Monthly Archives: November 2011

Flavor of Utah- No Artificial Colors or Pop Stars

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It’s a blustery Saturday morning and something unusual happened after breakfast: I actually felt like posting something here. I have something very unimportant to say and no one to say it to at the moment. So it goes here. Sure I could babble at Yosuke but he’s in his own little corner (actually I gave him the second bedroom for his own particular use, so he’s in there on his computer doing something). Me, woke up at the urgent cries of Mimi, who was hungry, and it was the pathetically cute mewls of Norah which finally pulled me upright. I guess it was way past their breakfast time. It’s fine though, because my body was already screaming at me to get vertical. Just been achy these days.

Anyway, it being a Saturday with no plans, I started with Angry Birds. The pull for caffeine drew me back to the kitchen, and I remembered that yesterday I had gone to a grocery store that I don’t usually frequent for the express purpose of buying eggs. I know this sounds silly, but since we got here Yosuke and I as well have been a little disappointed in the eggs we’ve been getting. Japan has great eggs. Rich and dark yolked, full of flavor. The eggs here generally don’t compare. But from my short stint at Winder Farms, I learned about one of the local egg farms that keeps Rhode Island Reds, a breed very similar to the one in Japan which lays the higher quality eggs sought out by 5-star type restaurants. I also learned which stores those eggs are sold at, and they are not sold at the one I usually go to, hence the extra stop on the way home last night.

This morning was my chance to have a crack at them. So I cooked up some skillet potatoes to go with them. Recipe here:

  • 1-2 slices thick cut bacon cut into bite size bits
  • handful of roughly chopped onion
  • two small potatoes, baked and cut into big bite sizes (skins on if you like)
  • handful of salad greens
  • salt, pepper, and sage to taste

In a heavy skillet, cast iron if you got it, brown the bacon on medium heat, DO NOT DRAIN FAT. Add the onions and brown, about 5 minutes. When bacon is pretty dark but not near burning, add the potatoes and brown, another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper and sage, and the salad greens. Wilt the greens and then remove from heat but not from pan, while you cook up your eggs. Try topping off with parmesan cheese or Greek yogurt. Hot sauce is nice too.

The eggs delivered- the yolks were nice in color, texture and flavor. I may now continue buying eggs, as Yosuke has officially ended his egg strike.

Now for the thought that made me want to post: how much of this breakfast could I make on purely local stuff? Wouldn’t the use of local ingredients define a local flavor? Utahns love to support local businesses, farms, financial institutions, churches, and music. So anyway I was putting Arizona agave nectar and central Utah milk in my Hawaiian Kona coffee, and sprinkling my Idaho potatoes with desert sage, Utah salt, and Tellicherry pepper, wondering where my onions and bacon hailed from as I flipped my Erda, Utah egg.

By the way, did anyone else notice how Lady Gaga’s “You and I” seems to customize itself to the state its being played in? I thought it was Shania Twain on the radio when the DJ corrected me and my jaw fell; I felt cheated on. I heard that woman has a degree marketing and could not for a second believe that Utah was anything special to her and could only come up with the conclusion that for the sake of marketing she must have stood in that recording studio for DAYS covering all the states and capitals. I looked up the lyrics online- whoever posted the ones I found was obviously from Nebraska.

So, if I had to flavor Utah, it would be sage and lavender. If I had to sweeten it, it would be honey (or maybe we could cultivate agave here, not sure, but definitely not sugar!). If I had to spread it on toast, it would be raspberries or peaches. And if I had to sprinkle it with cheese it would be from Cache Valley. I bet we could grow tea but not coffee, however I have never found any “Utah” tea and somehow doubt I ever will unless I did it myself- Mormons and their caffeine abstinence, you know. I don’t know if peppers would grow here- most of our spices that we take for granted everywhere are tropical. I would make the effort to import the caffeine and the black pepper though.

Well that was fun. For me at least. Back to the Birds!