Eat Your Breakfast!

Mary Ann Fitzmorris July 30, 2019 09:32 Breakfast

It seemed like a great idea. A series about breakfast. People love going out for breakfast, if the proliferation of places serving this meal is any indication. My sister loves breakfast out. Tom is obsessed with it. When the kids were little, it was a weekly Saturday thing. I loved this because it gave them bonding time, and it absolved me from any discussion about it. 

Breakfast has always been off my radar, except for an occasional dispute with my parents about why I preferred chocolate for breakfast rather than the eggs and bacon they always had. We were never an oatmeal or cereal family. The words of a nutritionist guest to another radio show I produced in the Eighties still rings: “If you’re asking me about kids eating cereal, I’d rather they eat the box.”

As mom of my own house, I made pancakes nearly every day for the kids. And these were great, if I do say so myself. Mattina Bella comes closest to that excellence on pancakes. Very fluffy. The late great Michael Uddo had the best gourmet pancake, with its vanilla notes and dusting of powdered sugar.

I have recently discovered something in researching my little breakfast series. With few exceptions, breakfast offerings around town are really ordinary. Just because a place serves Eggs Sardou doesn’t mean that breakfast is exceptional. There are some exceptional breakfasts around town, but they tend to be more like another meal. More brunch. Willa Jean, Toast, and my personal favorite Oxlot 9 on the north shore. Josephine Estelle had a very nice breakfast until they went all Molly’s-Rise-And-Shine on us. (That’s code for silly.)

The breakfast series is not over. I still haven’t made it to Francesca’s, which I have no doubt will be great, or to the little Red Dog Diner, or to stalwart Russell’s Marina Grill. But today I will interrupt this exploration for a breakfast report of a different kind, and one I intend to have some fun with. Sort of an introduction to a new running theme in this publication. Repurposing leftovers into gourmet meals.

The breakfast pictured is from right here at The Cool Water Ranch. It is a breakfast sandwich made with two pieces of too-good-to-pitch focaccia from Domenica, a slice of Tom’s Root Beer glazed ham from the family party, a slice of Colby cheese from the refrigerator, and a sunny egg.

I popped two slices of the bread into the toaster, crusted the ham in a black iron skillet, placed the cheese onto the hot toasted bread to melt, stacked the ham on that and topped with a hot sunny egg. It was pretty darn good.

There are so many great leftovers in this refrigerator, we will start a new series called Deliciousness 2.0. You can certainly do it yourself. All it takes is a fresh viewpoint and some imagination.

And below is the recipe for those good old-fashioned pancakes. I made a few tweaks to one I got from the most sauce-encrusted cookbook here- Peggy Glass’s “Home Cooking Sampler.” This recipe can be doubled easily.

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 Tbl. oil or melted butter

1 large egg

2 Tbl. sugar

1 C buttermilk  (use milk with a teaspoon vinegar if you need to)

1 C White Lily self-rising flour  (or all-purpose and 1 T baking soda)

1 t vanilla  (optional)

1 Whisk oil and sugar (and optional vanilla) together in a bowl, and then whisk in the egg.

2 Add buttermilk and whisk that in too.

3 Whisk in the flour vigorously. Let this sit for awhile, until there are plenty of bubbles. Batter should be thick but pourable.

4 Heat a preferably iron skillet to medium heat.  Butter should be melted but not brown or smoking. Pour a puddle of batter about six inches in diameter. 

5 Flip once, when lifting an edge with a spatula reveals a light brown crust.

6 Remove from pan when a fork stuck in the center comes out clean.