What defines a morning person? Are these the people who wake up super early in the morning and already are balls of energy ready to burst? Are these the people who never seem to have any problems waking up at 4AM but are in bed by 9 in the evening? Or perhaps these are the people who somehow automatically wake up bright and early even if they slept late the night before?
Despite being neither of those, I still do think I’m a morning person. I don’t wake up obscenely early and begin puttering around the house because I enjoy some extra minutes of sleep. And even though I don’t have problems waking up early I still wake up at my regular hour regardless of what time I slept. The way I see it, I am a morning person because I feel more productive and/or inspired in the morning; like my best ideas come out of me a few minutes after I fully wake up then slowly wind down to a standstill as the day progresses into night.
It’s in the mornings I can practically feel my creative juices pumping and screaming ‘USE ME!’. I have to rush to hold on to them before the crash of other pressing thoughts start charging into my mind- responsibilities, work, problems, and whatever the heck else “adults” deal with in “the real world”- slowly, slowly they trickle in before becoming a flood.
Sometimes it even begins to feel as though there are two personalities clashing in my head: Robot Clarisse and Creative Clarisse. When Robot’s thoughts take over, holding on to ideas turns into this crazy race against time and space. Creative has to dig deep to take the ideas, throw them down on the table, smooth them out to see them clearly.
But when I get the chance to enjoy a good, leisurely, quiet morning, the ideas have this way of flowing through my fingertips and ending up on paper. This is the normal Clarisse I always seek, just like these are the kinds of mornings I always try to go for.
The best kind of mornings.
But now that I think about it, perhaps another reason why I think I qualify as a morning person is because I enjoy breakfast a great deal. The sad thing is I barely have enough time to make something special for breakfast. Weekdays are pretty much almost always out of the question, but when I wake up clear-headed on a Sunday I usually whip something up before everyone else in the house rouses.
Bread pudding. It seems rather anti-climatic doesn’t it? And until I made this I couldn’t even remember the last time I had bread pudding. But really, how could you go wrong with such a classic comfort dish? To up the ante, I decided to make a recipe that has one of my favourite fruits in the mix.
I think the Philippines has the most amazing mangoes in the entire planet. In my previous post I talked about Guimaras mangoes, but in my opinion Philippine mangoes in general are some of the best mangoes you will find anywhere in the world. I love them like crazy and I have learned that they are fantabulous in baked goods too, just ask this Dorie Greenspan Mango Bread.
Frankly, the mangoes are a great and fresh way to add natural flavour and sweetness to the bread pudding. I used crusty baguettes and they were perfect in adding that lovely little crunch in each bite. The full comfort-food-effect of bread pudding comes out when it’s eaten warm, which is exactly the way I prefer it.
In the context of my being a morning person, this is the sort of feel-good breakfast I want on my little desk corner with my mandatory cup of joe. Just seeing it gives my mood a boost. As I turn on my computer and start writing away I take a warm bite here and there. Finally my spoon starts to scrape the bottom of the ramekin and I realise with a sad oh that I’ve eaten it all up.
Mango Bread Pudding
Makes 8 half-cup ramekins, or one 8-inch baking pan
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups cubed day-old baguette
- 2 ripe Philippine mangoes, sliced, seeded, and diced into chunks
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- mango slices, for topping (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease an 8 inch square baking pan or 8 ramekins.
- 2. Place the sliced bread and mango chunks in a bowl, then mix until evenly combined and the mango juice has coated most of the cubed bread. Divide the mixture into 8 ramekins (or place in an 8-inch square baking pan).
- 3. Drizzle melted butter over the the bread and mangoes. Slightly push down the bread-mango mixture with a spoon to help it soak evenly once the batter is poured.
- 4. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread and mangoes, making sure everything is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
- 5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, and the bread pudding is formed and golden. Remove from the oven.
- 6. Cool for about 20 minutes after baking and serve immediately. (Or you can chill in the fridge for about two hours before serving.) Top with mango slices, if desired.
And while you’re at it, have some warm bread pudding. And enjoy the good vibe happy morning feels.