Tag Archives: georgia ice cream

Mushrooms and Breakfast… A Few More Recipes

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Breakfast above the Mason & Dixon Line

This recipe is rather informal.

Boil some taters until they are slightly soft. Dice them.

Chop onion or garlic, as well as mushrooms. Anything you have will work, even common button mushrooms.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil into a frying pan and put on a hot burner. When pan is hot, add onion and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add taters.

Cook until browned the way you want them.

Serve with eggs, meat, tofu, etc. Don’t even think about putting ketchup on mushrooms. Verboten!


Breakfast Below the Mason & Dixon Line

Even more informal.

Start with good grits… none of that instant stuff with the PA religious guy on the cardboard container. Grits are merely dried corn, ground “gritty.” Hominy grits are not the same thing. They involve a weak lye solution. You can go here for recommendations for  good grits:


Follow the instructions on the package to make the grits. It should involve 30-60 minutes of cooking. Usually the mill knows best about how to cook its grits, and how much constitutes a “serving,” so I defer to its knowledge.

Meanwhile, chop about ¼ cup mushrooms per serving, and grate 1/8 cup of cheese. Add more if you like.

Cook the mushrooms in butter or olive oil. Perhaps you might use ghee if you are prone to burning your butter.

Add the mushrooms and cheese to the grits when they are just about done. Stir for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and evenly distributed.

Redeye gravy is often served over grits. I would not do that here, nor would I pour gravy over them. Eggs, meat, or whatever you like for breakfast may be served with the grits. If you want to mix your grits with your eggs, feel free. Click on the link at the top of the page, and order yourself some good coffee for your breakfast.

Eatmore T.

Altoona Diner

Walter Drake (Miles Kimball Company)

Years ago when I was a grad student at Penn State, a neighbor who was from Altoona invited my roommates and I to her parents’ home.  Her family, who were Jewish, owned a hotel in downtown Altoona.  I do not believe it is in operation anymore.  Her father had promised his mother he would keep a kosher home.  So when they wanted to eat non-kosher, they would eat at the hotel.

At home I try to buy locally raised “organic” foods as much as possible.  I avoid factory meat, and often go directly to the farm or slaughterhouse, where I have some concept of how the animals were raised.  The organic label doesn’t always mean what one thinks it should, so I do not go strictly by the label.  Many farmers refuse to buy into the certification process, but they will gladly tell me how their produce is raised. And some organic products simply do not yield good value.  So it is a constant struggle and harder than following kosher or halal rules.

When I am traveling, all bets are off.  I try to eat at local restaurants that have character… and characters, although I do find myself eating the vegetable platters at Cracker Barrel on occasion. They are not vegetarian, being cooked old Southern style, but  contain very little meat.

Thus it is fitting that I found Tom & Joe’s in downtown Altoona the first weekend in November.  Full of character and characters.  And good food!  No Georgia ice cream on the menu, which is to be expected north of the Mason & Dixon Line, but the fried taters were great.  I did not want to photograph the customers, and there were many, so the only photos I took were of the outside.

Mushrooms were hard to come by that weekend.  So were happy Penn State fans.

Eatmore T.