It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also said, that a good and healthy breakfast will fuel your energy to start your day fresh, happy and sharp, whereas, skipping breakfast can cause you irritation and tiredness.
While growing up I never had the desire to have a full breakfast before going to school. In my defense, I should point out that I used to wake up at 6:30-7:00 am to get ready for school in elementary school (classes start at 8:30 am in Iran and we had to go through an aggravating morning ceremony half an hour prior to that!) So my appetite was close to zero by the time I had shed enough tears for having to go to school!
My mother, however, was on a mission to raise a 100% healthy child (God bless her heart!) She always had a full table set adorned with Sangak bread, homemade quince jam, butter, organic local cheese, and walnuts. This breakfast feast was completed with a hot pot of Persian tea and a cup of warm milk (for those beautiful rainy autumn days). And my only reaction to this magnificent breakfast? Pouting lips and shedding more tears! (Yes, I was that spoiled!)
Those golden mornings where I could just sit at my mother’s loving table, wiggle around and enjoy the tiny slices of bread, cheese and walnuts were unfortunately short-lived. My mother soon understood that she shouldn’t spend her energy on a brat like me. She did, however, continue to set her mouthwatering table every morning; she simply stopped pestering me into eating breakfast.
By the time I slowly came to my senses about the importance of having breakfast when I was in grade nine (having PE in your first quarter does that to you after all!) it was too late! I tried to manipulate my mother to treat me like a princess yet again, but it was obvious that that ship had sailed a long time ago, taking with it those magical mornings where everything was set and ready and all I had to do was devour!
In winter, one of the greatest elements of our breakfast was Halim, and since my mother was all about “healthy food+ healthy kids= happy life” our version of Halim was always wheat based (traditional Halim is made with Turkey or lamb).
I grew up and my appetite obviously grew up with me! I was no longer whining about having breakfast. I wake up every morning as if I had escaped a famine! I literally jump out of bed to rush to the kitchen, make tea and bury myself in whatever our fridge has to offer! I might not have excel on the art of setting a beautiful table in the morning like my mother used to set, but I always try to have all the elements of a full Persian breakfast at my table. The Sangak bread is not as tasty as what my father used to buy at our local bakery in Tehran, and the homemade quince jam has been replaced by store-bought strawberry jam, but on those cold winter mornings where you don’t want to leave the warmth of your sheets, the only thing that lures me out of bed is the scent of cinnamon and brown sugar added to the Halim.
You can find an easy-read Halim recipe by Azita on her blog “Turmeric & Saffron”.