As much as I can, I carefully guard my Sunday mornings from any form of hustle and ambition. No alarm clocks, no obligations, nothing tugging at my sleeve. Even brunch plans are carefully negotiated into a late lunch time slot. I am adamant: Sunday mornings are reserved for a gentle, gradual wake-up on a gentle, quiet schedule. Slow entry. Sloth time. There's nowhere to go and nothing to do but make endless cups of tea to be drunk in bed with whichever novel I've been trying to finish propped up on my knees.
I can wallow in this quiet bliss for a couple of long and lazy hours until hunger arrives, usually in the form of a rather alarmingly loud stomach gurgle. Oh right. Breakfast! Time for phase two of the lazy Sunday morning: toast with butter and honey.
It's tempting to fill in all that unscheduled spaciousness with a more complicated breakfast like pancakes or french toast or one of those dutch babies that have come roaring back into fashion. But it's very important to remember that it's Sunday morning and there is a ban on anything that hints at overachievement. Even a boiled egg might be stretching it. So it's usually toast with butter and honey which believe me is no compromise to laziness. Toast with butter and honey is pure ambrosia and stands on it's own next to even the most elaborate of breakfast offerings.
The recipe for toast with honey and butter has of course already been fully revealed in its title but there are a few details that move it from really yummy to sublime. The bread is the best I can muster without having to leave the house to buy it. Ideally there's a few slices of a well-made crusty loaf leftover from Saturday night dinner. It should have a slight tang and lots of little holes where the honey and butter can pool up to a dangerous and delicious excess. I toast it so it turns a light golden brown and occasionally I let it get a little charred on the edges, but this is usually reserved for those special mornings after a rather excessive Saturday night.
The butter should be fresh and delicious. If the current budget allows, I go for something organic and in the higher butterfat/low water European-style. Unsalted. The honey of course wants to be the star and steal the show from the bread and butter. This is often the way with golden things made from the sun's rays and the tireless effort of hundreds of small frantically buzzing creatures. But toast with butter and honey is all about the marriage of flavors and textures, so I go for a nice light golden honey. Unless of course I'm having a morning that warrants a little char on my toast in which case I reach for a honey that has a touch of bitterness to match its strength and urgency.
The rest is simple. I spread my hot toast first with butter and then drizzle on the honey. I place it on a plate, grab a fresh mug of tea and head back to bed where I take my first bite, carefully balancing a plate beneath my toast to catch the drips and drizzles. First, the crunch and chewiness of the toast, then the hit of the sour bread dancing with the sweet honey, and soon all is carried then amplified by the rich savory butter. This is something to be deeply appreciated, something worth setting aside a whole morning for.
My hands and even my forearms grow sticky and there's a threat of honey dribbles on the duvet but never mind, pleasure is often assisted by a dash of recklessness. I just enjoy this simple and glorious treat, with nothing to attend to but the enormous delight of filling my mouth with sunrays and nectar on a quiet and spacious Sunday morning.
Related, or what my Sunday looked like nearly four years ago:
Weekend Meditation: Sundays
(Image: Dana Velden)