Easy like Sunday Morning Annie Bell Forget the Fry-Up, the Smart Weekend Breakfast Consists of Granola, Griddle Cakes, Fruit, and Lots of Champagne. Photographs by Patrice De Villiers

By Bell, Annie | The Independent (London, England), October 24, 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Easy like Sunday Morning Annie Bell Forget the Fry-Up, the Smart Weekend Breakfast Consists of Granola, Griddle Cakes, Fruit, and Lots of Champagne. Photographs by Patrice De Villiers


Bell, Annie, The Independent (London, England)


I had just done the A-Z of Irish country-house hotels and was on the way back when the plane's hydraulics failed and it caught fire. As we hung in the air with a question mark over our survival, I was glad that I had breakfasted every morning that week as though it had been my last.

A few hours earlier we had sat down to a dining table groaning under home-made fruit compotes, yogurt and cereals, jugs of fresh orange and pink grapefruit juice, whole local cheeses and a roasted ham (and that was before the cooked breakfast).

An average weekday breakfast in our house is nothing you would want to read about. The children's tastes run to Ready-Brek and, as I taste that familiar white pap to check its sweetness, I have to keep reminding myself that I, too, loved it at that age. Now, no amount of nostalgia would persuade me to eat a bowlful. At the moment, I am passionate about home-made granola, which my children will not touch. It is nothing like the commercial varieties - it is more like a broken-up flapjack with raisins and is not designed to be eaten flooded with milk but as a crunchy smattering over a compote of fruits sitting in syrup, with a dollop of fromage frais or Greek yogurt on top. The restaurateur Sally Clarke sells a delicious version in her Kensington shop and I rang her hoping to extract the recipe. "Absolutely not," she told me. "That recipe is my pension." She did offer to make one up for The Independent, but I decided instead to rig one up myself. This is easier than you might imagine - and it is hard to believe that anything so delicious can be produced with such austere ingredients. First, take a trip down to your local healthfood store. You need jumbo rolled oats and wheat flakes, the ones that are almost chalky in the centre. I like hazelnuts and almonds in my granola, but you could also add brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. All these are rolled in a sticky combination of date syrup - which you can also find in Middle Eastern shops - and a dark, smokey honey such as heather or New Zealand Manuka, which produces a nice caramel after it has been toasted in a low oven. The result is every bit as healthy as muesli, most types of which I hate. The exception is a delectably silky concoction created by our Swiss au pair when I was a child. She steeped porridge oats in milk overnight then added quite a lot of cream. We would eat it with brown sugar, toasted hazelnuts, grapes and bananas. If you feel like trying it, use 250g of medium oatmeal in 400ml of milk with a couple of tablespoons of soft brown sugar. In a country-house hotel, breakfast would not be complete without something cooked. But I have yet to stay in one where enough effort is made to accommodate the non-meat eater. There is nothing wrong with grilled tomatoes on hot buttered toast, or scrambled eggs and fried mushrooms (although, in hotels, these are nearly always tasteless buttons). But how much nicer it would be find sauteed wild mushrooms on a crispy hash brown. Ideally, you should tuck into all this at about 11am, which allows you to add a little Champagne to your orange juice. Avoid flying for the rest of the day. Granola, makes 600g 5 tbsp strong honey, eg, heather or Manuka 2 tbsp date syrup 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 level tsp ground cinnamon 150g oat flakes 100g wheat flakes 70g skinned hazelnuts 30g flaked almonds 1 tbsp sesame seeds 70g raisins Heat the oven to 160C fan oven/ 170C or 325F electric oven/gas mark 3. Gently heat the honey, date syrup and oil together in a saucepan until runny, then stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add the oat flakes, wheat flakes, the nuts and sesame seeds and stir to coat them. Spoon a thin layer onto a large, oiled baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until the nuts are lightly golden.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Easy like Sunday Morning Annie Bell Forget the Fry-Up, the Smart Weekend Breakfast Consists of Granola, Griddle Cakes, Fruit, and Lots of Champagne. Photographs by Patrice De Villiers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?