I’m a bit of a morning person. Let me put it another way: the annoying family member clattering pans in the kitchen at 6:15? That’s me. The college suitemate looking unbearably perky from a jog as you staggered to the bathroom at 8 a.m. on a Monday? Me again. I know, morning people can be obnoxious.
The thing is, mornings are the only time I can really count on being in the kitchen alone. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than getting up early to sit at the kitchen table drinking tea, flipping through a magazine or reading the back of a cereal box. Getting up and going has never really been my thing, but leisurely mornings are like a gateway to the day, a cultivated pleasure. The water boiling, the stacks of articles to browse absently, the birds (or wild turkeys) chirping… I laugh at myself only because I take the ritual of mornings completely seriously.
And then there’s breakfast. I’ve trained myself to the point where skipping breakfast is physically impossible—not just because I might pass out at 11 a.m., but because my first waking thought is to wonder what I’m going to eat. For years I was a committed cereal devotee, pouring identical bowls of Grape Nuts, Wheatabix, or Shredded Wheat for months at a time (can you tell my parents never let me have Lucky Charms?). Here at the farm, however, the question of straight goat milk (in my case a no, or optimistically a “not yet”) pushed me to be much more creative with my breakfasts. I tried Irish oats with honey, toasted almonds, and raisins, and I did go through a phase of fresh goat cheese on toast with plum jam. Finally, though, I settled on pancakes. Having never made them from scratch (I fell for Bisquick when I ate 11 biscuity pancakes at a friend’s 9th birthday) I had lots of pantry-based experimenting to do—oats, flaxseed meal, bananas—but when I found a scrunched-up bag of wheat bran on one of our shelves I reached the end of my search. They were the perfect combination of fluffy and biscuity, and with some goat milk thrown in and a fried farm egg on top, I didn’t even feel too bad about leaving my cereal days behind.
Best Bran Pancakes
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat bran (I use Bob’s Red Mill, which is easy to find at most markets)
Pinch baking soda
1 scant Tbsp oil
½ cup milk
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then beat in the egg and oil. Add milk little by little to reach your desired thickness of batter—I like mine fairly thick, but play with the viscosity until you find your perfect amount. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high and spoon batter into the pan when hot—check for bubbling around the edges before you flip, and the rest you already know!