You know those moments when you've just met someone and you're both trying to keep up a conversation by finding common ground? I've learned that food and weather are great ice-breaker topics. And if you're lucky, books. That's kinda how I feel about this space now, after three months of sharing words and photos here. I guess I'm ready to take the conversation deeper (hence a new intro here), and tell you about the shape of my breakfast and the books I've been reading, or trying to read, this summer. I really do like to talk about food and books, and that's why there are two parts to this. Did I also mention how much I like summer in California?
Banana oatmeal with ground peanuts and shredded coconut
Cook 1/3 cup quick oats + 1 cup water + 1/2 mashed banana + a pinch salt.
Add ground peanuts + shredded coconut + 1/2 sliced banana on top.
Read: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
I'm late to the party, I know, and I'm digesting it slowly, because this book deserves my undivided attention. I'm entertained and I'm learning, I'm nodding my head to the words in the book, and I take small pauses to enjoy the a-ha moments. It takes me back to the basics of food, and we all know how important that is. Just as reliable, in my opinion, as a good old oatmeal breakfast.
Green smoothie topped with carob powder, super seeds and berries
Blend 2/3 cup almond milk + 1 banana + 1/2 cup spinach + 2 chopped deglet noor dates + 1/2 tsp chia seeds + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp turmeric powder + a few ice cubes (optional).
Add carob powder + hemp seeds + sunflower seeds + blueberries + dried golden berries on top.
Read: Health, gardening and cooking magazines
I go online a lot for information and recipes, but nothing beats holding a full-page photo of your favorite charred summer vegetable in your hands and running your fingers on it. (Okay, I'll give you a moment to picture that in your head.) I have a notoriously short attention span, so it's not uncommon for me to surround myself with stacks of light reading material that I can flip when I'm in the middle of something. Especially when I'm in the middle of something. Have you heard of the Mortgage Lifter tomato? I read about that in a magazine while watching Louis CK on TV.
Baked eggs and oats with goji berries and blueberries
Whisk 1 egg + 1 mashed banana + 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tbsp quick oats + 1 tbsp oat bran + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in an oven-proof ramekin. Add goji berries and blueberries. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.
Read: In Search of Midnight, A Collection of Poems by Mike McGee
This book sucks me in with its little words with big intentions, and something inside me gets stirred every time I read it. I was not surprised to find myself reaching for a chunky piece of bittersweet dark chocolate midway through reading 'Dirty Dimes' because I didn't want to get to the end of the poem alone. I needed comfort. I needed a hug. So I made baked eggs. Yes, only baked eggs could stand up to these mighty words.
Melon bowl with soy yogurt, homemade strawberry chia jam, blueberries and walnuts
Cut a ripe melon in half and scoop out seeds. Add yogurt + strawberry chia jam + blueberries + chopped walnuts.
To make strawberry chia jam, cook 1 cup sliced strawberries + 2 tbsp sugar (or to taste) + 1 tbsp water (add as needed) on medium heat, mashing strawberries in the process, until sauce consistency, about 10-15 minutes. Lower temperature, stir in 1 tbsp chia seeds and simmer for 5 minutes, or until it thickens. Let cool, transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.
Read: The Strange Library + Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Japanese author Haruki Murakami inspires deadpan eccentricity. In the worlds he creates in his books, it is perfectly normal to encounter a sheep man in a library. Or to eat your breakfast out of a bowl made of melon. So long as it's sweet, soft and juicy. I devoured The Strange Library in no time, and plan to savor his latest book like a good dessert.
"Not everything was lost in the flow of time." - Haruki Murakami
You may also be interested to read Breakfast in a bowl + my summer reads (Part I).