I started a new work schedule this week. Four ten-hour shifts. My days are busy seeing ten families each day, and admittedly, I’m a little exhausted. But, change is good sometimes, as they say. Today, at the end of the week, I am embracing the opportunity for quiet, reflection, and rest.
My days of wanting a cold breakfast are waning. Seattle is beginning to show signs that winter is close, but I’m not yet ready to surrender to its bossy ways. The ways that find me regretting a scarfless outing, inching the heat dial up and up, and wanting nothing but something warm to eat when I wake.
But for just a bit longer, on the busy days, I’m still quite alright with a bowl of yogurt. So long as there is also a piping hot mug of coffee and a blanket to wrap myself in. There’s always a warm stack of pancakes to be had on Saturday afterall. And maybe Friday now too.
I’ve always been one to make time for breakfast. I get up crazy early just so I can simply sit and eat at my little secretary desk - the kind with the top that folds down, revealing cubbies stuffed with paperback journals, scraps of recipes torn from magazines, lists of places to visit, a stack of thank you notes, and a too-pretty-to-use candle. Just to the right hangs a small window. Last week, I watched the sun rise through that window while I sat sipping my coffee. This week, it remained dark.
With the introduction of my new work schedule, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice this time. The kind of time where I find myself the most passionate, the most humble, the most curious. And so, get up earlier I do. I assure you, it’s worth it.
As such, inevitably I find myself lingering far too long each morning. Up until I’ve realized that my moment has fleeted and suddenly I’m in a flurry of adrenaline, rushing to clear my dishes, giving my hair a final disheveled toss and maybe a bobby pin if it’s so lucky, and grabbing this and that for the day.
Thankfully, the weekend always comes. There’s a little more time for lingering and hardly ever rushing.
As I begin to look for a little warmth in my breakfasts, the toasted oats do just that here. Set them to toast in a skillet while you begin to prepare the other ingredients and set your pot of coffee.
The hint of cinnamon in the creamed honey also invokes such a feeling, a sense of fall with winter soon on its way. The husband and I stumbled upon a jar of it at a little stand called “beekind” at the Ferry Building in San Francisco when we visited last September. One lick and I was smitten.
I proceeded to put it on and in everything – goat cheese spread on toast, roasted butternut squash and apples, a sauce to serve with lamb - but found it especially nice rippled on top a bowl of plain yogurt. Having recently scraped the final drops from the jar, I am on the hunt for another as equally good. If you have the good fortune of finding one, use it here. Otherwise, any honey will do.
Now, I know herbs with a sweet breakfast may seem a little strange, and you can leave them out if you wish. But, I love the way their earthy/fresh/rustic flavors play with the sweet toasted oats, figs, and honey.
What are your mornings like these days?
yogurt with cinnamon creamed honey, figs + thyme // serves 1
This isn’t so much a recipe as inspiration for putting a simple bowl of yogurt together. Use whatever toppings you wish here. If you can’t find cinnamon creamed honey, you could spoon a bit of creamed honey into a saucepan and warm it through with a dash of cinnamon. Or just use any honey you have on hand.
my palette contains:
1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup plain yogurt
cinnamon creamed honey, or any honey of your choice
figs, pears, and/or bananas, sliced to your liking
1-2 tablespoons chopped almonds
poppy seeds, sesame seeds
fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon, or dill, chopped
fleur de sel, Maldon, or another flaky sea salt (optional)
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden and fragrant. You can add the almonds here to toast as well, if desired. Set aside. Place yogurt in a bowl. Drizzle with honey. Add fruit to bowl and top with oats, almonds, and seeds. Finish with herbs and the tiniest sprinkle of fleur de sel or sea salt, if desired.