Monday, March 7, 2011

The Most Important Meal of the Day

There is something wonderful about the simplicity of breakfast. At the moment, I have some oats soaking in buttermilk in a bowl in the fridge. The oats will swell overnight and when I wake in the morning they will be ready to be mixed with some flour, butter, and eggs and cooked into oatmeal banana pancakes. I will eat them with maple syrup with a few slices of crisp bacon on the side. This will be accompanied by a cup of hot tea.

Most mornings are not like this. Most mornings I stumble out of bed and eat cold cereal with sliced bananas or peanut butter on multigrain toast. Occasionally, I will have a small bowl of lemon yogurt with homemade olive oil granola. As much as I gain pleasure from elaborate brunches on Sunday mornings, it is the humbleness of everyday breakfast that brings me the most satisfaction and comfort. When I travel, I fall in love with the first meal of the day, in its uncomplicated earnestness. A toasty baguette with butter and jam, a fresh croissant, a sesame bagel with cream cheese and a latte, smoked salmon on a slice of rye with a sliver of chive, an apple danish, or a tartine with butter, sea salt, and honey. The immediacy of lunch and the fussiness of dinner are absent from these foods, leaving only a meal that is effortless and without presumption.

Tomorrow morning I will wake up and be rewarded with the aroma of hot pancakes browning in the frying pan and the salty sweet smell of bacon, a simple meal that is perhaps the epitome of weekend decadence. What makes it even better is that it will be Monday.