Early bird breakfasts

There’s a poem by Wellington poet Jenny Bornholdt called ‘Instructions for how to get ahead of yourself while the light still shines’. I think of it often in the mornings when I’m trying to do the same thing, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not.

Porridge is my breakfast of choice most of the year, but it’s getting too hot to toil over a steaming stove, much less eat a scalding bowl of the stuff. This then is my warm weather porridge subsitute, a kind of homage to bircher muesli and Jenny Bornholdt. Do it the night before and you’ll bask in a happy glow all day.

For two servings (or two consecutive mornings):
Put 1 cup of rolled oats in a large bowl. Add a grated apple, the juice of two oranges (or about 3/4 cup of orange juice), a scattering of sesame and/or linseeds and about 3/4 cup of natural yoghurt. Stir well and add a bit more juice or water until it’s pleasingly sloppy (remember that the oats will absorb moisture overnight). Cover and put in the fridge overnight. At breakfast time, divide the mixture between two bowls (or save some for the next morning). Add extras – more yoghurt, berries, mashed banana, seeds – to taste. Bon appetit!

Oh – and here’s the poem, which has nothing to do with breakfast whatsoever, except that it will set you up for a long day ahead.
Instructions for how to get ahead of yourself while the light still shines

If you have a bike, get on it at night
and go to the top of the Brooklyn Hill.
When you reach the top
start smiling – this is Happy Valley Road.
Pedal at first, then let the road take you down
into the dark as black as underground
broken by circles of yellow lowered by the street lights.
As you come to each light
you will notice a figure
racing up behind.
Don’t be scared
this is you creeping up on yourself.
As you pass under the light
you will sail past yourself into the night.

Jenny Bornholdt , Miss New Zealand: selected poems
(Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1997)



  1. November 29, 2010 / 8:45 pm

    Yummy! I will try this. I have come to love wholemeal porridge..that IS different from rolled oats .. thanks for introducing me! Love the poem.

  2. November 30, 2010 / 10:48 am

    Its snowing here so I can only think of eating hot food when I'm hungry! Ive never heard of wholemeal porridge, I will have to look out for it.

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