I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. Of course it wasn’t the boiled oatmeal of my childhood, nor was it sweetened with lots of sugar or “improved” by the addition of a pat of butter. No…I used instant oatmeal and added a tablespoon of peanut butter, a teaspoon of honey, a few raisins, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Don’t mock me until you’ve tried it.
Cold weather often finds me reaching for oatmeal. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods and a wonderful reminder of childhood, but it’s not the only breakfast food that I enjoy. In fact, breakfast is my favorite meal! My parents didn’t believe in starting the day without food and it was usually cooked at home. I don’t remember ever going through a drive-thru for breakfast or picking up something at the convenience store on the way to school. Even after schools started serving breakfast my mom allowed us to eat at home if we preferred.
My dad loved breakfast so much that we often ate breakfast food for dinner, especially when we traveled. I’m sure that cost influenced his choice of a pancake house vs. a steak house when feeding four children, but his love of pancakes, eggs, and bacon was also a factor.
About the only thing Mom cooked for breakfast that I wasn’t crazy about was rice. She cooked it until it was quite soft and soupy, then added butter and sugar and cinnamon. Not my favorite, but at least she wasn’t a big fan of grits or Cream of Wheat- two things that my grandmother Simmons tried to convince me to eat.
Grandad Lee also had a breakfast habit that I could happily skip- cornbread and buttermilk. Yuck! I didn’t like to smell buttermilk any time of day, but especially not before noon.
My Springer grandparents had the right idea: breakfast buffet. I suppose it was probably because we were always “visiting” and there were often aunts and uncles and cousins present, but breakfast at John and Della’s house seemed to include everything warm and tasty- pancakes, biscuits, eggs, sausage, gravy, and lots of fresh milk and homemade butter.
I know a lot of people who don’t eat breakfast. They tell me that they just aren’t hungry or they can’t eat early in the morning or they just drink a smoothie on their way to work. You do whatever you want. I’m going to have a bowl of hot oatmeal, or a spinach omelet, or bagel with almond butter or…