Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

A few posts ago, Maria wrote a glowing review of Diner for a Day, a breakfast/fundraiser hosted by Lisa Gottleib and Jeff McCabe, featuring local foods and supporting local farmers and purveyors. As I’m sure you gleaned from Maria’s post, it was a successful and delicious event, one that is inspiring some repeat performances–and, we hope, will become a regular occurrence.

It turns out that one breakfast/fundraising event featuring locally-grown food was such a hit that they held another breakfast last Friday, dubbing it “Selma Café”–a local foods breakfast salon with the goal of helping to “co-create the next wave of our local food community. “

As you might imagine, I’m pretty excited about this, and I’m one of several volunteers who are working to make this a regular event. I’d like to invite you to our March 6 Selma Café, which will take place from 6:30-10:00am at 722 Soule Blvd. Local chef Scott MacInnis will be manning the stove, and Rob Harper of Edible WOW and I will be the kitchen/service crew, on toast, coffee, clean-up and whatever-else-we-need-to-do-duty.

I really hope you can make it! Feel free to leave comments or e-mail me with questions. We’re also actively seeking volunteers to sign up to help keep this informal local food salon running, so please let us know how you can help.

Updates about Selma Cafe and other related events will be posted here.

More about Selma Cafe, in Jeff’s words:

Please join us every Friday morning from 6:30 to 10:00 at our casual breakfast gathering spot on the west side of Ann Arbor. Hosts Lisa Gottlieb and Jeff McCabe welcome you to pull up a chair and enjoy a meal from our guest chef. Come share, with your neighbors and friends, a little bit about what you feel is worth building in our community.

Selma Cafe is:

  • a hub, a center, a heart of the many ongoing efforts to improve our lives through community building and free access to affordable, healthy foods and efforts to foster right-livelihood in vocations with meaning and purpose
  • open 6:30 – 10:00 am every Friday as long as is viable
  • located at 722 Soule Blvd. Ann Arbor, MI The home of Lisa Gottlieb and Jeff McCabe
  • hosted each week by a chef who works with seasonal, local ingredients
  • a weekly podcast, with on-site host Jeff McCabe and guests, discussing subjects related to the re-localization of food economies.
  • for you!! Please come see us, pull up a chair, tell us what you would like to drink, to eat, what is on your mind. Pass through when you are able, or stick around and make it happen.
  • all-volunteer. Suggested donation is $10-$15 for breakfast. $3 for a cup of coffee or tea with biscotti. All proceeds go directly to the local farmers and producers that supply the ingredients and to non-profit groups working to expand access to healthy, sustainable food resources.
  • founded on the principals of openness, inclusiveness and transparency. We seek your help in building the tools and organizational structure to maintain these organizing principles.

Why do I care so much about Selma Cafe? Why am I considering waking up super early to help serve breakfast to strangers? I’ve been thinking for some time (and posted a comment to this effect on Jeff’s blog) that, while there are many efforts afoot in A2 that support local food, something has been missing — a center, a hub. There are the local producers and consumers of local foods who might meet up at the Farmer’s Market or at the farm for their CSA distribution. There was a local food summit meeting recently that generated good discussion about some future directions for local food community, policy, and projects. There is chatter on various blogs and e-mail listservs about eating and cooking in more sustainable and locally-supported ways, and a number of restaurants in the area are sourcing local ingredients. (Not to mention the many other efforts under way that I’m unaware of!)

All of these are right and good, and I’m glad we have this energy and vision and activity around local food here in Ann Arbor. But I’ve been longing for the social element—the real, in-person, hand-shaking, bread-breaking (and waffle-eating!), hanging-out time that a community needs to grow, to cohere, to be nourished, to sustain itself. I want to cook with Scott and make toast with Rob and drink coffee roasted by John Roos, with John Roos. I want to talk to Jeff McCabe about how he bakes bread and how to garden. I want to meet readers of this blog; please join us!

In short, whatever I’ve felt was missing from a sense of local food community was abundantly supplied at Diner for Day, and I’m hopeful that Selma Cafe might be able to feed this hunger.

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One of the things I enjoy most about long weekends is the opportunity to enjoy breakfast in a big way.  I came to the pleasures of breakfast late in life.  For a good part of my adulthood, I was a lifestyle academic and that meant long nights of reading and correcting papers, going to bars at midnight, sleeping as late as I could and rolling out of bed and into my clothes just in time to make it to classes (ones I attended and ones I taught).  Aside from weekend brunches, eaten after several glasses of water and a reasonable recovery time, I just couldn’t face breakfast. A glass of orange juice, and I was out the door. Maybe sometime later in the morning there would be a coffee and a pastry from one of the local cafes. This was good for neither my wallet nor my body chemistry.

