Leaving the house is a good thing

January 19, 2014 – 8:17 A.M.

My family and I are all homebodies and I am the worst offender.

But it isn’t my fault. I come from a long line of homebodies and it is all I ever knew. In fact, if you trace my lineage back a few generations, you will see that my great great grandfather, Herman Homebodinski, was the first Homebodinski to come to the U.S. from Poland and he laid the groundwork for what we commonly known as the “homebody” today. I’ll do my best to share the old time pics with you if I can dig them up. I have some of him sleeping on a couch in front of a fire, others of him sitting at the kitchen table eating perogies and a few others of him just staring longingly at his bed. Once you see them, you will better understand me and where I come from.

So Sunday morning we were all sitting around debating what we were going to eat for breakfast (the kids vote for “mom’s pancakes” 100% of the time – even knowing they are made with some mix of sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, wheat germ, coconut oil – sorry, a story for another day) when my wife went all wacky and suggested we “go out” for breakfast. Really? Like get dressed and move about in the eight o’clock hour? On a weekend? Are you off your meds my dear?

The kids and I all chuckled heartily and went about our business of chillin. Crazy mom. Ha.

But then that all changed when she uttered the words “Lovin’ Oven”. Within seconds we were all dressed and headed out the door, time and frigid weather be damned. In all seriousness, those may be the only two words that could have elicited that type of reaction from all of us.  

Here is all that you need to know about “Lovin’ Oven”. We have taken five different trips to this establishment with family or friends over the past two years and without fail, all have said “this is the best breakfast we have ever had”. Not an ounce of hyperbole. It is that damn delicious. Check out their menu by clicking here. Even the kids go wild when we eat here. My future-food-critic-son can’t talk enough about the chocolate cherry scone. And to add to their street cred, check out this story from the Food Network about their ridiculously off the charts good chocolate caramel sea salt tart. You feeling me?

Because the “oven of love” is always bustling, there is going to be a bit of a wait before getting seated. No problem. Attached to the restaurant is Two Buttons, the store owned by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. Yes, she lives in our ‘hood. The shop sells antiques, goods and wares from Asia and was inspired by her story told in E, P, L. While I can’t claim to be all knowing about the world of gargoyles and Buddha, a visit to the store is an event unto itself. I am always searching for garden “ornaments” to break up the plant life and while my garden has never sniffed a style resembling anything Asian, who says I cannot mix it up a bit? In fact, I bought myself something there to be revealed in spring. I know, the suspense is overwhelming. Hang in there.                              

As we were about to be seated for breakfast, my wife picked up a copy of the always awesome “Edible Jersey” magazine and immediately handed it to me, noting the words “Native Plants” on the cover. Sold. Give me that periodical now. Inside I found the related story and let me tell you, I couldn’t be more excited. In nearby Hillsborough in the Sourland Mountains, unbeknownst to me, lives a couple with a native plant nursery, Wild Ridge Plants. After reading the back story about the owners and how they propagate the plants that they sell, I started dreaming about owning my own native plant nursery. Inspiration! While I haven’t yet committed to an all native garden, I have come to appreciate native plants way beyond their aesthetic appeal. Check out the couple’s two blogs and you’ll see why I got so excited:

Wild Ridge Plants

The Shagbark Speaks 

I cannot make it out to their nursery soon enough and if I am lucky, I’m hoping to snag them for an upcoming podcast. I vow to continue focusing on natives in my own habitat and spreading the word on this approach. This article reinforced that vision.

By the way, I had and egg scramble for breakfast with sausage/pesto/provolone, rosemary potatoes and a sweet potato biscuit. Another winner.   

So what is the moral of today’s – It is OK to leave your house once in a while.

You’re welcome.   

2 thoughts on “Leaving the house is a good thing

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