Breakfast in the garden

An early summer morning, complete with sunshine, birdsong and warmth is a treasured moment- requiring the best breakfast ever to be savored and saved in memory but best of all enjoyed in the out of doors – be it terrace, garden, park or balcony. Prepare the best breakfast ever and enjoy every sensual moment!

Mint Lemonade

This delicious refresher is on all the menus in Jordan, known for its hot, summer weather. You can use a can of frozen lemonade with added fresh mint as follows. Either way, the first sip says more…

1 can of 12 oz/ 375 mL frozen lemonade, defrosted

1 cup (250 mL) fresh mint leaves, washed and dried

1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar

1-2 lemons, washed

Thaw frozen lemonade in the refrigerator overnight. In a blender add thawed lemonade and the fresh mint leaves; process until leaves are finely chopped. Pour into large jug and add three cans of very cold water then a can of ice cubes to jug. Slice lemons into half- moons and add to lemonade- mint mixture. Stir well and serve immediately or refrigerate up to an hour before serving. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and a lemon slice. Makes 6-8 servings.

Rhubarb Ginger Conserve

Utterly delicious, this pretty conserve is wonderful on hot biscuits, or served with roast chicken or pork as a condiment. However, it is yummy served as part of a breakfast parfait: layered in a parfait glass with granola (recipe follows) and three per cent natural plain yogurt.

Rhubarb Tip:You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb for this recipe. My Grandmother gave me this tip when she was making rhubarb pie but it works with great success in any rhubarb recipe: once rhubarb is washed and cut, place rhubarb in a mixing bowl and pour boiling water over rhubarb. Let stand one minute then drain. This step removes any bitterness the rhubarb may have.

6 cups (1 ½ L) fresh rhubarb cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

¾ -1 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of rhubarb)

1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh grated ginger root, very finely chopped

½ cup (125 mL) water (optional)

In large stainless steel saucepan or Dutch oven, combine rhubarb, sugar and ginger together, stirring over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until rhubarb is tender about 5 minutes. If mixture is very thick; add ½ cup (125 mL) water. Spoon into hot sterilized preserving jars, 1 or 2 cups size works well, put on hot, new lid and screw on. Preserve in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool on rack then check lid for seal.

You may omit this step and spoon into sterilized jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Makes 4 cups/ 1L.

Alexa’s Versatile, Easy Granola

My daughter Alexa brought me a jar of this versatile granola, so tasty in a number of ways: a sprinkling on salads, as a coating for baked fish and of course for breakfast as a parfait as follows: – first spoon a layer of conserve into a stemmed glass then plain yogurt then granola; repeat layers once more ending with the granola. A very delicious breakfast!

4 cups (1 L) quick oats

1 cup (250 mL) walnut halves or natural almonds or mixture

½ cup (125 mL) seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, chia or hemp (if you prefer, you can use nuts instead of seeds.)

1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt

½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

½ cup (125 mL) canola or sunflower oil

½ cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup (preferably dark maple syrup)

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

¾ cup (175 mL) dried fruit such as: craisins, raisins, chopped figs, dates, apricots

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In large bowl, stir together oats, nuts, seeds, salt and cinnamon. In measuring cup stir together oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over oatmeal mixture stirring well to coat. Spread mixture evenly on baking pan. Bake 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown stirring once half way through. Cool on rack. Granola crisps while it cools. Stir in dried fruit; if you bake the granola with the fruit it becomes crispy.

Store in an airtight container (large jar is ideal) 1-2 weeks or in sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes about 6 cups (1 ½ L)

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