The Most Important Meal of the Day

As a kid, I actually hated breakfast.  Correction, I hated breakfast foods, which at my house were things like cold cereal and oatmeal (with the exception of Saturday morning pancakes, which I’ve always liked, but they were not available except for the occasional Saturday and holidays).  I’ve never really understood the appeal of cold cereal, and oatmeal, in my opinion, is an emergency meal that you only eat when you’re backpacking and there is absolutely nothing else to eat including some questionable foraged items that may or may not make you sick.

When I started junior high, I started skipping breakfast.  By then, breakfast was in direct competition with extra sleep, and nothing on offer was tempting enough to pull me out of an extra 15 minutes of blissful slumber.  I also like to be up for a while before eating breakfast.  Waking and eating within a half hour of each other doesn’t appeal, and so I continued to ignore breakfast throughout college and my early working years, although I tended towards excessive brunches on the weekends.

However, curling means having breakfast whenever you want it (like 11:30 am) and eating whatever you want (definitely, not oatmeal).

So that means I get to eat delicious breakfast everyday!  Not just on the weekends!  And no cereal box in sight! (Although Sparklepants sometimes eats cereal with chocolate rice milk as a late-night snack.)  My standard default?  Rice, an egg, and kim chee.  Maybe with a rasher of bacon.  (Mmmmm.  Bacon.)  I also love breads and spreads: fresh homemade bread warm out of the oven and then spread with an array of delicious things like butter and homemade jam, nutella and slices of banana, cream cheese and smoked salmon maybe with some red onion or cucumber, goat cheese and prosciutto, white bean dip with juicy tomatoes.  You get the idea.  Other breakfast items might be soup or stew, noodles, french toast, quiche, leftovers from the night before, Sparklepants’ famous coffeecake or even pie.  And sometimes, I’m inspired to make a breakfast that was previously relegated to the weekend.  Oh breakfast, how I love thee.

Ricotta Lemon Crepes with Blueberry-Peach Compote
Makes 8 Crepes (or more)

1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk or rice/soy milk
2 eggs
1 cup unbleached  all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted butter
16 oz ricotta
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 cups peeled sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
zest of 1/2 lemon

1.  Make the crepe batter. Put the cream, milk, and eggs into the pitcher of a blender and blend for 15 seconds to break up the eggs.  Add flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and blend well.  Add melted butter, and blend briefly.  Put batter in the refrigerator to rest for at least one hour.

2.  Make the compote. While the batter is resting in the refrigerator, put all the ingredients for the compote into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming foam, until the syrup has thickened, but the fruit is still whole, about 30 minutes.

3.  Make the crepes. Heat a small saute pan (6 to 7 inches) over medium heat.  Brush with butter.  Using a 1/3 cup measure, pour batter into the pan and swirl the pan so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan evenly.  When the edges start to brown after about one minute, flip and cook briefly on the other side until golden.  Slide onto a silpat or sheet lined with parchment to cool.  The batter should make 8-12 crepes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4.  Fill and bake crepes. Mix together the ingredients for the filling.  Place a few tablespoons of filling in a line down the center of each crepe.  Fold the edges over the filling to make a log.  Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment.  This should make approximately 8 crepes.  (Leftover crepes?  You can either stretch the filling to fill all the crepes by using less per crepe, or spread a bit of nutella on them and eat them standing up in your kitchen as a snack while the crepes bake, which is what I did.)  Brush the top of the crepes with butter, then bake for 10 minutes.

5.  Serve and eat! Put 2-3 crepes on a plate, then pour on some compote.

Recipe note: Crepes can conveniently be made and assembled ahead of time, refrigerated overnight, and then baked at the last minute.  The compote could be made with any fruit.

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