It's the Simple Things
By Mark Mulcahy
It seems that the smallest things can make the biggest differences in your day.
Like taking the time in the morning to make that perfect cup of tea just the way you like it and getting up just a little earlier to have time to savor the warmth, flavor and scents rising from the cup.
My morning tea ritual involves heating the water for my cup of green tea, grating a small amount of Melissa’s organic ginger in the cup followed by a squeeze of ¼ Melissa’s organic Valencia orange. Steep for 3 minutes and then settle into a chair overlooking my pasture to watch the sunrise and all of the activity of the property coming to life.
After a few hours of work, I again take just a little extra time to enjoy a breakfast of pan fried organic bosc pears with ginger and honey. The recipe adapted from Pan Fried Pears is fairly simple.
2 bosc or other firm variety of pear
2 tablespoons grass fed butter
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon minced organic ginger
1/2 cup chopped organic walnuts or pecans
1 cup organic full fat plain yogurt
If you don’t like warm nuts, you can add them after you’ve dished up the pears and yogurt.
Cut the pear into quarters and cut out the core/seeds. Cut each quarter in half. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and honey. Once the butter has melted and coated the bottom of the pan, add the pears cut-side down.
Cook the pears until golden, turn to the other cut-side, and cook again until that side is golden. Stir in the ginger and cook for a minute more. Finally, add the chopped organic Walnuts or pecans. Cook for another minute or two...
Spoon the yogurt into two bowls and top with the pears.
This yummy breakfast is filling and very satisfying. Add another cup of green tea and I’m ready to dive in for several more hours.
Another dish I love to savor in the fall is gingered organic sweet potatoes.
During the autumn and winter, we all love the taste of Melissa’s organic sweet potatoes in meal settings from dinner parties to simple lunches. They are great in casseroles, as roasted fries, or even as a cold afternoon snack for a quick pick-me-up.
Here is a favorite recipe adapted from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley, Melissa Clark and Laura Hartman Maestro. It perfectly complements the sweet potato flavor with the tanginess of orange zest and the zip of fresh ginger. Give it a try and I’m sure you will make a new favorite of yours.
Sweet Potatoes, Orange Juice and Ginger
3 pounds Melissa’s organic garnet sweet potatoes
Zest from one Melissa’s organic Valencia orange, either in long strips or with a microplane grater
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4-1/2 cup grade B maple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
1 1/2-3 tablespoons organic olive oil (depending on desired richness)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated organic ginger (using a microplane grater)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut each one into about eight chunks. If your sweet potatoes are wide, cut them in half lengthwise and then cut each half crosswise into four chunks. If you have really skinny sweet potatoes, just cut them into eight pieces crosswise. Place the sweet potato chunks in a single layer in a 9 x 12-inch Pyrex baking dish. If using strips of zest, tuck them in among the sweet potato chunks.
In a medium bowl, mix together the orange juice, grated zest (if using) maple syrup, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Pour on top of the sweet potatoes. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, turn the sweet potatoes, and cook for another 30 minutes. If you used strips of orange zest remove them before serving. Serves six.
Take a few gingerly moments this season and try both of these I’m sure you’ll find yourself making them several times throughout the autumn and cold winter months ahead.