It’s 6:00 am. I can hear my husband’s alarm softly ringing from his cell phone on the bedside table. My eyes open, and I’m startled by a wet nose in my face. Minnie, our daschund, is asleep between us, blissfully unaware that it’s Monday. The sun has yet to rise, and after my husband silences the alarm we both shut our eyes for a few minutes more.
The alarm goes off again, this time more urgently. My husband springs from the bed, breaking free from a deep sleep. The dog groans and boroughs further into the covers. I stumble out of bed and into the bathroom. Splashing water on my face washes the sleep from my eyes, along with fragile memories of last night’s dreams. I scurry into the kitchen to make breakfast, ears perked, taking note of where he’s at in the getting ready for work process. The sound of running water in the bathroom sink lets me know he’s shaving, I have plenty of time.
Over the years, breakfast has become our favorite meal together. The day is still unwritten, a clean slate to be filled. As the sun rises, shining golden rays through the large windows of our top-floor apartment, I set the table with cloth napkins and tea cups. It’s a proper breakfast, some days pancakes, or eggs and bacon with toast. Today, I feel like cooking something special. Inspired by the flavors of Morocco, I prepare a bed of rose water infused couscous adorned with slices of citrus. Mint leaves, yogurt, and a drizzle of honey finish off this bright and stimulating dish, a cheerful way to start a cold winter day.
The sound of water boiling in our tea kettle signals breakfast is ready. We sit at the table together and he pours me a cup of tea. Conversation about the day ahead inevitably leads to a lively discussion of business and current affairs. He tells me about his next project at work and I listen intently. I share plans for an upcoming photo shoot and he gets excited about my ideas. We laugh, we argue, we dream about the future and reminisce about the past. He offers me a hot drop to warm my tea and before we know it, he’s late for work. Again.
We hug and he’s out the door. I smile. How lucky we are to linger over breakfast together- still holding on to every moment, after eight years. When you’re married to your best friend, every day is Valentine’s day.
Each week I contribute an article expanding on one of the 10 Ways Tuesday ideas to the Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder website. To learn more about this recipe and read the full article, click on the icon below.
Rose Water Scented Couscous with Citrus, Yogurt, and Almonds
serves 2 generously
1 blood orange
1 mandarin orange
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup couscous
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pinches powdered sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
1 small container of Greek yogurt, 6 ounces honey
a small handful of fresh mint leaves for garnish
Prepare the citrus, cutting off the peel and segmenting the fruit into bite sized pieces.
Cook the couscous. Place the grains in a small pot with the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods (lightly crushed with a spoon), and a couple of pinches of sea salt. Boil water in a kettle or separate pot, then pour it over the couscous. Cover the couscous with a lid and let it steam until the liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
Toast the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring in ground cinnamon. Cook until the almonds are golden brown and fragrant, just a couple of minutes. Pour the toasted almonds into a town and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of powdered sugar. Set aside.
Once the couscous is done steaming, fluff it with a fork, discarding the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Pour melted butter over the couscous and stir in Meyer lemon zest plus 1/2 teaspoon rose water.
Divide the couscous into two bowls. Stir 1/4 teaspoon rose water into the citrus and arrange the citrus segments atop the couscous. Place a couple spoonfuls of yogurt in the center of the couscous and drizzle honey over top. Garnish the couscous with the sliced almonds and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.