Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Swiss Chard for Breakfast

Last Roses of December: Something Else with Quirky Timing
Two months later....

This blog is beginning to take on the off-again, on-again timing of a pre-menopausal cycle.

But then my timing has always been a little off. I discovered what I wanted to major in my last semester of college; the amazing West Wing some nine years after the rest of the TV-viewing world; and yesterday, Jan. 2nd,  signed up for an online reading group (for War and Peace) whose members planned to finish the book by January of 2012. 

Saturday I lifted the top off one of my non-working beehives just as a mouse poked its beady little black eyes and pointy nose up through the frames (more on rodent phobia in another post).

And I was feeding my kids brown ricecakes and whole wheat homemade bagels before the rest of the world decided that white flour was evil. By the time culture caught up with us, we were discovering the joys of Betty Crocker brownies. 

Or, as my bonfire-happy spouse re-introduced to us last week when the kids were home for the holidays, S'mores, made with jet-puffed marshmallows and a substantial slabs of Hershey bar.

(Did you know you can make a pretty decent S'More  in the microwave? Minus the crusty brown melt of  true charbroiled marshmallow, but still--.)

And it's true. While many of you are breakfasting on honeynut cheerios or New York bagels (not down here), I am eating swiss chard fresh from the garden.

 I really understand the craving our frontier ancestors had for garden greens in the middle of winter. Our bodies just seem to want this stuff. Thanks to heavy-duty plastic on the beds and a serious gardener spouse, I don't have to wait till early spring for mine. And with a microwave (though ours does, as my eldest complains, sound like a jet taking off), I don't even have to wash a pot. You just rinse the leaves (do spend time on this part: little worms apparently don't mind the cold weather), chop, stuff into a bowl with a bit of  water, and microwave for two minutes. Sprinkle with brewer's yeast, throw on some fresh-picked arugula, and--amazing. A real power breakfast.  Kale is really good, too, but the leaves are smaller and crinkly and take longer to wash. (OK, I'm lazy: note I'm not the one growing this stuff, going out each cold night to tuck it up under its plastic bedcover.)
Somebody else's chard, but that's about it.

Chard is high in iron and magnesium and a few other things (also sodium, for some reason), and is amazingly substantial. If not quite as chewy as a bagel. It's especially tasty with a chaser of iced decaffeinated green tea flavored with stevia and lemon juice. (I did grow stevia this year, but haven't tried my stash yet.)

Then you drink your coffee. And dig any leftover Christmas cookies out of the cupboard.

It's all in the timing.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

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