Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harriet the Spy, haloumi, and reading at the table.

   The next morning Mrs. Welsch asked "Wouldn't you like to try a ham sandwich, or egg salad, or peanut butter?"
   "Tomato," said Harriet, not even looking up from the book she was reading at breakfast.
   "Stop reading at the table." Harriet put the book down. "Listen Harriet, you've taken a tomato sandwich to school every day for five years. Don't you get tired of them?"

Last weekend in the country I started reading an old favorite, Harriet the Spy. I thought about it because of the dreamy tomatoes we got at the farmer's market. I think Harriet's family had a better source for tomatoes than my childhood home. I didn't like tomatoes until I was 20. But once I had real fresh tomatoes, I understand her commitment. There are many reasons besides tomato sandwiches to love Harriet--her spy notebook for one. And she reads at the table.

My current favorite summer lunch is grilled haloumi and fresh tomatoes. I learned about haloumi, a traditional Cypriot cheese made from sheep and goat's milk, from my friend Lisa, whose husband Nick is from Cyprus.

Just slice it, pop it in a hot skillet until it's golden, chop a tomato and you are good to go.
Just like Harriet, I like to read at the table, though I limit it to breakfast or when I am dining solo. How about you?


  1. Yum, that cheese sounds good! Cheese is my favorite food. lol I like to read every chance I get!!

  2. I wonder if you could find haloumi online. I'm sure they don't have it anywhere around this biscuits, fried anything, and gravy country. I didn't like tomatoes either when I was a kid, but love them now. IF I make it to the table, I often read while I eat.

  3. Hello Jen:
    Only very recently did we discover haloumi which we used, quite successfully, in a Nigella Lawson receipt of roasted vegetables, including tomatoes(!!) for some vegetarian friends. The result was delicious.

    Reading at mealtimes is a little luxury which we indulge in occasionally, but nearly always if eating alone.

  4. We love Haloumi on bbq'd kebabs. I always read at the table at breakfast time. M x

  5. I find it hard to read and eat at the same time. I lounge and read...LOL that cheese and tomato looks delish

  6. I read anywhere! And I have taken to adding tomatoes to everything, heavenly, fragrant fresh red California local tomatoes, but especially to smoked fish salad on whole bread, mmmmm...

  7. Sounds delicious! I'm kind of addicted to cheese, will have to find some haloumi. I grew up in a family that ate of tv trays while we read. Sometimes at the kitchen counter. Our cat used to lie behind the newspapers and reach his paw underneath to fish stuff off our plates.