Friday 11 November 2011

Breakfasts & feeding the monsters....

The past week has been a strange one....I've had to find a new rhythm to my days since I stopped supplying the Coffee Tree...and also something new to blog about here! Almost all of my day to day baking at the moment comprises trays and trays of brownies...and while these taste & look delicious, they're not the most interesting of subjects to photograph or to talk about!

So for the moment I'll head back into more personal food territory, and see where that takes me. I'm beginning with breakfast!
Paul is someone who really needs breakfast. By that I mean that he just doesn't have a good start to his day if he doesn't eat properly. I, on the other hand, have to force myself to eat anything - it just doesn't feel natural at all. Perhaps that's the legacy of such an early start to my working day - I'd just rather get up and get out and get going!
But there's no doubt that I feel better when I do have something...and so I'm trying to train myself to be better at cooking for both of us first thing. I try and vary things every day...and we both like different meals. Paul adores a grilled kipper (especially on Sunday mornings) with brown bread & butter...I love yoghurt, especially gooseberry or rhubarb. This morning he had no time to sit and eat so I got the frying pan out...
and cooked some dry-cured outdoor bred unsmoked back bacon (very important to get GOOD bacon from as happy-as-possible-in-the-circumstances pigs, I think) and made him a bacon sandwich to go...

He likes his sandwich on untoasted wholemeal bread, buttered on both sides, with the bacon cooked but NOT crispy! Very particular, my husband....
I had a bowl of porridge - my absolute favourite thing on a cold, dark November morning...

made with water, not milk...sprinkled with cinnamon, seasalt flakes and just a soupcon of real Canadian maple syrup. I'm quite particular myself, come to think of it! Absolutely delicious. I also have to have at least one cup of (real) one of my favourite mugs...

See a pattern emerging there? There aren't many Mozart mugs, but between my Mum and I, I think we must have most of them. And it makes me so happy to drink my coffee from doesn't feel right any other way. It's the little things like this that help to start my day in the right frame of mind, I've found!
Fridays at this time of year are also feeding time. For my Christmas cakes that is...
They are all baked and ready for the Christmas Farmer's Market and other orders...and sit, tightly wrapped in double layers of clingfilm and foil, at the back of a cool dark cupboard awaiting the time when they'll be dressed in their icing finery nearer to the Big Day! But for now, every Friday they are unwrapped and fed with either brandy or rum (according to the fruits they contain)

this keeps them beautifully moist and ensures that they taste gorgeous on the Christmas tea table. Of course, I do make some with no alcohol too - but these are the biggest sellers by far. They do have their personalities, it seems to me, as they sit and glower in their cupboard...the small and squat ones, the bigger taller ones....cakes are like my babies, as you can see!

I'm just eating a wonderful bowl of soup, made with the help of my youngest nephew William yesterday. Carrot, cumin & fresh pear. The pear was his idea - inspired, it is absolutely delicious. We cooks should listen to three year olds more often!

I'd love to know what your favourite breakfast is...leave me a comment and let me know? Thanks so much for reading and have a wonsderful weekend xoxo


  1. YUM! My grandmother was the queen of wonderful breakfasts. She'd can fruit in the summer, and heat it up for our winter breakfasts. I remember spicy, warm peaches and cinnamon toast with deep affection! Your Christmas cakes make me wish even more for a holiday in England. They look woooonderful. xo Happy Weekend!

  2. we love breakfast! There is a local restaurant that serves breakfast from 8 am til closing at 6pm...we are regulars there! Our faves are fluffy eggs and omelets, sugared bacon and patty sausage (not blood sausage!), a giant stack of blueberry pancakes...or at home, French toast...of course, an entire pot of coffee with skim milk..xo Glad to see you developing a new rhythm...the Christmas cakes look amazing...xoxo

  3. This post is perfectly timed for me! I make a point of getting plenty of protein in my breakfast, but I haven't been in the mood for eggs lately (or even bacon, if you can believe it!) I'll often make cottage cheese pancakes (2 c. cottage cheese, 6 eggs, and 1/2 c. almond flour pureed in blender, cooked on griddle -- delish), but I'm out of cottage cheese, so breakfast was a challenge today. I wound up treating myself to a bowl of oatmeal with real cream and raisins (not because I love raisins, but because they're a good source of potassium and I've committed myself to getting the recommended 4,000 mg. of it every day - that's a lot!). I do love the cream, though :-)

