What a lovely way to round out a perfectly stressful week. I have to say that, of course, nobody's life is a bed of roses and, while my literal roses were blooming happily away this week, other things in my world were sad and stressful. Therefore it is with great joy that I can report that a happy Mother's Day dawn broke here this morning, full of challenges, hopes, possibilities and a regained sense of optimism. Helping this new attitude along was all the love that came my way this week culminating in, among other things, my delicious and happy brunch creation, forthwith known as Happy Mother Frittata.
For no known reason, I have been the very happy beneficiary of all sorts of unexpected gifts this week. A gorgeous painting from Uganda made by some very special young friends of mine, some incredible eggs direct from my friend Bob's "girls"who happen to live in his henhouse, some divine sausage from Sarah's family farm down the road in Cumberland County and last but not least, some exquisite homemade marmalade from my "daughter" Barbara, which arrivedfrom Kentucky on her birthday along with the thrilling news of her engagement.
Yesterday, the proverbial icing on the cake was Felix accompanying me to the first day of the farmer's market and buying for me, as a surprise, the first real local strawberries of the season. And, if all of that wasn't enough evidence that the universe was again smiling on me, Felix cleaned his room for me for Mother's Day, and when I say cleaned it, I mean that he cleaned it like it hasn't been cleaned before. In so many ways, the love has come shining through.
All of which put a spring in my step this morning as, in memory of my mother, I donned her favorite gardening shirt and went downstairs to hang out with Jeff and Felix and create a new taste treat.
I had such a wealth of ingredients staring me in the face, that it wasn't hard to whip together the feast that the universe, and my loved ones had clearly intended.
Happy Mother Frittata
1 lb. bulk country sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
8 stalks asparagus, cut into 2 " long pieces
2 tablespoons butter
5red potatoes, boiled
12 small farm eggs (or 8 large ones from the grocery)
3 tablespoons whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb. Gruyère cheese, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Saute sausage in a frying pan at medium heat, breaking it up and stirring it until itis fully cooked.
In a separate pan--preferably a cast iron skillet, but in any case, one that is oven safe--saute the red pepper and shallots and asparagus until nicely browned in the oil. Remove them from the pan and combine with the cooked sausage meat and set aside.
Add the butter to the uncleanedskillet in which you cooked the pepper/ shallot/asparagus mixture and put the chopped up potatoes in one layer on the bottom and let them saute gently at medium heat until they are slightly browned on the bottom.
In abowl combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper and mix well.
When the potatoes are nicely browned, place the sausage, red pepper, asparagus, shallot mixture on top without mixing it (so that the potatoes form the bottom layer) and then pour on the egg mixture on top. Arrange the cheese and chives on top and allow to cook on medium heat until the sides of the frittata appear to be firm.
Carefully move the pan into the oven and let it cook until the entire frittata appears to be just cooked through. It will probably take 10 - 15 minutes but keep an eye on it as you don't want it to get overdone.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes and then gently free it from the pan by running a sharp knife around it, and then carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Serve it immediately or at room temperature.
I served Barbara's incredible marmalade withlovely whole-wheat toast and Felix's special strawberries. It was a feast fit for the happiest mother around, thanks to the generosity of my special loved ones. It got a big thumbs up too, from the precious one without whom I wouldn't be a mother. Happy Mother's Day to all!