“Oh my gosh, I’m so not crafty!” Sitting at the kitchen table, glue gun webs of melted plastic draped from my fingers, I exclaimed my pretty obvious observation. My good friend, Caroline, and I took the night to make crafts out of bags of saved wine corks, something we have both wanted to do for a while. It seemed like a productive and rewarding way to use the evidence of years of wine drinking – I mean “tasting” (no, I really mean drinking).
Caroline was fashioning cork trivets out of antique picture frames, and I, to much avail was trying to make a wine cork wreath, uber fitting for the upcoming entertaining holidays. The glue guns were smoking, the four-letter words were flying, and the martinis were flowing. Needless to say, we weren’t near the perfectly imperfect Martha Stewart excellence. However, in the end, I think Ms. Martha would have been proud.
There’s something so unique about a girl’s night; they can be simple or extravagant, gossipy or humble, over-emotional or relatively quiet. Whatever the circumstance, day of the week, or excuse it takes for girls to get together, something memorable usually occurs. While I know I’m not speaking to a large, albeit less numbered, half of our population, I think it’s important for every man out there to know that girls nights are 1) needed so we don’t yell at you about not wringing out the sponge, 2) not about pillow fights in negligée (sorry to burst some lingering pubescent floating bubbles of desire), and 3) a great excuse for you to watch that Pawn Stars episode with that man trying to sell the Days-of-Yore-this-is-worth-at-least-10,000-dollars-ok-maybe-$75.50 musket.
(Side note: as I literally finished writing that, Rob came upstairs and said, “Hey babe, I’m watching this really cool show about guns!” No joke.)
After three hours of chatting, glue-gun burns, ignoring Sig (he learned to give up early), and, “Are you sure this looks ok?” reassurances, we had finished our little projects with sore hands and a sense of accomplishment. By golly, we actually were crafty. Caroline had created her trivets, and I had made my wreath. Aside from feeling like we had actually done something worthwhile with our Saturday night, the process of cutting each cork perfectly to fit its puzzle-piece spot left us sighingly remembering each bottle of wine we loved, and just liked, and enjoyed with friends and family over laughs and good food. Needless to say, the projects resulted in more than just our finished products.
To celebrate (and to secretly make Martha proud), dinner was in order, and a good one at that. Our CSA basket is still giving us beautiful, bounteous baskets full of harvest summer fruit and veg, including lots of sweet corn. I stuffed Poblano peppers with a colorful corn sauté, and eating this rustic Pacific Northwest meal gave us a different sense of accomplishment – like we had done something good for our community (and our stomachs).
The next morning, the leftovers were calling my name. With a mixture of sautéed corn, cabbage, bacon, cranberries, and Manchego cheese, a breakfast burrito with a fried egg built itself in my mind putting my hands and sauté pan to work. The foggy-morning dance of frying an egg until it is just cooked through has become second nature to me. Using the benchwarmer microwave to cheatingly heat up my tortilla, I layered a little hot sauce, my harvest summer sauté, and the fried egg; breakfast was served. And on the becoming increasingly rare occasion, breakfast was slow and savored.
With fall just around the corner, I can’t think of a humble breakfast that says goodbye to summer, and hello to autumn, better than this one. Maybe it’s just because the memory of discovering my inner craftiness pairs as well as a mimosa would, or maybe it’s because it really is that good. You be the judge.
Happy almost fall!
Harvest Summer Breakfast Burrito
(this recipe will give you enough filling for about 4 burritos, or extra to stuff roasted Poblano peppers!)
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels cut off cob (raw)
- ½ head green cabbage, sliced thinly
- 3 strips bacon, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 large carrot, shaved in strips with a vegetable peeler
- ¼ c dried cranberries
- ½ c + ¼ c beer (light ale)
- juice from 1 lime
- ½ c Manchego cheese, grated
- 4 flour tortillas
- 4 eggs
- a dash of olive oil
- basil for garnish
- hot sauce optional
Brown the bacon in a large sauté pan over med-high heat until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain off the excess grease.
Pour out all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat, and add the diced onion. Season with s&p and sauté until softened and translucent. Add the jalapeño and deglaze with the ½ c of beer. Let simmer until the beer is almost completely reduced, and add the cabbage and corn. Season with a pinch of s&p again. Add the extra ¼ c beer and cook down, until no extra liquid is in the pan and the cabbage has wilted.
Turn off the heat and mix in the carrot shreds, cranberries, and crispy bacon. Sprinkle over lime juice, and taste for seasoning.
At this point, heat up the tortillas, and either mix in the grated Manchego cheese, or layer it within the burrito (I like to layer it in rather than mix together – it keeps different textures alive within the burrito).
To fry the egg, pour a dash of olive oil into a non-stick pan, and crack in the egg. Season with s&p, and leave be to cook over high heat, and then flip when the edges start to brown. Cook to preferred doneness (runny yolk, medium, or hard cooked), and put on top of sauté in the burrito.
Pour over some hot sauce, if you like it spicy in the morning, garnish with basil, and fold like, well, a burrito.