When we visited California last summer, I was reminded of one of my favorite things about visiting my grandparents: sunday breakfast. My grandparents live in the small Danish village of Solvang. There are several bakeries in town, with the most delicious kringle and butter rings. On Sundays whenever I’ve visited, my grandparents head up to Danish Mill Bakery early (an easy half-mile walk) to get various things for breakfast, usually some hard rolls and a butter ring. I don’t know that they do this every Sunday or if it’s a special treat for us visitors, but I’m more than happy to participate in the breakfast of a butter ring, fruit, hard rolls with some cheese, and a cup of orange juice. The food is good, of course, but the tradition of these special breakfasts has created for me some potent memories.
After returning to Des Moines, I wanted to try to keep up this special type of breakfast on Sundays. It has ended up that we do it only once or twice a month, but it’s nice to do something a little different from the oatmeal Neal and I eat for breakfast every day. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a comparable bakery here in Des Moines that would sell things like at Danish Mill Bakery, especially not in walking distance, so I’ve been making due with danishes and other pastries from the local grocery store that I pick up when doing grocery shopping on Saturday. To try to keep Neal from coming to expect danishes or doughnuts, sometimes I’ll do pancakes or eggs, hash browns, and bacon (perfectly cooked using the Bacon Method). Other times I’ll make up a box of the Trader Joe’s scone mixes to serve with fruit.
Katie and I like their mixed berry scone mix, but Neal isn’t really a fan. Those scones are especially good with some gooseberry jam from Barb’s Garden & Pantry via the Des Moines farmer’s market. This week I saw their new scone mix and thought Neal would like this one: Trader Joe’s chocolate chip scones. As with the mixed berry scones, they are super easy to make: add water, mix, drop the dough onto the pan in 10 piles, bake, serve. The bake time is long enough to wash and cut fruit, but short enough that you don’t feel like you’re making people starve while waiting for the food to bake.
The occasional special breakfast is a nice way to break up the usual morning routine on a day that most people can afford to take time preparing breakfast. Nothing can really compare to a Danish Mill Bakery butter ring, but the alternatives I’ve found have done the job of providing a special breakfast without taking anything away from the memories of Sunday breakfasts in Solvang.