Friday, July 17, 2009

I Love Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  It always has been.  I remember reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and her descriptions of breakfast always made me want to get up early and make a big breakfast.  Alas, my Mom can think of few things worse than dirtying her kitchen at the start of the day, so it didn't happen often.  But I still read cookbooks like novels and while I read all the recipes, it was the breakfast ones that appealed to me the most.

One of them, I think it was melba toast, sounded so good.  It was old fashioned and I really wanted to try it. My Mom warned me I wouldn't like it.  She was right.  Soggy toast isn't my favorite.  But I didn't let that stop me.  I still loved breakfast.  I would choose going out to breakfast over going out to dinner.  I would much rather eat a family breakfast than a family dinner.  Maybe it's because every thing is fresh in the morning.  The day is ripe with possibilities.  It feels like a luxurious way to start the day--lingering over a real breakfast rather than wolfing down a bowl of cereal on your way out the door.  It feels good to be together and enjoy good food at the start of the day.  

I don't do a fancy breakfast.  Of maybe I just don't do a traditional breakfast.  No bacon, eggs and pancakes.  I try to keep it pretty simple.  I model it after a breakfast Aaron and I had in Sienna, Italy.  It was, perhaps, the best breakfast I've ever had.  

We were staying at a bed and breakfast called Frances Lodge.  Frances and her husband, Franco, served us breakfast on their patio overlooking Sienna and the hills of Tuscany.  That makes it pretty fantastic right there.  But the food, oh the food.  A baguette, fresh from a bakery in town.  A soft boiled egg, from Frances' chickens.  And you wonder why I want to have chickens.  Butter, "from the farm on that hill over there."  Honey, "the lavender from that farm over there, the lemon from that farm and the rose from that farm."  Jam, "from my own trees." Olive oil, "from our grove."  Fresh fruit: peaches, plums and nectarines so ripe they drip with each bite.  "Just picked from the orchard."  Strong, hot espresso with rich cream to lighten it up.  And chartrucerie.  What? At breakfast?  It was perfect.  From the butcher in town, who knows the pigs he butchers, and treats them well before and after.  How we lingered over that breakfast.  We wanted it to last forever.  To this day, if one of us mentions breakfast at Frances Lodge, the other will moan.

So my favorite breakfasts are in the summer.  We eat outside on our patio.  No hills of Tuscany to look at, but there are some beautiful roses, an avocado tree and the mud hole.  I serve soft boiled eggs, a baguette, and a bowl of cut, fresh fruit.  We have coffee, iced if the day is already hot.  Sometimes I squeeze fresh orange juice too.  One of the best things about this breakfast is that I am not in the kitchen cooking a whole batch of pancakes and then trying to keep them warm so we can all eat together, or eating a cold one after everyone else is done.  It is simple and delicious.

That breakfast is my favorite, but there are other things I like to serve, and eat, for breakfast. Here they are:
A bowl of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and honey
Hot from the oven muffins--more work, I know, but I pretty much feel like the world's best Mom when I get up early to make muffins for my family.
Stove top oatmeal with nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar and cinnamon
Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, or peppers.  It takes less than 5 extra minutes to add veggies to the eggs and it adds so much flavor.  I love vegetables at breakfast.
Fried potatoes made using leftover potatoes from dinner the night before.  All you have to do is heat them in a little olive oil with a diced onion.
A bowl of homemade granola.  Make it the night before--it takes 15 minutes.
And always, coffee.  Espresso made in the stove top espresso maker we got in Italy.  So simple and it makes the best coffee.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and while we'll be up early and rushing off to a wedding, I'll be dreaming of a leisurely breakfast.  What will you be having?


1 comment:

Erin McDonald said...

I am with you girl! although our bed and breakfast isn't nearly the same as yours we do have great breakfast here in the Philippines! Justin likes to sleep in and so I get up early and one of my favorites is baking bread! I make whole wheat cinomon bread. Yummy! we toast it up and add a little butter and serve it with a tall glass of goats milk. then the next day I make it into french toast with eggs. and then some times I make scones! And ohhh Annie R. made the most wonderful Apricot Jam and gave us a jar and well let's just say scones are not the same with out it! I have also made some delish banana bread. I have to say that the sadest part about breakfast here is that no matter what I am preparing I am drenched in sweat by the time we are ready to eat. But it is well sorth it!