This book by Didi Emmons about her transformation as a cook after visiting Eva Sommaripa’s farm in Dartmouth, MA. has consumed me since I opened it in the mail this afternoon. It is a tale of farming, food foraging and eating naturally from picked greens and herbs, wild mushrooms and bartering for other foodstuffs. It reminds me somewhat of Helen and Scott Nearing’s back-to-the-land movement but on (foodie) steroids. Its inspiration makes me want to eat way more simply and to rely upon myself and to waste not, want not except what I make with my own hands. A good idea for oldsters and younger-sters alike.
Here is an excerpt from the book entitled: “Breakfast Ideas from Eva’s Head Farmer” to give you a taste of this wonderful book:
“Peter Levasseur, Eva’s head farmer, is thirty-three years old and packed with lean, hard muscle, like the deer and coyote that roam the area. He lives in Eva’s nearby cottage with his two dogs, Dukka and Mazi.
Peter has a talent for cooking and as he does in farming, he pays attention to details in the kitchen. His food is some of the most delicious and imaginative I’ve eaten. i asked Peter about breakfast–the only meal I’ve ever seen him consume, since he eats lunch on the run and dinner around midnight. He told me:
‘First I make French press coffee, locally roasted. I grind it with the partially shelled caco nibs that were given to Eva by a local chocolate company. I pour the hot coffee into a mug with a vanilla bean slit in half. Then I stir in raw honey.
My breakfast changes with the seasons. I make or buy sprouted bread. I slather on raw honey, then raw almond butter; then I drizzle on unfiltered flaxseed oil or coconut oil. I then sprinkle on Himalayan sea salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Also, for a beverage, I like to juice chickweed with ginger and apples.
I asked him whether his breakfast was seasonal.
I have a huge mortar and pestle. Come July I pound basil with garlic, oilve oil and goat cheese. I eat this layered with tomatoes on sprouted English muffins.
Another favorite is mixing raw oats and local berries (wineberries, raspberries, or blueberries) with yogurt and honey.
Other times I crush garlic in olive oil and spread this on an English muffin as a base coat, then I layer on hummus, tomatoes, and fresh herbs (they grow 3 feet away.)
I make oat shakes. I soak rolled oats overnight in cold water, the odd cashews or almonds, and fruit and blend it all up in a blender or Vitamix.
Also, a favorite snack of late may sound odd: chopped ripe tomatoes, chopped onion. Heritage brand cereal (which is like frosted flakes without sugar), garlic, basil, olive oil and lemon juice. I love it!'”
That’s just a single page from this volume. Emmons, the author, runs restaurants and a non-profit bakery in Boston for those transitioning from homelessness. She writes that she can lose her tummy roll just by eating at Eva’s farm for a week. I’m thinking it’s a refreshing change to start the new year. The fridge is near empty and we’ve been eating out of the pantry since the huge holiday feasts we partook of for days at Christmas and for my birthday holiday. I’m thinking that now might be a good time to make a list for what to buy at the health food market tomorrow.
Postscript: Since writing this post, I have discovered a perfect breakfast for me: Shiloh 7-grain sprouted bread, toasted; spread with Barney brand crunchy almond butter (no oil film to stir up, just tasty crunchy almonds,) drizzled with Billy Bee Canadian honey. I ate one slice and had to make a second, it was so good. For lunch, looking forward to trying toasted whole grain sprouted bagels with poppy seeds, layered with Boursin herb and garlic cheese spread, thin slices of tomato and red onion on top. Yum!