On a cold and windy morning nothing gets me out of bed faster than the thought of my first cup of coffee. Before drifting off to sleep and upon waking in the morning I often find myself visualizing and dreaming about breakfast and, most importantly, that first cup of java. I consider the cup it may be in, which is vitally important to me as I DO NOT appreciate anything about a mug unless we’re having a hurricane and then I tend to count my blessings. I appreciate a proper cup, with its saucer. And please toss it and pull out a fresh one if there are any chips. Chips are depressing and completely unnecessary. As I stretched in bed, my mind closed in on the full cup and focused on the minuscule flecks of coffee bathing right next to the tiny droplets of oil from just ground beans indicating a really fresh, deep brew. And being in PARIS, I knew I would very soon be savoring a hot and frothy cafe au lait. Ready in a flash we went down to the bistro next door to our hotel and ordered. It’s already cold here…and super windy. Our table was next to one of the bistros many doors. I shivered every time a slim, elegant French person blew through the doors, unwinding their long stylish scarves as they double kissed their waiting companions, each and every one swathed in black. With chestnut-brown or olive as a blast of color. Crazy. I mean, what do these French people do when they come to Florida? Because we rock color. Buildings, skies, flowers… certainly clothing. Never mind the sun. I imagine they go back home with two black, burned out holes where their eyes used to be. Anyway, the first coffee of the day was coming and I couldn’t wait. Two seconds later and, voila! Ambition in a cup. For those of you who are unaware there is an unwritten coffee rule in France. Cafe au lait is espresso or very strong coffee poured into the cup or bowl at the same time as steamed milk. But in France, and I believe Italy as well, people drink coffee with milk only in the morning. After that, it’s black. But you can add sugar if you want. Don’t get me wrong, you can order coffee with milk anytime but, say it’s 3:00p.m. and you want milk in your coffee.
You’ll get it right away but you can bet your bottom dollar that waiter is thinking, “Stoo-peed Ah-mer-ee-ken.” I’m serious. He is.
But back to break-y. As I savored my coffee and perused the menu my eyes fell on “Deux Oeufs a la Coque”, two soft-boiled eggs. Bingo. I knew what I was having. I love a good soft-boiled egg, all runny and salty. And that’s just what I ordered. They came out perfectly and, to my delight, with a hay stack of toasted french bread batons alongside, perfect for dipping into the sunny, yellow yolks. The eggs were gorgeous; the yolks silky and almost buttery. They were probably 3 and 1/2 minute eggs which are perfect. The whites are cooked almost all the way through and the yolks are hot and luxurious. I think the idea of taking the white, fluffy inside of the bread out, cutting the crusts into strips and toasting is positively brilliant. So simple yet it never would have occurred to me. Whack me on the head… it’s an “I could have had a V-8.” moment. I think this is a fantastic way to make a leisure Sunday breakfast splendid and pretty without breaking your back or bank account. And don’t you think it would be the perfect breakfast to serve to your favorite boy in bed when he’s home for Thanksgiving break?