Day Thirteen: Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu
When I think of Christmas morning, what tends to come to mind first are the smells that come with it. The smell of the real Christmas tree, the smell of fresh coffee grinds and steamed milk, the smell of bacon and slightly burnt toast and butter in a hot fry pan. Christmas morning is magical in its own right, but it is the elements that are from my own specific experiences that really make my memories as special as they are. Food has always been a way that my family has brought each other together, and really, it is the reason that Mum and I opened the cafe – we wanted and love to bring people together over good, delicious, wholesome food.
I ca’t help but picture future Christmas mornings to come when our little man wakes me up (Pete will definitely stay in bed for as long as humanly possible) and we cook breakfast together. He will have a little step ladder so that he can help me mix things and we can drink hot chocolate or juice or anything. Ugh. Yes. All of my memories are now to serve as future plans for myself and my little family. So, in honour of my love of Christmas mornings and the times that my family have shared passing breakfast to one another, here is my menu for Christmas Day Morning.
The Cwikel Pancakes
There isn’t a whole lot that gets ‘passed down’ in my family in the traditional sense – our family is far too scattered and all over the place for anything like that. One thing, however, that has made its way down from my grandma, to my mother, to me is pancakes. Light, crepe-style, golden pancakes. We do differ when it comes to the utensils we use and the way we prepare the pancakes; my Nan has used the same long, thin container and stick blender combo to make her pancakes for as long as I can remember while my mum mixes her pancake batter with a hand beater in a bowl and then tips it into a measuring jug to pour into the pan. I also use a hand beater, but I just pour my mix into the pan straight from the bowl.
I used to be a strictly maple-syrup-on-pancake girl until one day my brother, who is a strictly lemon-and-sugar-on-pancake kinda’ guy made me try his combo. And I was sold. Lemon and raw sugar all rolled up in a delicious pancake is freaking delightful. Also blueberries. And stone fruit, all the stone fruit.
2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand blender or stick blender
The consistency should be relatively runny, so add milk/flour as needed
Heat a pan on high and spray with olive oil (do this in between every pancake)
Pour enough mixture to cover the bottom of the pan, swirling it in a circle motion as you do
Flip the pancake when the edges start to curl and brown and cook other side
Eat the first pancake – everyone knows that is the unwritten rule of pancake-making
Canadian maple syrup
Lemon and raw sugar
For the stone fruit: halve your desired fruit (nectarines, peaches, plums, etc.) and, in a bowl, toss them in some raw sugar and vanilla bean shavings. Place the halves onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until soft and golden and delicious
Bagels with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Watercress
I guess this one isn’t so much a recipe – as it is pretty self explanatory – but more of some inspiration for your Christmas Day Breakfast! Easy, delicious, simple, filling. I do love a bagel.
Toast your bagels to the desired amount of toastiness
Butter the bagel and then lather on the cream cheese
Top with smoked salmon and a handful of watercress
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Poached Eggs with Avocado and Maple Bacon
This is actually a breakfast that we came up with for the cafe, but it is also incredibly easy to make at home. The slight twist of having maple bacon really adds something to this dish and, being Christmas after all, why not be a bit decadent?! Also, this goes great with a fresh orange juice.
sourdough bread (or whatever bread you fancy)
Bring a pot of water with a dash of white vinegar in it to the boil and then turn it down to a simmer
Put bread in toaster
Once the water is simmering, crack the eggs carefully into the water and let them poach to the desired time
In a separate pan, fry some bacon until the edges are crispy, then add (a lot of) maple syrup and toss bacon in it
Butter your toast and slice your avocado, adding it to the plate
Remove eggs from poaching liquid carefully and set them down on some kitchen towel to remove excess water before placing them on the plate as well
Add bacon to the mix and let the feast begin!
Who doesn’t love French toast, honestly? It is the breakfast of all breakfasts. I am simple when it comes to food and toppings and I am one of those weird people who don’t like ice cream with things. I don’t like ice cream with cake, or french toast, or pancakes, or pie. No. Never. I don’t get why you would ever want something hot with something cold. Yuck. So for me, French toast is at its best when it is partnered with just maple syrup and the occasional blueberry. I do like blueberries as well, so they can stay. French toast is glorious by itself (Pete eats it plain with no topping at all), so why ruin it with too many other flavours?! WHY, I ASK YOU?!
sliced brioche (or any other bread)
In a large bowl, whisk two eggs with a generous amount of cinnamon and a generous amount of vanilla essence (a lot of people like using milk as well, but I find that it tastes good and is much lighter without)
Heat a large knob of butter in a pan until it starts to caramelise
Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, pressing lightly on each side and fry in the butter
Cook until each side is golden brown but the bread is still spongy in the middle
Add butter to the pan each slice for better caramelisation
Stack on a plate and drown with maple syrup
Surely I don’t need to write down all the reasons why a Christmas muffin is a must on Christmas morning.. surely..
2 cups of self-raising flour
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup of raw sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
white chocolate bits
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease muffin tray (or use paper muffin cups in tray)
In a bowl, blend butter and sugar with a hand better until combined and smooth
Add egg and beat until combined
Add the flour, milk and vanilla essence and combine by stirring with a wooden spoon
Once just combined, add the pistachios, strawberries and white chocolate bits
Spoon, in even amounts, into each muffin cup, sprinkle some raw sugar on top of each and bake until golden