Compared to much of the rest of the world, most Americans eat a fairly limited variety of breakfast foods. Cold cereal or a bagel on weekdays, and eggs and bacon on the weekends, seem to be typical breakfast menus for most of us — if, that is, we bother to eat breakfast at all.
We recently found ourselves breaking our own breakfast rut by expanding our repertoire to include earthy truffled pecorino cheese, spicy capicola cured meat, and cured tomatoes, all from our friends Jody and Luisa Somers of Dancing Ewe Farm in upstate New York. It was absolutely delicious, and we weren’t hungry again until dinner.
Of course, we kept the coffee on the menu. It’s irreplaceable.
One of the simple pleasures of life for me and Kay is stopping in any of the myriad independent coffee shops in New York City. Though each shop is otherwise unique, chances are good that a cup of coffee “to go” will come in an iconic blue and white Greek paper cup. The cups, ubiquitous in New York City but practically unknown anywhere else, are a comforting reminder that I am home, where I belong, in the city I love.
My friends will tell you that I don’t like a lot of “things” out on display in my living space. I prefer cleans lines and blank spaces to tchotchkes, collectibles, and trinkets. The one obvious exception is printed books, which still line the shelves of our apartment even in this age of ebooks. The second exception is the coffee paraphernalia perpetually housed on the back of the stove. It’s in use so often that it would make little sense to store it anywhere other than right in the open, where access is convenient and immediate. So, when you’re in my neighborhood, stop by for a cup of espresso. It won’t take long.
A few years ago, I found myself in Copenhagen visiting the country from which my great-grandparents emigrated. I had envisioned myself spending a week indulging in decadent Danish pastries, but ― to my surprise ― I never found any. Instead, I discovered a croissant so sublime that I suspect any Parisian baker would have been proud to claim it. I only wish my Gramps had been there to enjoy it with me.