As this is a new beginning, let's start at the beginning, with breakfast.
My idea of a good breakfast is a plate of fried carrot cake, the kind that's fried with black soya sauce and lots of garlic. Or bacon and scrambled eggs with toast and mushrooms sauteed in butter.
But this sort of start to the day is a pipe dream, since there's no time on weekdays for such indulgences and I cannot be eating artery-clogging food like this even on weekends.
My workday breakfasts are necessarily hurried affairs eaten at my desk at work, or scarfed down in a ravenous fit after the morning gym session.
I try never to skip the meal because if I do, I'm madly hungry by 11am and am eating everything in sight: chocolate, biscuits, cake, anything that's not nailed down.
Also, research has shown that eating breakfast jumpstarts the metabolism and keeps the brain functioning properly. Who wants to be a hungry, drooling idiot, right?
So I try to eat a good, healthy breakfast, ever hopeful that it will set me up for the rest of the day, leading to intelligent meal choices at lunch and dinner.
That means yogurt, fruit, cereal with soymilk, a ripe avocado or two hard-boiled eggs. I usually throw away one or both the yolks. It makes me feel guilty but I think my heart thanks me.
But weekends are a different matter. One Sunday a month, I try to schedule a day with no plans, no appointments, nothing that will get me out of my flat.
It is as lazy a day as I can make it.
I sleep in, then have a really indulgent meal while reading the papers.
On Lazy Sundays, the breakfast of choice is hotcakes studded with blueberries, maple syrup poured over the stack and a good, strong cup of tea. I like a pat of butter on top of the hotcakes too, and the sight of it melting into the syrup never fails to thrill me.
Because I will not spend Lazy Sunday measuring out flour, sugar and baking powder, I use a mix.
Yes, I know I can do it the night before but seriously, what are the odds of my making hotcake mix on a Saturday night?
I leave that sort of thing to the Martha Stewart wannabes and use one of my favourite Japanese hotcake mixes. They make thicker, fluffier versions of pancakes.
Nissin and Morinaga are the brands to go for and they are available in Isetan or Meidi-Ya supermarkets. The Japanese sections of other supermarkets carry them too. Morinaga's version has very little sugar in it, a plus point in my book.
The mixes are packed into individual portions that make four or so hotcakes each.
As I have control freak issues, I don't mix the berries in with the mix. Instead, I drop them individually onto the hotcake while it's cooking, to make sure I get berries in every bite. Watching them sink into the batter is a mindless Lazy Sunday pleasure too.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling extra indulgent, I throw in some macadamia nuts because I love the buttery crunch they provide.
When they're ready, I slap them on a plate, pour on the syrup, top that with a pat of butter.
It's a pretty sight, my stack of hotcakes. Some of the berries will have burst, oozing bright purple-red juice onto the pale yellow hotcakes.
Tart berries, tender hotcake, melted butter, oozy maple syrup. That's a mighty fine forkful and a breakfast of champions.
Make it yourself:
1 sachet Nissin or Morinaga hotcake mix
1 punnet blueberries, rinsed and drained
1. Slit open the packet and dump the hotcake mix in a medium bowl. Add milk and the egg and whisk together until thoroughly blended. If you want a thicker, smaller hotcake, use less milk, say 100ml or 125ml.
2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. If not using a nonstick pan, add 1 Tbs butter and swirl in the pan to coat the surface.
3. Pour about a quarter of the mixture into the pan. Drop in
a quarter of the berries, one by one, so they dot the surface of the pancake.
4. When bubbles appear and burst on the surface, carefully flip the hotcake over and cook the other side for a minute or two until golden brown but not burnt.
5. Serve on a plate, topped with butter and drizzled with maple syrup.
Serves two people or 1 greedy person.
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