Uncertainty & Breakfast Casserole
This week brought unexpected change. I don’t do that well with unexpected change, if I am honest. Much like many people, I like a fair amount of control in what happens to me.
What happened is that Ben lost his job. This means a loss of security. Also, it means another moment of realization that security is very relative. I won’t go into the details of what happened, but suffice it to say that it’s left a bad taste in my mouth and thoughts turning again and again to the unfairness of it.
And yet…and yet, this time holds so much magic if I’ll let it. There is the sudden increase in time that we have together while he is not employed. And it also has given him time to spend on his business plan and an intensified resolve to find out whether he’ll be able to get financing for his store. The fact that we realize again that security really can be very relative makes us more determined that we want to change our lives and take risks if need be. Life is uncertain anyway and you might as well go after what you want. It’s a time where because we don’t know what is possible exactly, it is quite easy to believe in possibility. That’s a feeling that I like to have always, but it can be easy to lose sight of it while going through the motions of the daily grind sometimes. This is a time of that feeling intensified, floating in the air even while we go about our day.
We also know that he’ll be able to find another job. So there isn’t that much need to worry. But still, while things are up in the air, I find myself feeling unsettled. In spite of all I said and feel when it comes to possibility, there is that part of me that just wants to know what will happen.
I ground myself by focusing on activities that yield tangible results. Things to be enjoyed right now: Making cups of tea. Scrubbing the kitchen sink to a shine. Re-upholstering a chair seat. Making dinner.
This leads me to breakfast casserole. I love having breakfast for dinner and making breakfast casserole is one of my favorites. It’s also great for lunch the next day, cold or heated up. We had it for dinner yesterday, and the photos shows the slice that I enjoyed cold for lunch today. It is both comforting and cheap, which is a great plus in times like these.
Here’s the recipe:
Breakfast Casserole with Ciabatta
Makes 6 large servings
1 1/2 loaves Ciabatta bread
5 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 whole shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (2 cups) baby spinach
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the bread cubes in a lightly greased 13 by 19- inch baking dish.
3. Cook the diced pancetta in a large saute pan over medium-low heat fro 3 or 4 minutes to render the fat. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
4. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook fro 2 or 3 minutes. Add the baby spinach and cook until all of the spinach has wilted, then add it to the casserole dish over the bread.
5. Whip the eggs and then add the chopped herbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, and black pepper.
6. Pour into the casserole dish over the pancetta mixture and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.
This recipe was taken from Back to the Family by Art Smit.
This is easy to adapt to whatever you have around. I usually substitute rather more mundane ingredients for the fancy ones, like regular whole wheat bread instead of ciabatta, smoked sausage or regular bacon instead of the pancetta, grated cheddar instead of parmesan, and dried herbs instead of fresh.
Hope you’re having a great weekend!