Cream of consciousness

Aug. 05, 2014 @ 10:19 AM

Perhaps you’ve noticed my email handle at the end of the column every week; it’s ‘Momsequitur’.

The Kid bestowed this moniker upon me, explaining that sometimes keeping up with my conversation is like playing hopscotch, in a minefield, during a heavy fog.

Sometimes Petey and The Kid just can’t hang with my bouncy, bustling brain.

This week I thought I would share with you some of those random thoughts. Stuff and things about food and cooking that I’d like to share with you, but by themselves aren’t really enough to make a column.

This spring it seemed like every website I went to was singing the praises of a wonderful new treat. It’s simple, quick and really good for you. It’s avocado toast.  Mash an avocado, mix it with the juice of a lemon, and salt and pepper. Check for seasoning, because avocado and lemon both needs loads of salt. Toast up some hearty bread, and spread your mash onto it. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and if desired, some red pepper flake. It really is good.

Another fast and yummy breakfast I’ve discovered is something called Nourish. It’s a hot cereal with oats, barley, and quinoa from Special K. They come in three different flavors; maple brown sugar almond (my favorite), cinnamon raisin pecan, and cranberry almond in single serve cups. I always add some nutmeg, and a small handful of my fruit/nut mix. It’s great for a meal or snack, and it travels well — all you need is some hot water.

Petey and I had cheeseburgers the other night, and I made onion rings from scratch.  I sliced some Vidalias on my mandolin ¼ inch thick. Then I made a quick batter with self-rising flour, a generous pinch of salt, and whisked in enough beer until it was smooth and the consistency of thin pancake batter. I heated some grape seed oil to 325 degrees, and cooked them in small batches until they were golden.  When they came out I set them on paper towels to drain, and gave them a light dusting of salt.  Petey devoured them.

Because most of our food is made from scratch, I never really know the nutrition information of a dish. I discovered a terrific website recently that answered all my questions. When you go to, you just type in your recipe, hit calculate, and you get a full accounting of calories and all the rest. They lay it out just like food labels, so it’s easy to interpret. 

The Kid calls pineapple nature’s candy, Petey loves it in milkshakes, and I could go broke eating it. The whole family is nuts for the stuff. The Kid recently told me about Ace hard pineapple cider. I am assured it tastes just like fresh pineapple juice. And my child has high standards when it comes to that sweet, sunny fruit.  Unfortunately, I’ve never sampled it.  Sam’s Bottle Shop (1112 W Hwy 54, Durham), which carries it, is currently sold out.

Why no one ever did this is a mystery to me, but it’s a genius idea. Tanya and Konrad over at Daisycakes (401 Foster St., Durham) are working on a new project. Their éclairs are already top-notch. But the Foster Street mad scientists are working on éclairs with … wait for it … savory fillings! Absolutely brilliant! They aren’t available yet, but keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages for the debut. I can’t wait. Every time I go in, I check for updates (I’m sure they’re getting sick of me).

A couple of years ago, the Lowes Food Store at Wellons Village (1010 N. Miami Blvd. Durham) closed up. Well, I’ve got some great news. Recently, one of my favorite supermarkets has taken over the space. Compare Foods is now open and selling its unique selection of produce, meat and Hispanic products. I promise you’ll thank me if you pay them a visit.

Thus we end the sojourn into my mind. I will now take you by the hand and lead you from the void back into the light. And it is my fervent hope that there is no lasting damage from the trip.

Thanks for your time.

Debbie Matthews lives, writes and cooks in Durham. Her email address is