Sunday 23 October 2011

Early to bed . . .

I've always been an early riser. There is something about the morning that calls to me and speaks to my heart that it is the best time of the day. It is when my mind is the sharpest and my thoughts the clearest.

My sister, brother and I were not allowed to lolly gag in bed when we were teens like most other kids. If my father was up . . . we all had to be up. Trust me when I say, we were not always happy with that . . .

I love the early mornings when the mist is still rising above the trees that I can see in the distance from our upstairs library window. It is a scene that changes dramatically with the seasons. In the winter it is dusted in winter colours of grey and white . . . monochromatic, but no less beautiful than the spring, with it's awakening greens and the sea behind the hedge which assaults us with the scents and colours of a cloud of spring blossom. Then too the summer with it's lush greens . . . but now with the cooler and shorter autumn days , ithas turned to rich hues of amber, reds and golds . . .

In the early morning I sit here quietly and listen to the birds awakening in the hedge that surrounds our back garden, their dawn chorus ringing in my ears and making my heart feel glad. It is a cheery sound. I can almost hear them calling from tree top to treetop, from bush to bush . . . good morning glad friends, the day awaits, let us get busy and about our tasks . . . after all it is the early bird that does get the worm.

I love these early moments here in our cosy little home, as I move about in the solitude with only the birds and Mitzie for company. The kettle begins it's song on the hearth as the clock ticks on the wall . . . . it's solitary tick-tock . . . tick-tock . . . a necessary reminder to get about my day, for time passes all too quickly, and seemingly quicker with each day that passes . . .

My cold appears to be getting somewhat better, although it still lingers. I can't rid myself of the cough and all my muscles are so sore from it all that each time I cough I find myself bracing myself for the worst! I did sleep much better last night though, so that is an improvement! Those prayers and happy thoughts are working! Thanks so much!

I think today I shall make some French Toast for our breakfast. I have an aching in my heart this morning for childhood days and the comfort that would bring. I think I'll stuff it though, with rich cream cheese and sweet wild blueberry preserves . . . a most delicious beginning to a most promising and dry day. (A day without rain in the autumn is a real bonus.)

*Stuffed French Toast*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A comforting legacy of a rich childhood. French Toast, a mother's treat and good use of what was always at hand, stale bread, eggs, butter . . . A grown up twist here, with rich and eggy brioche and a lucious stuffing of cream cheese and deliciously sweet wild blueberry preserves . . . a little taste of home.

3 large free range organic eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 1/2 inch thick slices Brioche bread
1/2 cup soft full fat cream cheese
4 tablespoons of wild blueberry preserves*
a knob of butter
powdered vanilla sugar to dust on before serving

Beat together the eggs, vanilla and milk. Put a skillet onto the stove to warm up over a medium heat.

Spread half of the slices thickly with the cream cheese. Spread the other half with the blueberry preserves. Put them together with the cream cheese and preserves facing, pressing gently to adhere together. Dip the resulting sandwiches into the egg mixture on both sides.

Melt a large knob of butter in the warm skillet. Once it is foaming add the eggy bread sandwiches, two at a time if the skillet it large enough, leaving some space in between them. Cook until nicely browned on the one side, then carefully flip over and brown the other side. Keep warm until you have browned all four on both sides.

Place on a heated platter, dust with some powdered vanilla sugar and serve warm. Delicious!
Note* You can use any flavour of fruit preserves you like, perhaps ginger rhubarb jam or even a rich and tangy orange marmelade. For a real treat try some Lemon Curd. I just happen to love wild blueberry preserves the most of all!

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, some delicious Gingerbread Scones with a Lemon Glaze!

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