Marjory Sweet Interview and Book Launch Event

The Post Supply got the chance to connect with farmer and chef Marjory Sweet about her newest book "__ Is A Breakfast Food".

The book is a conversation about what to eat in the morning. Breakfast as a mood, a memory, a moment, a mundane routine, a meaningful ritual. Intended for anyone who needs a new way with eggs; or who has woken up and wondered what to eat, or who has just woken up and wondered. It is published by Anyonegirl with photos by Halley Strongwater

Read more below!

 Your first book "Farm Lunch" wove together the concept of food and ecology as well as taste and style. Can you touch on what we can expect from "___" is a breakfast food and what inspired you to create it? 

I consider the new book an extension of Farm Lunch. (or a prelude? Since breakfast typically precedes lunch...) and both projects share an origin point: my experience farming and the personal rituals and little beliefs I developed around cooking and eating while growing my own food. Farm Lunch is heavier on the overall practical guidance (recipe formulas and a framework for how to approach cooking) but it contains very few "actual" recipes. The new book is heavier on the concept/question of what makes a meal a personal ritual and does include several fully developed recipes. 

I wrote the breakfast book when I was in the midst of a particularly intense farming season and a major life shift, so I was thinking a lot about the meaning of rituals and habits in everyday life at the time: ones to hang onto, ones to let fossilize into memories. I was also waking up before sunrise every morning (hello farming), which makes you deeply appreciate that time of day. Early AM is such an otherwordly, crystalline, spooky half night/half day fever dream kind of time. Plus, I really do love breakfast in all of its iterations. 

Your recipes and writing style have a softness and ease to them - words like "glug of olive oil" are used instead of precise measurements. Can you speak to your intention behind keeping things loose and more by feel or intuition in the kitchen? 

I've been thinking a lot about how poems and recipes have so much in common. Both generally rely on some kind of internal, technical structure, but they are as much about tone, mood, inspiration, and interpretation as they are about technique. The best poems haunt you and follow you and sink in, and your understanding of them -- sometimes even your memory of them -- evolves over time. The best recipes should function similarly, I think. I'm more interested in recipes that just make you want to get up and cook. If I write a recipe for a pasta dish and all you remember is that its a pasta dish with a glug of olive oil, but you make and love some version of that regularly, I'm happy. Also, glug is a precise measurement in my world :)

There is a feeling of groundedness in your work and food - what advice can you give us for ways to tune in and find meaning in the act of eating when we have to shop at a grocery store, feed our families quickly, or don't have everything in the pantry?

I think my first two answers already tackle this relentless dilemma: it's less important what you're making than how you're making it: the mood, the inspiration, the intention.  I will also say that Ritz crackers can be an instant way to find meaning in the kitchen when time and resources are limited.

About Marjory Sweet