Breakfast. I think of stalled weekend mornings when the early day threatens to collapse into the afternoon. I imagine family moments around the kitchen island or big rustic family table loaded with pastries, hot food and pitchers of juice and citrus water. It was destined to be weekend’s greatest calling card. Food and family reconnected after a week of responsiblity and misdirection. Conversation about weekend plans or lack thereof. A morning done right.
Weekdays lack the character of a weekend. Everything about those five days of the week is forced. Compressed into a small window of opportunity and spit out again. They take on different personalities. Different roles. You can ease yourself into a Saturday or Sunday. But the rest of the days you’re shot from a cannon the moment the your eyes fight the light. And there’s no turning back.
My work day mornings are rushed. I have an hour to wake up and get ready and grab everything I need. And go. I back out of the driveway as the entire subdivision forms a long impenetrable line that mimics the lineup of vehicles at a border crossing. I anxiously wait my turn. All for the sake of the drive, half asleep, to punch a clock. Over and over. Again.
Weekends. Slow. Initiated. Time is our ally. We sink into the mornings. Lose track of time and ourselves. The moments that define us and the memories that established us happen on these two singular days. The ones we search for time and time again. The first part of the morning is spent soaking up the last of the previous night’s sleep. Daydreaming. Catching up. The extra time spent half asleep with our eyes part way shut is the moment we desperately longed for days before. And gave into on the first chance we got.
For as long as I can remember the mornings on weekends meant hot breakfast. Lots of dishes and pans and soon to be empty plates. It meant bacon and eggs or french toast or some other meal destined for the menu. On those hurried mornings it meant cereal. There were two sides of the spectrum. No middle ground.
Something happened along the way. It always does. I found compromise. Solutions. I discovered the other side and the possibilities. Granola. Yogurt. Healthy and delicious. I stumbled upon an oxymoron. Or the avenue where simplicity meets brilliance. Either way, I finally understood what everyone had been talking about. And they do talk.
I picked up a box of granola at the store. On one of those frantic mornings when time is limited I gave it a shot. It was good. But it wasn’t spectacular. So I made my own batch. And from that time on I make a batch of granola. ‘A chance to sneak in the weekend during the week. I stock it in an airtight container and put it in my pantry and run through it in a week. Each and every morning.
Weekends, even to this day, still mean hot foods to me. It lets me ease into the day in the kitchen and allows the aroma to fill the house and set the mood for the day. So I’ll get to work and make up foods that my wife and I can enjoy at our table. With lots of coffee and juice and water. And I’ll turn that granola into a parfait to end the meal, or start the afternoon. It’s my version of moderation.
Breakfast. It conjures up images of stalled early mornings. On weekends the mornings crashes into the early afternoon. I imagine family moments. The two of us, maybe more one day. The big family table with croissants and hot foods and pitchers of juice and citrus packed water. And granola and parfaits and the newspaper folded in sections around the seats at the table. It’s weekend’s greatest footprint. A morning done right.
From my kitchen to yours,
Maple Granola with Pistachios
- 4 cups oats
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup bran
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. honey, to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a medium saucepan over low heat, combine maple syrup, honey and apple cider and stir for five minutes, until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, bran, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds and raisins. Add the syrup over top and stir until well coated.
- Pour out onto the parchment paper and smooth out. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring ever 10 minutes.
- Remove from stir through blueberries and pistachios. Drizzle the honey over top.
- Serves 6-8 cups.