I’m a morning person, and I’m always ready to eat the minute I wake up. Luckily, I like to cook. My wife Amy is not an early riser, so I have the kitchen to myself, and I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t appreciate breakfast in bed. (Sorry ladies, I’m already taken.)
So I cook breakfast, and usually go gourmet on weekends. Dad never was much of a cook, and Mom was always so busy in the kitchen that there wouldn’t have been room for him if he had been interested. We lived in Baton Rouge during my formative years, and a lot of men in Louisiana cook, so even though I didn’t pick it up from my Dad, I’ve never been afraid of the kitchen. Food was venerated in our family, so much so that when anyone sat down to recount their travels the first question was always “did you have anything good to eat?” We were foodies before the term was invented.
I cook a lot, but breakfast is my favorite. I like the challenging choreography of bringing all the dishes to completion at the same time, I like sauteing, and I like enjoying a comforting meal while considering the day ahead. This morning I woke late (at least according to Belle the cat), and headed for the kitchen to start the coffee while Amy fed Belle. We buy coffee by subscription from a roaster about an hour away, so the beans are fresh and oily, rich with flavor and aroma. I’m not a coffee fanatic but I like a good cup. Then I got two bowls and divided a banana, a cup or so of sliced pineapple, and a Honeycrisp apple between the two. I tossed the oranges–we had a half dozen clementines left, but they’d been tasteless, and were simultaneously molding and drying out. Time to put “fruit” on our shared grocery list. I decided on grits and an omelet, so I put water on the burner, and on impulse took out two sausage patties to defrost. Once the water was boiling I stirred in the grits and a dash of garlic salt, turned the burner to low, and put the patties in the microwave on “thaw”.
Once we’d finished our first cups of coffee and the fruit, it was time for the main course. The grits had thickened nicely, so I turned the burner down as low as it would go and grated some cheddar into the pan. Then I pulled out a nonstick pan for the sausage, got them sizzling, and started cracking eggs into a bowl. I cracked three eggs, keeping the whites and one yolk, and discarding the other two. It’s a waste, but I’ve found when I save the yolks I never do anything with them.
I sprayed some Pam in our largest nonstick pan, and added a small pat of butter for taste. Then I diced a tablespoon or two of onion and bell pepper, added them to the pan, and sprinkled on some pepper. Once the veggies were soft I set them aside, put the pan back on the heat, and poured in the eggs. I tilted the pan to spread the mixture over the bottom, and quickly sliced some home baked sourdough bread for the toaster. When I turned back to the pan the eggs had set, so I sprinkled the veggies back in and topped them with a handful of cubed Havarti with dill. A minute later the sausage was ready, the toaster “dinged”, and I folded the omelet in thirds, flipped it over and cut off the burner.
It was delicious, a fine start to another good day. Here’s a few photos of other fine starts.
Note: Amy and I like breakfast meats, but the two of us have a hard time finishing a pound of sausage or a package of bacon. We don’t want to eat them every day, but we don’t want the package to go to waste. The solution is to cut them into single serving sizes, wrap them in small pieces of wax paper, and toss them in a zip bag in the freezer. Then we just pull out whatever we need and thaw in the microwave, and they’re ready to cook by the time the coffee is brewed.