And then came, almost simultaneously, Divorce and 9 to 5.  In the attempt to be a more rational human being and to regulate my mood swings, I tried to make breakfast a regular part of my life. For a couple of years this meant a bowl of Special K with milk. In the summer there were peaches or berries on top. Once in a while, I’d throw an Eggo Whole Grain Waffle in the toaster and serve myself that with some blueberries.

But all that has changed over the past few years.  On work days I’m still a breakfast automaton (glass of water; vitamin; small glass of juice; bowl of something), but my quality of life has improved quite a bit.  Special K led to Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts led to Seven Stars Vanilla Yogurt and then last year, I started making granola, and then we were really off to the races. And a couple of years ago when my coffee-obsessed husband invested in a Rancilio Rocky and Silvia, breakfast really went over the top around here. All the coffee flirtations of my past have fallen by the wayside.  Why would I stray when I’m getting it so good at home?

So, for those of you who are still out there in the wilderness, grabbing a granola bar on the way to work or serving out your 110th bowl of Raisin Bran, I’m offering a few suggestions, a few enticements into the breakfast fold.  Become a breakfast person. You’ll never go back. For real breakfast inspiration, check out Jennifer Causey’s Simply Breakfast, a visually stunning record of morning pleasures. But if that’s a little overwhelming, try:

  • Homemade granola and yogurt. I tend to favor Seven Stars Vanilla and Faggio Full Fat (that’s not what they call it, but you get the idea) when I’m feeling flush. Trader Joe’s Greek Style plain isn’t bad at all and saves a couple of dollars. For the granola, I’ve messed around with recipes from Orangette, Smitten Kitchen and Jane Cumberbach’s Pure Style. These days, I seem to combine them a lot, but I do recommed the use of brown rice syrup and coconut and the addition of chopped dates. Oh, and pecans. I’m big on pecans in granola.
  • McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oats. I’m sure the traditional steel cut would be even better. But the six minutes of so spent stirring these represents a great compromise between the bland efficiency of instant oatmeal and the leisurely pace of long-cooking.  Use milk, not water, add a a good slice of butter, a heaping spoon of brown sugar, and a small handful of dried Michigan cherries or blueberries. Decadence and virtue co-exist in one bowl.
  • Any kind of Zingerman’s bread (available by mail-order!) cut thick and toasted. For Thanksgiving, the cranberry walnut (pictured above) is a special, if expensive treat. But plain ol’ farm bread works too. I like one slice plain with butter, followed by a breakfast dessert of butter and honey or jam.
  • And when you’re trying to use up the holiday leftovers? An egg, fresh from the farm and a potato pancake.  Heat some olive oil until almost smoking in a cast iron skillet. Take a handful of left-over mashed potato and flatten it into a thick pancake.  Put in the pan (it should sizzle). Leave it a little longer than your comfortable with, flip it over and cook on the other side until golden brown. It’s okay to peek, but if it’s sticky, let it go a little longer. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce or apple butter, depending on the mood.

And so concludes my portion of our month of blogging. I have to say, I have an incredible respect for those who do this all by themselves.  I barely made it and I was only carrying half the load. Thanks to all of those who checked in regularly with us this month. We’ll be hoping that next month we hit the sweet spot between entertaining and exhausting.

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Sunshine, flowers, light, please.

It’s quiet times around here at G3. I don’t know about you, but I’m in the midst of a case of winter blues that I know I will shake, but maybe not this week. Or next . . . but such is life in Ann Arbor in February. I’m really ready for the farmers’ market to be back in swing, ready to have an appetite for something other than soup or stew, ready to see green and blue and yellow instead of the requisite gray and brown and white. Ready to put away scarves and gloves and wear something else on my feet besides boots. (The news that the city council voted against everyday wines/everyday cook in favor of the public golf course for the available liquor license does not lift the spirits. Nor does the news that Leopold Brothers is closing shop and moving to Denver. Ann Arbor is becoming a little less like the place I want to live every day.)

Sigh. Inspiration, motivation: where are you? I can’t say I’m subsisting solely on ramen, but I’ve taken more than my share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work for lunch these days. Dinners have been straightforward, comfort-food affairs, some of which I’ve been satisfied with: linguine with clams, chicken soup with matzo balls, some mussels with fennel, cream and white wine. Last week I made spaghetti with a very nice bolognese for my dear friend Claire, who seems still to live in Ann Arbor, but her jet-setting ways are making me doubt it. But nothing is really wowing me right now, and why should I share all that just-so-so-ness with you all here?

There are signs this is starting to turn around. I think I need to spend more Saturdays like the one just passed — enjoying brunch at a friend’s house, while we compared methods for poaching eggs, concocted plans for dinner parties, and reminisced about our favorite spots in New York and Brooklyn. He let me in on an idea for a cocktail he’s inventing, and I happily sat and listened and photographed. Slowly, inspiration came into view:

Pots of homemade jam.

Ginger scones.


Eggs benedict – my favorite brunch dish in the world.


More sunshine, more light. It’s on its way.


May you find inspiration, too.

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