Sunday, March 27, 2011

a farm fresh breakfast

That picture, right up there, is what we had for breakfast at my house this morning.  It was a pile of sauteed spinach, crispy bacon, yolk-spewing egg, and finely grated cheddar, all perched on top of a simple slice of toasted bread. 

I can't really take too much credit for its creation.  I mean, I did conceive of the combination, prepare the ingredients, and construct the finished product, but the real work was done by the farmers who fattened the hogs, tilled the fields, milked the cows, and cared for the chickens.  It's not that I came up with the most incredible combination of flavors here, friends.  The magic of this dish lies with the quality and care that was put into the production of its parts.

That spinach, for instance, came from our farmers at Stoney Plains.  You may remember them from my piece on the wonders of Community Supported Agriculture a couple of summers ago.  Although we didn't participate in the program last year, we still adore these farmers for their incredible selection of greens, dried beans, garlic, and other produce.

The bacon involved in this recipe is perhaps the greatest discovery I've made since reintroducing meat into my diet this year.  It's all thanks to Skagit River Ranch.  Those are the folks who make the world's best hot Italian sausage and, it seems, have championed the art of curing those piggies into perfectly marbled,  thick slices of fatty pork heaven.  I wasn't on the wagon with the whole bacon thing before now, honestly, but I have officially quit lagging alongside and joined the other bacon lovers on board.

Eggs, including the one pictured, now regularly come to the kitchen via Toboton Creek Farms.  These folks specialize in goats, actually, and we lovingly refer to the farm's matriarch and market vendor as The Goat Lady. Probably not the name she prefers, but, like I said, it comes with the best of intentions.  She's one of the sweetest people at the market, and the only one I've ever run up to and hugged, like an old friend.  We always visit her first. The dozen we buy each Saturday from Toboton are filled with luscious orange yolks that make us eager for the kitchen to poach, fry, and scramble.

Topping off this morning meal was a sprinkling of cheddar, speckled with red pepper, onion, and garlic, courtesy of our friends at Golden Glen Creamery.  Their dairy products come from happy looking cows that actually spend time munching grass, the way mooers were meant to do.  If money weren't an issue, I'd be on a GGC cheese bender as we speak.  I'm in love with the stuff.  For this dish, the flavored cheddar was the perfect cherry on top.

I'm writing this recipe a little differently, today.  I plan to assume that you, my friends, know how to properly fry an egg, saute some spinach, and cook bacon.  Is that asking too much?  I have a feeling you've got the skills.

Open-faced Bacon, Egg, Spinach & Cheese Sammy

For each sandwich:
  •  Fry up 2 pieces of bacon until just slightly crispy, but not burnt.  Set aside.
  • Add a touch of olive oil to a small skillet, and throw in a handful of roughly chopped spinach leaves.  Saute until the greens begin to wilt and turn bright green.  Immediately take off of heat, and set aside.
  • Throw a slice of bread in the toaster and toast to golden brown.
  •  While the greens are cooking and toast toasting, heat some butter in a skillet and fry up 1 egg, just the way you like it (runny yolks are encouraged).
  • Place the toasted bread on a plate, top with spinach, bacon, the egg, and some grated cheese.
Voila!  You've got breakfast, brunch, hell, maybe even dinner.  Just make more toast, bacon, eggs, and spinach to feed your whole crew.  Buy local, if you can, friends.  You can taste the difference.


  1. What gorgeous photos. Gosh, hearing all the background on the farm and the work behind it you can almost smell that breakfast from here! Looks incredibly tasty :-) Nice touch, too, with the grated cheddar & onions on top. Happy Looking Cows: love it! Bet there were happy looking faces at the breakfast table.

  2. Great post and wonderful looking breakfast...My family loves bacon (although I do not eat meat) and would love it if I slipped some into the meals I make. Love the photos as well :)

  3. A gorgeous looking breakfast that you must take credit for, for assembling, cooking and beautifully presenting. It's very generous and sweet of you to mention all the invaluable good people and farms that bring these items to our homes/tables. Lovely post.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the flattery. I wanted to pay homage to the wonderful people who grow my food. I am a huge proponent of local agriculture and buy direct from the producers whenever I possibly can. I do spend more money up front, but it's well worth it for safe, quality products that support sustainable food production.


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