We’re at the International House of Pancakes celebrating the fact that my meningioma in my frontal lobe is benign, not associated with my cancer and we just have to monitor it every six months. Hooray for us! Pancakes all around, though our son chose to have the banana and Nutella crepes with his sunny side eggs, bacon and hash browns. I had my pancakes with two eggs over easy, sausage and rye toast whereas my husband had a Denver omelette to compliment his pancakes. If there is only one thing to say about IHOP, they make a very dependably good breakfast, complete with non stop coffee, can’t go wrong with that formula.
What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?
The first two things that I HAVE to have within the allotted 30 minutes is nourishment and coffee, with nourishment being first on the list. I cannot have coffee on an empty stomach, if I do I will get ill and perhaps pass out, most definitely pass out if I don’t get ill first, but if I get ill then I won’t pass out; the only constant in this bad equation is me getting ill.
Coffee is the second must have because without it, I won’t feel right for the entire day and most likely would come down with a horrendous headache from the caffeine withdrawal. I do love my morning coffee, a pot is about the size of it for me, the rest of my day is coffee free, so I never feel guilty about my morning consumption.
The other thing that I need to do to make my day right is spend my morning alone in quiet, reading and writing, primarily for my political blog, not doing that would also make my day feel wrong.
As you can see I am seriously a creature of habit, but I don’t see it as a bad thing because these habits make my life functional and everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and reading and writing are excellent brain exercises. So in the very least my habits are good for me.
Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?
My favorite meal and time of day is breakfast time and of course the morning hours; that doesn’t mean that I worship the dawn, I much prefer the more civilized mid to late morning hours; but regardless, breakfast time is my favorite meal of the day. The best mornings are those where I don’t have to go anywhere early; I can sleep until I wake up, I have the luxury of making my oatmeal the way I like it, over the stove top with milk and milled flaxseed and I get to check Facebook while I eat my oatmeal and afterwards I have my pot of coffee leisurely while I read all of my e-mails and then move over to the online journals and the Huffington Post where I comment on an article and cross-post it to my political blog. All of this takes up to around two and half hours, that is what I consider to be the perfect morning and my perfect ritual.
There are some days where a craving hits you and today a craving hit my hubby and he indulged himself by actually heeding the craving. Pancakes were on the menu for Sunday brunch today at the Nichols household. The baby girl was very happy; anytime pancakes are made with chocolate chips sprinkled in, that is some good eats. My hubby is the pancake master, he has been making pancakes for us as a family for the entire life of our marriage, so over twenty years and he is excellent at it. His pancakes come out light and fluffy as well as very pretty so that your eyes are delighted in tandem with your tastebuds.
I prefer to make crepes; I still have a ways to go before I get them perfect every time but it will happen one of these days. Practice makes perfect and perfection takes practice. However the mistakes are an enjoyable pathway to perfection.
This morning I woke up at nine, I think that I slept a full twelve hours or so, hooray for me, the baby girl doesn’t have my gift of sleeping. Apparently, she woke up a few times and had a hard time going back to sleep. I waited until 10:20 to get her going because Angelina’s, where we were going to have breakfast, served it until 11:30 and I didn’t want us to miss it. In the elevator, the baby girl still not fully awake, asked if we could take cab. When we got outside, there weren’t any so I asked her if she would be amenable to walking a little, she said okay. We walked down rue de la paix towards la Place Vendome, I am going to say it now, I wish that I could upload my cell phone picture to my postings but my iPad won’t talk to my cellphone which I can only laugh at the irony of that sentence. Anyway, when I get back I will be uploading pictures and recreating my little holiday with my visual aides. The Place de Vendome is only two streets away from rue de Rivoli where Angelina’s is found. So I got us there without a taxi, hooray for me. It was at Angelina’s that the diplomatic incident took place, part of the reason that I was so gung ho for breakfast at Angelina’s is that it is featured in my book, The Chic Bootlegger, the heroine Madeleine has tea and pastries with her best friend Sabine a least once a month at Angelina’s, it is a Parisian establishment. I had to go there. Inside it is so lovely, there are beautiful old murals painted on the walls, the moulding is expertly sculpted plaster, the ambience is relaxing and pampered. The pastries and confectionary creations are superbly crafted. The baby girl and I were seated at a cozy table for two, we both ordered the Parian breakfast, coffee, tea, or their famous hot chocolate, choice of lemon, orange or grapefruit juice, a basket of veinnoiseries, pain au chocolat, croissant, pain aux raisins, small breads, butter and preserves. A very respectable offering, the portions were typically French(tiny) and delicious.
On the subject of delicious, Angelina’s was one of the first salon of tea to offer hot chocolate and became famous for it everywhere, or so most seem to think. Delicacies are subjective, what appeals to an American palette wouldn’t necessarily appeal to a European one and vice versa. The baby girl took a sip of her chocolate, did I mention that it comes with homemade whipped cream, and by her wrinkly nose I could tell that it wasn’t what she had expected. I asked her if she wanted Earl Grey tea instead and she nodded. When the lovely waitress came with out fresh juices, I said that the hot chocolate was a little rich for my baby girl and if she could have an Earl Grey tea. The look on her face of incredulity and shock, she recovered and straightened her face. I promise you that it was in that instance that I witnessed firsthand what is meant by straightening ones face. I think that the poor waitress was mortified by her own reaction, I couldn’t blame her because who would think that a young American girl would find something chocolate too rich. Since we were still keeping the hot chocolate, I had a taste and I could see why the baby girl wanted tea, the chocolate was yummy, thick, rich and creamy but I couldn’t see myself drinking it. I could see myself dipping a croissant into it or a simple sugar cookie. That would have been quite lovely. I was very happy when the baby girl said that she was having the best cup of Earl Grey ever. I couldn’t help but giggle to the baby girl that singlehandedly, she had undone years of diplomatic ties simply by critiquing the oldest, grandest hot chocolate in all of Paris. She giggled at that as well.
When my sister and I were little, our landlords would babysit the both of us overnight. It usually fell near the date of my parent’s wedding anniversary. We got to eat rice crispy treats that Mr. Brunner made for us, Mrs Brunner would be watching t.v. while Mr. Brunner would play UNO with us for hours or at least until bedtime.
My sister and I would wake up to the smell of waffles on the waffle iron and we would come to the kitchen where two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice were waiting for us. Mr. Brunner would check on the waffle and when it was done, he would split it down the middle so that we each had a hot piece of waffle to eat while he put more batter onto the iron. Meanwhile rye bread would pop out of the toaster and I would get to put margarine on the rye toast, one for my sister and one for me. I also put margarine on our waffles before pouring on the syrup. My sister and I thought that margarine was the cats meow since we never had it at home, I especially loved the saltiness of the margarine and how it made the rye toast taste, it even made the syrup taste better.
This wasn’t the only breakfast that we had at our landlord’s apartment, it was one of many. What made it my favorite was that each time was the same, the waffles were amazingly good, the rye toast slathered with margarine never grew old and the orange juice was always freshly squeezed. These breakfasts were special times shared by my sister and I with two lovely older people who genuinely cared for us and watched out for us everyday. We were really blessed when we moved into that two family house because not only were they kind and considerate landlords, they also acted like an additional pair of grandparents. That was a wonderful gift and my sister and I have the luxury of wonderful memories of our times spent with Mr. Brunner, eating his food, playing card games with him, learning how to do hook rugs and tending a vegetable garden. Not many landlords offer all that when they accept you as tenants.