Lessons from Grandpa

My grandfather is an extremely impatient efficient man.  When we were little, he taught the seven of us the first rule of any task: throw out the directions.  Who needs directions when Grandpas know how to do everything already, right?

Gramps and I used to meet up every weekend for breakfast dates throughout high school, and when I went to college, we grabbed breakfast whenever I came home.

Over his scrambled eggs and lox with cranberry juice, and my omelet and coffee, he inquired about boys, and often tried to set me up with 35-year-old restaurant patrons…. whose wives and children sat at the same table.  I mean… okay… there’s nothing wrong with older men.

Peppered in with stories from his childhood (100% of them contained some sort of exaggerated component), Gramps offered me lifestyle advice.

Here’s his take on the egg.

May I present to you Grandpa’s kind-of-scrambled egg:

Why dirty a bowl, add a bunch of nonsense and waste time whisking?  Go Grandpa and crack your eggs into the pan, let them cook halfway, and theeeeen give them a bit of a scramble.  I think I scrambled too early to really have an egg a la Grandpa.

Okay so there’s no spectacular secret to his egg making, but god bless his efficiency.

Then on the other half of the English muffin, I spread some goat cheese, a little honey and topped it with grilled apple slices.

I’ve been dying to bake something… and I took today’s dreary weather and Ina Garten’s baking a peach cake on tv this morning motivation enough.

Pumpkin-Banana Bread

As with 95% of what I make… I worked off of no specific recipe (why? not because I am a perfect baker.  I’m nowhere close.  But I tailor a combination of recipes to the ingredients I have on hand …. which generally means a lot of substituting and experimenting)

This is as mathematical and specific as we’ll get (this is not how you’re supposed to bake… experimentation most always leads to failure with baked goods)

-2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

-1/2 cup sugar

-2 eggs

-2/3 can pumpkin puree

-2 bananas mashed

-1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

-cinammon, pumpkin pie spice (get as spicy as you want to)

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 cup coconut oil

-1/4 cup almond milk

-oats to top

I’m horrendous with giving directions (thanks Grandpa)… but here’s what I’ll tell you:

-Mix dry stuff in one bowl

-Mix wet stuff in the other

-Combine dry into wet… but whatever you do… no overmixing!

-And I’m a pan greaser (I used coconut oil on a paper towel)

Couldn’t even tell you how long this puppy spent in the oven (at 350)… laundry and tv took command of my attention, until the yummy smell wafted down the hallway into my room.

While the nanner bread cooked away, I also baked up some butternut squash medallions.

Then made some pasta with spinach, lemon, olive oil, parm, mozz, salt and pepp.

Cauliflower, too – with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano.

Wish me luck when I cut into my baked experiment for dessert.  But remember, impatience isn’t always a bad thing.

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5 responses to “Lessons from Grandpa

  • Amy

    I really laughed at this one! Gotta love anything having to do with your grandpa. Also, when I come visit (soon hopefully!) I can’t wait to try some of these fantastic concoctions. I literally crave everything you put on here. I might try to replicate some with a gluten free twist! Reminds me of everything at its only natural =)

  • phil m.

    Wait ’till the g-rents see this one! I’m off to the Post Office!

  • Jillian

    Editor’s note: “locks” really means “lox”

    That bread looks amazing and I want it now. Why when you substitute ingredients and go on no recipe your experiments look like “out of a magazine” and mine end up as uncooked floury doughy horrendousness? I clearly only got the overeating gene and not the cooking gene. Although I guess there never was a cooking gene. You started that one on your own.

    In other news D and I made strawberry cream cheese stuffed french toast this week. I consider that a win for us. Nothing healthy about it but it’s a start. Well actually the cream cheese was 1/3 less fat. So, naturally, I used 3 times more.

    • nicole mcdermott

      hahah its all in the camera angle… and believe me sometimes I get extremely unlucky when baking. And you make fantastic egg sandwiches — don’t you forget that.

      I would like to try your french toast… it sounds amazing. You were the first to turn me on to strawberry cream cheese… so I think you should come visit, and we’ll schmear it on everything. Plan?

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