IN THE SELLWOOD KITCHEN
This Month's Episode: 'The Champions of Breakfast'
EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael O'Shaughnessy is a key executive in THE BEE's parent company, Community Newspapers, Inc. He has moved to Sellwood with Erin, and has become obsessed with food. The couple has lately been somewhat obsessed with dining on chicken; making a partial concession to sporadic outbreaks of protest over the emphasis on chicken for dinner, they here turn to breakfast - but subversively serve eggs. (Yes, they did promise a fish dish this month, but alas, it was not to be. Maybe next month. Or, will they return to chicken dishes?)
Starring Erin, Mike, Adam, Josh and Jim
Filmed on Location in Beautiful Downtown Sellwood
Soundtrack: 'Rufus Wainwright' by Rufus Wainwright
'I will take my coffee black…'
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in March when we had our first recorded Sellwood Kitchen Breakfast. The usual gang was there, presently dubbed the 'Sunday Morning Circle of Jerks', as we marked the diameter of our low round table and issued forth our mockeries and other raw quotes and jokes from the TV and other things that are not TV.
A chicken-less meal at last? Yes, you Windsor-whipped tea-tippler - no chicken! Or rather, a potential chicken, as the main ingredient is the unfertilized hen's egg. Erin's making frittatas!
But first, let's get a cup of coffee. I only started drinking coffee about 10 years ago. At work. Have you noticed how work breeds addictions? Now I drink it like a stereotype. We could brew a pot at home, but it's so much more glamorous getting a cup out on the town. So before Adam and Josh show up, we met with my brother Jim at New Seasons for some fresh veg for the meal. Then walked over to SoTac Coffee and Cream (on the corner of 13th and Umatilla). Only, it's not SoTac anymore - it's 'l and #9829;vecup'! Jamie and Jamie (or Jamie and Jamie) own the place. You'll recognize Jamie (or Jamie) from the old SoTac. They brew a mean cup of joe, and bake up a dynamite blueberry scone (get 'em while they're warm)!
Now the chemicals from without and within are balanced! Back home to the Sellwood Kitchen. Time for music. It's Sunday morning - what do we listen to? I think Esquire or some glossy ad mag used to query celebrities about their 'Favorite Sunday morning albums'. What is a 'Sunday Morning Album?' For me, it's something quiet yet lively, and maybe there's a song about coffee on it. My faves? Well, that's an article - nay! a book - in itself! But briefly, let's say Judy Collins' 'In My Life', Tom Waits' 'Swordfishtrombones', Laura Nyro's 'Eli and the 13th Confession'… Really, any album, I guess, because any music anytime is good. So I put on 'Catch Bull at Four' by Cat Stevens. What a great album! You probably don't know anything from it.
I sure do yap a lot about music. Here's some useful info: I've found some choice cheap vinyl (perfect for Sunday mornings) at the Sellwood Antique Mall on the corner of S.E. 13th and Lexington. I probably shouldn't reveal this well-kept secret until I've scooped up the remaining Allen Sherman platters. Now back to our story…
Adam and Josh show up. The usual fanfare! It's going to be a 10:30 breakfast. It's going to be a brunch. It IS brunch. The creation of it begins! Erin and Adam go to work. Jim, Josh and I hover over the pub table in the foyer eating red grapes and drinking mimosas (ingredients: orange juice and the cheapest champagne you can find). We trade '30 Rock' quotes. I throw on a Clancy Brothers album (Freedom's Sons!). Cue olfactory - the wafting has begun!
We smell bacon, and Erin's double batch of homemade biscuits is done! Garlic and onion rises! Hot butter! While the cooks cook, Jim and I wolf down warm biscuits (sorry, Gluten Guy, have another grape…). For some unreasonable reason, Josh is aghast at how Adam butters his biscuit: He shmears it on top. I declared the move brilliant, as keeping the biscuit intact retains the flaky heat within! Josh thinks it's weird. Jimmy shrugs and butters a biscuit.
We're all very excited about breakfast! We discuss that touchstone film of the mid-80s, 'The Breakfast Club', and assign each other characters. I don't remember who's who, but I'm certain no one was eager to be Anthony Michael Hall. I put on the 5th Dimension's 'Greatest Hits on Earth' and, just as Marilyn McCoo-ed 'One Less Bell to Answer', the frittatas were served! As per usual, Jimmy was presented the floor model (after it had been satisfactorily photographed).
What can I say? The breakfast was almost overwhelmingly delicious! The onions, the tomatoes, the spinach! But the asparagus! What an addition! In fact, let's call it 'Adam's Asparagus Addition!' Who knew what flavor it would bring? Asparagus in a frittata is like a diamond nut on a golden bolt!
Mopping up the last bit of melted butter with the last crumbs of our biscuits, we hear a sighing Josh utter, 'I'm ready for a nap.'
To which Adam seamlessly responds, 'Cripes, I was ready for a nap when I woke up.'
Ha, ha! Those two! Let's have a nap and coffee and walk and nap!
Serves 5-6 (in two medium pans)
1/2 Cup Milk
8 Stalks Asparagus, segmented
Chopped red onion
Garlic, also chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped as well
Roasted Red Peppers
Shredded cheese (we used an Italian mix)
Cut bacon into one-inch pieces and fry in pan; put aside. In separate pan, cook down garlic and onion in butter for 3-5 minutes. Add asparagus. Wilt down spinach leaves and mix in with onions, asparagus, and garlic. Stir in roasted red peppers. Reintroduce the bacon. Separate into two pans. Beat 14 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk and pour evenly into pans; cook on medium low until eggs are set. Sprinkle tomatoes on top. Add healthy, or unhealthy, dose of shredded cheese. Broil briefly until cheese is melted. Serve with biscuits, hash browns and mimosas. Get dibs on the couch and stay there until early afternoon. Then walk it off on the Springwater Trail.
For the expanded article visit: http://sellwoodkitchen.blogspot.com.