I’m a voracious reader, I love to read stories about successful people and their habits, and doing so has led me to conclude this: the thing that separates the Donald Trumps and Bill Gateses of the world from those of more modest means – me, for instance – is our morning routines.
They, we often learn, eat spreadsheets and condensed versions of the latest business books for breakfast. I like leftover pie (and, this time of year, dishes like Ratatouille Poached Eggs above; recipe below.)
They hold 6:00AM staff meetings, an hour when – if I had a staff – they would surely turn and run for their lives if they caught a glimpse of Mr. Bedhead hovering over his coffee pot in my kitchen.
Nor can I recall reading where any of these ultra-high net worth individuals spend much time cooking, baking pies, or puttering in the garden gazing at spiders, picking herbs, or wondering – as I often have – if there’s an actual word for that thing geckos do when they puff up the underside of their necks. (If anyone knows, please get in touch.)
Anyway, I’m okay with the knowledge that my morning routine doesn’t do much for my bottom line. It does pay dividends of another sort. It helps us start the day on an upbeat note and allows for a breath of head-clearing fresh air. Here, see for yourself. (I’ve boiled it down to about a minute for you.)
Now, about those Ratatouille Poached Eggs: this being the height of eggplant-tomato-zucchini season, I just had to share this recipe with you. I adore this savory dish, even if I’m still uncertain whether it makes a better brunch or supper.
Thing is, long about now my fridge – maybe yours too – starts looking like the remnant section of the ratatouille store. This recipe is one I can always count on to use up bits and pieces of the vegetables in question.
The kicker, and the secret that makes this version stand out from your run-of-the-mill ratatouilles, is the way that we make spoon-size depressions in the ratatouille…dollop them with pesto…then slide in the eggs. Cover, cook just long enough to set the whites, and you’ve got poached eggs fit for a millionaire.
Where on earth did I find such a terrific recipe for Ratatouille Poached Eggs? Well since you asked, it’s from page 186 of my beautifully photographed, hot-selling book, Comfort Food, published by The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
I know: when you think of comfort food you usually think of hearty, stick-to-yer-ribs cold weather fare like meatloaf, mac-and-cheese, and all the rest. And yes, my best versions of those are all here, too – recipes you’ll be craving a few short months from now.
But there’s a surprising number of light, summery recipes in Comfort Food as well, like Quinoa Tabbouleh…Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Salad…Shrimp Tacos…and Bourbon and Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon, too, which is really super when you do it up on the grill.
The biggest surprise of all, though, is this: FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS ONLY, if you buy a copy of Comfort Food from The Pie Academy online store, I’m going to throw in a totally FREE copy of my other Old Farmer’s Almanac book – Everyday Baking. My wife Bev thinks I’m crazy to offer such a deal, that I must have heat stroke or something. But she’s agreed to put up with this craziness if I put a short deadline on the offer. So this deal ends Monday, July 20th, at noon sharp. (Note: please DON’T add Everyday Baking to your online order; we’ll simply include it. Also note: you’re free to buy anything else in the store while you’re at it. Just saying…)
That’s all for now. Thanks for tuning in, and do stay tuned because coming soon to The Pie Academy blog are two pieces you won’t want to miss: we’ll bake a summer fruit slab pie – in a jelly roll pan – that’ll reshape the way you think about pie. And I’ll show you some neat tricks that’ll help you roll the perfect crust, even in this summer heat.