Our New Year in our small mountain town has begun with snow. It was inevitable. It is the west, it is winter, and we are in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Sunday, the Chef and I were sitting outside with our dog, Butch, at one of the local cafés. This morning, we took Butch on a quick jaunt into our backyard park and went back home because the temperature was in the single digits.
New Year’s Day Breakfast
Days like this call for staying home and starting the morning with something hearty like biscuits and gravy. Long ago, my mother gifted the Chef the cookbook The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. She inscribed it to him with a message that reads “a wonderfully simple approach to food. She is amazing!” Alice Waters is amazing, and it was more than long past time to break open the pages of her book again. Typically, I search the Internet for random biscuit recipes. This morning, I thought I would go old school. We have no shortage of cookbooks, and it’s time I start really digging into the pages of these.
We are running low on provisions following the holidays, but we generally always have the basics on hand. I didn’t have the heavy cream that Waters calls for, but I did have a bit of creamy goat milk left over from making homemade ricotta to fill the cannoli I made. I filled in the rest of what I needed with the milk in our fridge. It worked perfectly.
I tend to pull out the food processor to mix the ingredients, but Waters reminded me that it’s just as good, if not better, to use my hands. I did. I cut the butter in the flour mixture with my hands, and it felt much like a winter version of getting my hands dirty in the garden. Once I had the dough mixed together I rolled it out on the new baking mat my mother-in-law gifted me this Christmas. It’s perfect for biscuit cutting.
The Chef made his usual white sauce infused with a bit of thyme we got at the farm stand in town. It was a basic bechamel, but he makes it well. He cooked up some bacon we found in the meat counter at the St. Vrain Market right around the corner and it all came together in the most simple and delicious way.
Beginning the Year Slow
We are starting off the year slow and simple, the way we like it. We spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home after getting a quick bite to eat in Boulder. I spent the evening reading and waiting for the ball to drop in New York City. The Chef kicked back and read up on how to fix his car. He’s handy like that. Honestly, it was a perfect way to spend the evening.
A Resolution If
If we do make anything like resolutions, maybe it will be to spend more slow evenings like that together when we can. Maybe it will be to take more time to enjoy the art of cooking simply like we did this morning. It’s easy for us to get caught up in what we “have” to do. One of the reasons we moved out here to this small mountain town is that the simple beauty of the nature around us reminds us to slow down and live and cook a bit more intentionally. It was good to begin the year with Alice Waters and a brief brisk walk in the snow.