If the perfect morning ritual is slow and quiet, then I’m all in. I’m not a morning person; every day I work up the courage to tear myself out of my warm, comfy bed and get the day going. However, I’ve spent my life living with people who torture me with their morning cheerfulness. While incessantly knocking on my bedroom door, my father would try to rouse me out of bed. Usually it was accompanied by his favourite German song, “Hallelujah, schoener Morgan,” which translated, means “Hallelujah, beautiful morning.”
Then I married an early bird who starts chattering the minute his eyes open. So. Much. Talking. Our two sons have each taken after one of us, and it would annoy my son and me to no end when his chirpy little brother would waltz down the stairs. To make matters worse, he’s a drummer and would practice his routines with the breakfast utensils, the two of us rolling our eyes and imploring for quiet.
I’m sure you realize how much I love all those morning birds, and most likely you’ve visited with two of them as you’ve chatted with Rob or Jason at the market.
My ideal morning ritual is a steaming cup of Republica Diabolique coffee in hand, wrapped in my fuzzy housecoat and nestled into my rocking chair beside the dining room window. Here I can bask in the morning sun, watch the birds flit around my yard, and leisurely wake up. Nor am I a breakfast eater, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed cooking many breakfasts and brunches. Eggs Ole, from the Best of Bridge cookbooks, has been served countless times in our home. It’s a perfect brunch dish for a crowd, sneaks in veggies, and showcases my favourite Tex Mex flavours. Served with warmed tortilla shells, salsa and guacamole, guests can prepare breakfast wraps to their liking.
A perfect brunch always includes a sweet treat, and my mom’s Cinnamon Crumb Cake is ideal. It’s an old family recipe, and the simplicity of ingredients and technique speaks to her personality. While raising seven children on the farm, she rarely had time for fussy baking. The recipe likely came from her older sister in Manitoba, the eggs supplied by our farm chickens and no doubt she made the buttermilk herself. My thrifty mother would never have considered topping the lightly-spiced cake with mile-high buttery streusel as that required more of the costly butter and sugar. And why make streusel separately when a one-bowl method worked just fine?
On bright sunny mornings, you’ll still find me rocking in my chair, a cup of coffee in my hand. But if you listen closely, you’ll probably hear me humming, “Hallelujah, beautiful morning.”
Oma Klassen’s Crumb Cake
Bacon, Egg & Avocado Breakfast Sandwich
Stephanie’s Turkish Eggs
Soft poached eggs, nestled in rich garlicky yogurt, topped with a browned butter, infused with chili flakes and fresh herbs, with a slice of toasted crusty bread for dipping – OH MY! Creamy, savoury, a little bit of kick, full of bold flavours, yet so simple; it was divine.
French Toast Casserole
If you’re looking for a sweet breakfast bake to build a tradition around, this French toast casserole is it. Custard-soaked bread is flavored with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a nutty crumble topping, and baked until golden and steaming.
Loaded Breakfast Skillet
A breakfast skillet is the perfect meal for lazy breakfast people. Here, everything comes together in one skillet, so you’ll be digging into a mess of potatoes, sausage, eggs, and cheese in about half an hour. And because it’s high in protein, it will set you up for energetic success.