“…dawn is a gift. Much is revealed about a person by his or her passion, or indifference, to this opening of the door of the day. No one who loves dawn, and is abroad to see it, could be a stranger to me.”
-Mary Oliver, Upstream
Some Poetry for Dawn
Wake up just a notch earlier on the clock, and the mist in the distant hills will tell you
what you’ve been missing.
Lavender light spanning the spectrum of sky until it becomes orange and bright.
Birds feeding on the terrace ledge, fighting for bread kernels you left out the night before.
The self-given gift of slowly moving limbs, stretching and creaking awake, instead of flailing in a rush out the door.
And quiet. Think of the quiet you’ve been missing.
The kind of quiet that isn’t stale, or heavy, but filled with palpable presence,
with wisps of hope for the day.
You can sit on a cushion on the floor, sipping something warm and basking in the soft, open silence of the world, minutes before the rest of it rises.
Or you can tip toe across the terrace, sprinkling potted plants with leftover tea water and cooing “please stay alive today.”
You can crack open a book as the first crack of light splays over the couch cushions, consuming carefully chosen words as your first meal of the day.
Or perhaps you make the kitchen your temple, and meticulously measure scoops of coffee
(with a sprinkle of cinnamon for nostalgia), then whisk some life into pancake batter, dolloping perfect circles on sizzling brown butter.
Each morning I try to wake up just a notch earlier on the clock,
and see the small sacred things
I was missing with my eyes closed.
Some Words for Pancakes
Every Sunday, without fail, I am in my golden sunrise-lit kitchen whipping up batter and flipping pancakes in between sips of freshly brewed coffee while M hovers around, helping, waiting or just softly keeping me company. It’s my weekend happy place.
I make just slightly different recipes each week, depending on the ingredients on hand, but recently I have been loving the addition of chickpea flour for it’s nutty, toasty taste + protein-packed punch. The added protein, plus using coconut sugar and honey instead of any processed sugar, seems to stave off any post-pancake crashes that I remember from my childhood. This recipe in particular has become an instant favorite. Half chickpea flour, half normal flour to make them nice and fluffy, some chia seeds for a tiny bit of crunch + some extra morning nutrients, and on top of it all, they taste just like banana bread, fresh from the oven. You could even get crazy and throw in some walnuts or chocolate chips for a little something extra. However, by themselves, topped with a generous drizzle of honey or maple syrup (we do honey in this house since maple syrup is hard to come by in Morocco), extra banana rounds, and a sprinkling of granola for texture, these are weekend breakfast perfection- worth waking up just a little bit earlier for.
Banana Bread Chia + Chickpea Flour Pancakes
Makes 8 medium pancakes
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you could probably sub with a gluten-free all purpose blend, but I've never tried, so let me know if you do!)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk (I used light coconut milk, but you could also use dairy or almond)
- Butter for frying
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, chia, coconut sugar and spices. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the banana, egg, vanilla and milk until smooth. Gently mix the liquid into the dry ingredients until no lumps of flour can be seen. Over medium-high heat, melt a pat of butter onto your skillet or griddle. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter evenly onto the hot surface and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and fluffy. Remove and cover to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.