Monday, October 08, 2007

What's for breakfast?

Breakfast is an odd meal for me. I'm not a morning person, so in the past I haven't been awake enough to think about eating a REAL meal before work.

Growing up, mom would make us hot cereal, or french toast, or pancakes before school. Never cold cereal - we couldn't afford it. Until I was in high school (when Mom went back to work), cold cereal was a treat we looked forward to having at Grandma's house. Of course, Grandma would let us pick out whatever kind we wanted, sugar content be damned! Pass the Cookie Crisp, please!

I didn't eat breakfast on weekdays during most of high school, and part of college. Once I started working, though, I found I really needed it. Most mornings I just ate cold cereal. Sometimes the healthy stuff - I love shredded wheat and the occasional box of, yes, bran flakes. Sometimes the stuff masquerading as healthy - just because Cracklin' Oat Bran has the word "bran" in the title, it's not a health food, believe me! And, of course, sometimes it just has to be Cookie Crisp (or Lucky Charms for hubby).

Since I'm now up at 5 am with hubby, and don't leave the house till 7:30, I find I have some time on my hands in the mornings. And I've discovered the wonders of the quick hot breakfast. It's like having weekend breakfast on a plain old Monday morning! Excellent!

I've developed a fondness for oatmeal, a food I loathed and detested as a child. Of course, I prepare it completely differently than my mom did! I have several variations - pumpkin, apple (either with bits of dried apple cooked in it, or with fried apples dumped on top if I have extra ambition), plain sweetened with maple syrup, or plain sweetened with molasses. Of course, it has to be made with MILK. This is critical. Part fat-free half and half if I have it. I can put a pot of it on the stove on low heat, go take my shower, and when I come back, rich, creamy, yummy oatmeal. And if I don't have time even for that, I mix all the ingredients together the night before, let it soak in the fridge overnight, and then nuke it for two minutes in the morning and it's just as good!

Sometimes, I'll make up a whole loaf of French toast on the weekends. Then I freeze the slices on a cookie sheet, pop them in a freezer bag, and, voila! Toaster french toast. Just heat and eat.

This morning, I had two fried eggs, toast (on homemade bread with homemade jelly, yum!), and canned pears. Plus coffee and orange juice. On these mornings, I just hop in the shower five minutes early (my mornings are pretty well routinized, so I pay close attention to time). Then I use those five extra minutes to cook my eggs. While the eggs and toast are cooking I putter around the kitchen a little - I either get a head start on pulling my lunch together, or work on dishes, or, like this morning, I swap out the laundry left in the washer and dryer last night.

Of course, some mornings I'm just a zombie and I NEED that box of cold cereal. I have shredded wheat for that. Or sometimes I sneak a bowl of hubby's granola. But I find the hot breakfasts stick with me better and I don't need to snack as much at work.

So what's YOUR breakfast routine?

1 comment:

Norma said...

If it's just me in the AM then it's a bagel, cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. Sometimes I'll bring eggs to work to soft boil.
If my man is awake when I leave, I'll get a cup of malt-o-meal or oatmeal for the ride to work. He makes it all soupy so I can drink it on the way. Sometimes I'll get a breakfast burrito or breakfast sandwich from him too. He's good to me and the kids. :)