The most important meal of the day: yogurt parfaits with raspberry plum spoon fruit

Breakfast is my favorite meal. Why? Because today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Oh boy.

Really, though. What else you got? Yesterday: That ship has sailed. Tomorrow: The future takes care of itself. Today: start with breakfast and watch it unfold. 

The idea of spoon fruits or spoon sweets comes from a Greek tradition. According to Vefa’s Kitchen, hosts serve spoon sweets—fruits preserved in sugar or honey and served on a small spoon on a pretty plate accompanied by a glass of water—to welcome guests into the home. They usually are not as thick or cooked as long as preserves, and range from a simple combination of almonds and honey, to sour cherries in syrup, figs, kumquats, grapes, oranges, rose petals and even carrots, even eggplant, cooked with sugar or honey to make them sweet.

With this concept in mind, you can create practically any combination, sweetened to your taste, and in small quantities. There is no need to haul out the preserving pan. Just simmer a little fruit with sugar, water and flavorings. Voila! A special breakfast treat. Serve it over Greek yogurt (of course) or with pancakes or waffles. The rest of your life doesn’t have to be as complicated as it was yesterday.

Nothing happens until this happens.

Steel cut oats with honey and butter
Raspberry plum spoon fruit
Makes about 1 cup

2 purple plums, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (plus more for garnish if you like)
1 to 2 tablespoons blond cane sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine the plums, raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until plums have released their juices and are soft. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a bowl and serve when cool.

Addendum: Steel cut oats are my favorite, and so good for you. If you want to know why, check this out. If you want to know how, check this out. For a savory version, Jody and Ken make theirs into a substantial meal, a breakfast that can take you through any day. You can cut down on time by making a big batch, freezing portions, and heating in the microwave. Or do as I do when I'm eating oatmeal almost every day, just stash them in the fridge and reheat. They keep 4 or 5 days.


  1. Spoon fruit is indeed a village custom in Greece, and they call it "glee-KOH" which means "sweet". Your photos are incandescent, as always, Sal! Good thing I read this with my first cup of coffee. :)

  2. Leela, You were the one who first made me want to go to Greece when you pointed me to Gerald Durell's My Family and Other Animals in college (I must re-read that!!). I finally did go with Luke and a few friends a few years ago--just long enough to wet my appetite for more. I love the idea of welcoming a guest with just a little sweet taste of something--such a beautiful gesture. (And fun to make, too!)

  3. Sally--I feel like this is turning into a mutual admiration society, but your photos keep setting the bar higher! I love the visual breakfast theme, but the spoon fruit pic opening the post is spectacular! I'm making some tomorrow, with rhubarb. Ken

    1. Well, when you like something, you like it. I can't help if everything on your site makes me want to cook (and if you make beautiful photos--which you do--icing on the cake!)

  4. Sally, Just discovering your blog. The photos are beautiful. I'm looking through your recipe index, and unfortunately none of the links work. Just wanted you to know so you could fix. I'd love to see some of the recipes, but couldn't find them.

    1. Janet, Some of the Boston Globe links don't work anymore which I need to fix; I'll check in to the others--thanks for the heads up. If there are any specific recipes you were interested in , I could start there. I hope at least some of them work, they do from my end.....Thanks

    2. Janet, Wow! All the links were lost ??? I have miserable tech skills. Fixed I hope. Thanks again!