My favorite part of the morning is the cozy warmth under the covers, the haze of thought, the sleepy deliciousness of the body awakening, every synapse cloaked in soft woolen knit. I know some people spring from the bed alert as a crowing rooster, but I’ve never belonged to that kingdom.
Once I’m up, my second favorite part is breakfast.
We live in Germany right now, and the breakfasts here – called Frühstück – are lovely in their own way. Freshly baked rolls, flaky croissants, jams and rich butters, gentle folds of salty ham, dense sheets of cheese. European breakfasts feel more like a picnic than a decadent celebration of a day anew. It’s rare to find French toast, pancakes or eggs any way but soft boiled on the menu.
In the States, we’ll have brunch routinely, but here in Germany, it took me awhile to realize that if I wanted an American breakfast, I needed to make it myself. Not that it’s hard, and it’s so much cheaper than eating breakfast out.
A hunk of baguette with a crackling skin, gooey marmalade with strips of citrus peel …
… and the eggs. Don’t get me started on the eggs. We’ll be here all day. Even the ones from the Rewe, the standard grocery store, are bright with flavor …
… I toast the slices of baguette under the broiled, because we have no toaster right now. They are done in a jiffy …
… and bacon. Another thing you must do at home, because in Germany, the varieties of cured pork are all exquisite and nearly all sliced and cold. Brittle bacon must be an American invention.
And then there’s the coffee, heaped with milk (the MinusL brand is lactose-free) and sugar.
Nothing complicated, but this breakfast tastes of home, an ocean away.