  4. Oh, O love breakfasts so... It's my favourite meal in the day, I think... On a weekday I start work 7.30 so breakfast is really early but I couldn't just leave without it. In the summer it's granola with youghurt, preferably sheep's or goat's, or bircher musli with soya/almond/oat milk or youghurt, as above. And coffee... real, too, from my stovetop pot aka moka pot. Winter - it needs to be porridge. Something to warm up the body. I love millet one but oat porridge is good, too. Lots of poached seasonal fruit (usually pears and apples) and plenty of brazil nut, lightly toasted. And maple syrup or honey. And weekends, ahh, it's a different story altogether. On at least on day, either Sat or Sun, it's breakfast at my favourite cafe in Barnes. Usually croissant with jam and butter, or pain au chocolat or, if I feel more decadent - almond croissant with a massive amount of naughty almond cream. Aaaand coffee. Lots of it and good, too. Americana usually, with a bit of warm wholemilk on the side. Or honey latte but only with plain croissant. If I had it with the almond one I'd probably shoot up through the roof due to sugar overdose... And the other weekend morning it's me baking. Scones, muffins or making pancakes. I just HAVE to bake something on at least one day. It's like itchy patch on your skin you need to scratch. Me scratching my itchy need of baking is, well, baking. I take out flour, butter etc and get on to it. And I do, too, Rachel I'm quite particular about my breakfasts:) Love, xxx

  5. I don't have proper breakfasts enough, except at weekends. And oh you make me miss a good old porridge! I haven't had a proper one in years.

    My idea of an ideal breakfast:

    -Two Easy over eggs
    -Crispy Canadian bacon (sorry never really liked the British one)
    -Thick white bread toasts, to dip in the yolk.
    -Kraft peanut butter for more toasts.
    -Some pancakes for good measure, with Maple Syrup of course.
    -Orange juice with a bit of pure cranberry juice to add to the taste.

  6. Hello Rachel!!
    I love to hear about breakfast....I think breakfast is magical, but I, too, must force myself to eat it....I like to just get started in the morning and then find something, but the sounds of dishes in the morning is music to me!!
    Such a delightful post and I'd LOVE to hear more of your favorite meals that you and Paul fun!!

  7. Fantastic work Squilly! I would never have put pear in soup in a million years! Which is why I'm not the innovative chef that you are, Ray. It's lovely to see what you have for breakfast. I have my rheumatoid arthritis pills......!

  8. Hi sweetie,
    I loved reading your breakfast post! It's interesting to know what other people eat (or don't eat) in the morning. I will tell you what I have every morning - coffee made with hot milk and Nescafe instant coffee, in my favorite EB mugs. I love buttered toast, toasted bagel, or "english muffin". I also love oatmeal, but prefer my coffee and toast!
    By the way, I wish I could attend the Christmas Farmer's Market so I could purchase one of your Christmas cakes! They look absolutely delicious, Rachel! I would love a slice right now!

    Rosinda xoxo

  9. Ooh this is a lovely post Rachel! I really have missed an awful lot, I had no idea about The coffee Tree, I am going to read back to my last visit and have a proper catch up here and on Mozart's Girl so I am up to date with everything :)
    My favourite breakfasts are:
    Brioche French toast with streaky smoked bacon and maple syrup.
    Porridge made with whole milk and a tablespoon of maple syrup.
    And finally greek yogurt, raspberries, pistachios and honey...Oh my golly, my mouth is watering for breakfast!
    It is the idiosyncrasies in us all that I find so fascinating, especially when it comes to food. For example, how a bacon wichy can make our hearts sing, but how different they must be from someone else's to do that. I think it is the understanding of these particular tastes and preferences of our loved ones and creating a dish for them just because they like it that shows them how much we care, especially if it does not tickle our fancy!
    Love Morwenna

  10. Oh and I forgot to say that I agree with you entirely regarding the happy pigs! It is free range and organic all the way for us too xoxo


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