The importance of a good breakfast

We've been studying several poems this year (Seamus Heaney and Thomas Hardy, if you want to know) and it's fuelled a desire in my heart to get my teeth into some more poetry. I've always avoided it for two reasons: 
1) because I'm hopeless at writing it 
2) because I'd much rather read a story! 

However, that has changed and for Christmas I received a little poetry anthology called "Poems for Life". It has words on everything you could ever need - love and death, birth, growing up... It's great to flick through and read a poem or two before bed. Personally I love "Still Life" by Elizabeth Dayrush - perhaps because it's about food, but more importantly because I think it captures the stillness and peace of a lazy morning with a leisurely breakfast.

Through the open French window the warm sun
lights up the polished breakfast-table, laid
round a bowl of crimson roses, for one - 
a service of Worcester porcelain, arrayed
near it a melon, peaches, figs, small hot
rolls in a napkin, fairy rack of toast,
butter in ice, high silver coffee-pot,
and, heaped on a salver, the morning's post. 

She comes over the lawn, the young heiress,
from her early walk in the garden-wood
feeling that life's a table set to bless 
her delicate desires with all that's good,

that even the unopened future lies
like a love letter, full of sweet surprise. 

Is there anything better than a late breakfast (slash brunch)? Especially when enjoyed with good friends and sparkling conversation. 

I love breakfast because there'a such a variety of foods to eat (hotel continental breakfasts, I'm looking at you). In Paris we dined on tartines and grapefruit juice; in Spain it was hot chocolate and moist cake; in New York I chose a warm vanilla muffin and fruit salad. Wherever you go, you'll be sure to try something new! 

So, to continue on with the theme of recreated recipes, I thought I'd share a breakfast dish that I first tried on a snowy morning in Boulder, Colorado, with some family friends. I have to say, Americans do make good pancakes. And they're even better with chocolate chips! 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes (makes 10 - 12)
110g plain flour
2 large eggs
150ml milk
1 tbsp melted butter
pinch of salt
butter for greasing
handful of chocolate chips (I used dark)

1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Break the eggs into a well in the bowl and whisk together until well combined; it will be quite thick. 

2. Slowly add the milk, whisking between each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips. Heat a frying pan and grease with a tiny bit of butter - you don't want to cook the pancakes in the fat!

3. When you're ready to cook them, whisk the melted butter into the mixture. Spoon a little of the pancake mixture onto the pan until your pancakes are the desired size. Cook until browned and cooked the whole way through, flipping to brown the other side. 

4. Serve plain, or with banana, nuts, syrup or anything else that takes your fancy!