Like most people, I’ve had a bad history with breakfast. Not because I didn’t want to eat it, but because it wasn’t worth eating. Oatmeal doesn’t merit the effort. Cereal is a mockery of food. When I got married I dreamed of big breakfasts and someone to cook for. But I was spurned. For a box of Grape-Nuts. Fortunately the kids are a big enough audience for me to cook for now. Only they would rather I didn’t. Too bad.
I started making breakfast in earnest when I stopped making lunch. That kind of limits their options, doesn’t it? I realized that planning a new lunch menu *and* a new dinner menu every week was killing me. I needed something that I could put on a simple rotation and not think about ever again. That’s when it dawned on me. You don’t get tired of breakfast. Some people, my husband for instance, eat the exact same thing every morning. No one feels obliged to reinvent the wheel when it comes to bacon and eggs or biscuits and gravy. Unless, of course, you take into account the fake bacon. 🙂
Every morning I cook something serious. The timing is perfect. The kitchen is clean, half the children are still asleep, and I’m not already in the middle of doing a dozen other things. One of my favorite dishes to make is fried red potatoes with a mayo/parsley/lemon relish and soft-boiled eggs. I also make biscuits and gravy with OJ at least once a week as well as some version of baked eggs. Another day is devoted to scones or coffee cakes and tea. And if I succeed in making bread that week, the morning after is tea and toast with soft boiled eggs and blanched asparagus. It never ever ever gets old. The kids are seriously messed up though. Jael walked up the stairs and said, “Oh no, not strawberry scones!” Like, what the heck?
Lunch, on the other hand, has turned into a different story. The rule of thumb is to keep it cold. I asked my husband what I could make the kids that I didn’t have to cook. He looked at me and said, “Peanut butter and jelly. Ever hear of it?” I was like, “Genius!” Now I know why people invented that stuff. To date we rotate PB&J and milk, avocado sandwiches, cheese and crackers with grapes, and veggie cream cheese wraps. And on Mondays I spend up to six hours in the car, so we eat out with a $15 limit. All in all, it frees me up considerably. Nothing like breathing easy. Dinner is on sort of a rotation too, but it’s more to just help me narrow in on what to plan for the menu. For instance, every week I do a casserole, something Mexican, something Thai or Indian, beans and rice, and a soup. And that, I can do.
Biscuits and Gravy + OJ
Ranchero Breakfast Tostadas
Strawberry Scones + Tea + Yogurt
Fried Potatoes + Soft Boiled Eggs
Cheese + Crackers + Grapes
PB&J + Milk
Saag Paneer + Rice
Brie “Chicken” Soup + Danish Rolls + Ginger Snaps
Very Hot Date
Nut Loaf + Homemade Bread + Salad + Lemon Meringue Pie