For those of you who haven’t lived with me in the last couple of years, I’ve developed a keen adoration of breakfast foods and morning rituals. It started seriously when I lived in the Lodge and breakfast became a bit of a rallying point for all of us in the house: the morning after a crazy night, a breakfast party would be formed, and we would all pitch in ingredients, and trade stories while we made enormous amounts of fajitas, french toast, or your standard eggs, bacon and toast. These breakfast parties ranged from 3 or 4 people to the whole house; and often it wouldn’t even be the morning after a party, it would just be some morning when a few of us didn’t have class til 11 or 12, so we could take our time making a feast to start the day.
I found that the days when I didn’t feast like that, I starved, and lo and behold, my own breakfast rituals were born. I love a whole smattering of breakfast meals (polenta, eggs and tomatoes/avocados chunked up is a favorite at home, while in France I tend to eat a lot of oatmeal or quinoa with walnuts and bananas), and at the very least, the first thing I do is get up and make tea (Twinings Earl Grey, thanks to Emily and Michelle, two earl grey lovers and best friends of mine).
Lately I’ve been in a quinoa/oatmeal rut, and not been eating as well for breakfast (and I’ve been getting up late for about the entire month of january, so somedays I just skip straight to lunch!) but then my friend Olivia posted about some delicious French toast she made, and I had the French toast bug.
Now, as I have whined before, France is not conducive to eating lean and healthy as I am used to. Thankfully I’ve gotten over getting sick over everything I put in my stomach, but this semester I have been being just a touch more careful about the meals that I have a little more control over, meaning breakfast and lunch. Last semester’s little social experiment of eating exactly as my host family does (small bowl of cereal or bread with jam for breakfast, leftovers or a sandwich for lunch) was good in terms of total immersion, but this semester I’m trying to cook with a little more mind towards nutrition. Also I just really got to missing cooking and trying new recipes, so I wanted to do that again too!
Like I said, my go-to breakfast is quinoa or oatmeal with walnuts and bananas (or whatever fruit I can find to throw in; the morning I went hiking it was dates); this is a really great breakfast because it is packed with nutrients and fiber/protein, and it’s pretty delicious. Because it’s so filling I can eat a light lunch of my own design (I have quinoa salad in the fridge, hence the apprehension of eating quinoa for brekkie too!) and then eat dinner with the host family, no reserves. Not that I have any reserves as it is, but my body feels just a little bit better when I at least sort of stick to some of my regiments.
This breakfast, however, is what we call devoid of all nutritional value. Olivia’s French toast was delicious and healthy. This guy? This is one step away from Carriage House brie-stuffed French toast (and anyone who has spent any amount of time in Ithaca can attest to the decadent glory THAT is). It was scrumptious! I added walnuts so that it at least looked like Liv’s, and they’re good for your brain, or whatever. They also go really well with homemade raspberry jam and maple syrup.
I also got a little creative with my tea this morning, and tried to make a chai tea by throwing some extra spices in with my regular black tea. This would have been all well and good if I had let them steep properly, in one of those little steel tea-balls, and I had a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon. Luckily, I always take my (black) tea with sugar and milk, so it tasted mostly normal with the occasional explosion of cinnamon.
Now, I’m not going to post a recipe because it’s just white bread dipped in egg I whipped up with milk, salt and cinnamon. Very straight forward. I just thought I’d post some photos because I had promised a response to Liv’s incredible toast. I, however, kept forgetting to buy bananas and whole wheat bread is sort of a joke in this country, so I decided to just go big.
Tonight I’ll be cooking Indian for the Pierrot’s, too. I suppose I should have had a more filling breakfast so that I won’t need to eat during my cooking process but as I said, there’s quinoa salad in the fridge. None of the Pierrot’s have ever really had Indian food, so I’m going to have to dial down any spiciness to about zero. I think everything I’m cooking should be flavorful, but not spicy. Lots of coconut products, and I’m making a raita they can use to cool down their mouths immediately. Anyway, I should probably go buy the veggies for that, and make dessert/raita before I even think about the rest of the meal! Wish me luck, and expect another food post tomorrow relaying the dinner!
Below, the spice pods (cardamom and cloves) I pulled out of my tea.
OH and if anyone is wondering, I have started class (I had my first one yesterday, and the rest start next week), and I will certainly post about what this semester’s schedule looks like by the end of next week, once it’s a bit more settled; I’ve only gotten one grade so far, and if I told you what it was I’d have to explain the French grading system, so just suffice it to say that I did pretty well in my history class. And yes, I have mostly been sleeping late, lounging and watching BBC shows, cooking whatever my little heart desires and waltzing around Paris without an appointment or a care since January 12. My life is really hard.