Mornings are poems.
Whispering sheets, hazy eyelids, the still blue darkness.
Our living room window shade is old and creaky and has to be opened from the outside, so I start each day shuffling around the terrace, hauling open wooden panels, always taking a moment to gaze out of our little box of a view. The perfect niche between two buildings where the sun rises. The Tangier streets below are empty and unclouded.
Everything feels a little softer and rounder.
This is the time when I am the most aware and cautious of my intake of words and nourishment. Lemon and ginger, simple 10-minute yoga, text floating into my head from some book that creates a world I would like to inhabit. Trying to resist the temptation to pick up the phone too early. I don’t want to unnecessary noise.
M’s padding footsteps from the bedroom signal that it’s time to make coffee and enjoy the delicate ritual of making breakfast for two. It is the only meal I can prepare day after day without tire. Lunch and dinner make me lazy by the end of the week, but breakfast is always something that urges me out of bed. Preparing breakfast, for me, is similar to sketching a still life, writing by hand, watercolor- a mindful and tangible artistic process.
The rumbling of boiling water, sleepy smiles exchanged, steaming bowls or plates moving from kitchen to living room, and we nest on the couch until the coffee kicks in.
Early mornings feel the same to me anywhere in the world. They are unifying hours, just before the sun breaks into yellow and white light, when everything is a little bit more serene. Even that before-dawn smell seems to be the same in every city- fresh and dewy and gone if you wake up even 5 minutes too late.
These hours ground me, reminding me of home and at the same time reminding me that everywhere is home.
...If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination
-Morning Poem by Mary Oliver
Pancakes Sundays are sacred in this apartment. They force us to slow down together at least once a week and give an excuse to stay in our pj’s until noon (because really, who wants to immediately run out of the house after eating a stack of pancakes?) M likes them with banana, I like them with peanut butter, and we always eat them with honey since maple syrup is almost nonexistent in this city. I’ve been experimenting with this recipe in particular for the past few weeks and I am finally over-the-moon happy with how they have turned out.
These gluten-free pancakes are hearty, rich-in-flavor, soul-satisfying breakfast food and the peanut butter whipped cream takes them to a whole other mind-blowing level. They are rustically decadent (no need to fuss too much about details and presentation) and I guarantee, even if you are not an early morning person like myself, these will cozy into your stomach and make you happy and grateful that you are awake.
Brown Butter Banana Oatmeal Pancakes w/ Peanut Butter Whipped Cream + Honey (gluten-free + refined sugar-free)
Makes 2-3 servings (about 8 medium pancakes)
- 1/2 cup (60g) oat flour*
- 1 cup (120g) quick cooking oatmeal (gluten free, if needed)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp browned butter
- 1 cup buttermilk or normal/non-dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 1 heaping tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 large bananas, sliced
- Extra butter for frying
- 1 batch of peanut butter whipped cream, made first (recipe below)
*You can easily make oat flour by grinding normal oats in a food processor until it becomes a fine powder.
In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Separately, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, honey, vanilla and brown butter (once it is slightly cooled). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until fully combined.
Heat a skillet or griddle on medium high and add a small pat of butter. Spoon a little less than 1/4 cup (3 heaping spoonfuls) of batter onto your heated surface and press a few banana slices on top. Let it cook on one side until the edges start to dry and tiny bubbles appear, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Plop out onto a plate and cover it to keep warm while you cook the remaining pancakes until the batter is all used up.
Serve your pancakes with a generous drizzle of honey, a large dollop of peanut butter whipped cream (recipe below), a sprinkling of cinnamon and extra banana slices.
Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
In a large bowl, whisk the whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add the tablespoon of peanut butter and continue to mix until the cream is stiff and fluffy.
Happy breakfasting xo