season. Maybe I’ll join in the competition to grow the season’s earliest tomatoes.

One recipe to share today, from The Kitchn. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-breakfast-polenta-squares-with-spinach-bacon-breakfast-recipes-from-the-kitchn-200887I I love polenta for its versatility and its comfort-food vibe. This recipe highlights both, with the polenta cooked in a bread pudding/casserole-type dish. It couldn’t be any easier, and I was thinking that you could change up the ingredients to make a few different versions. Make it vegetarian with sauteed chard and mushrooms (make sure to cook most of the moisture out of the mushrooms) or swap the spinach for sauteed kale. In summer, any hearty green, mixed with tomatoes and corn, would be lovely. You could mix up the meats, too: cooked chicken sausage, chorizo, prosciutto, guanciale, bacon, salami…you get the picture. This is definitely one to play with.
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Happy Easter, to those of you who celebrate!

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