All throughout my childhood I adored spending the night at my grandpa and grandma’s house. Honestly there was nothing better. I had an aunt 6 months younger than me (technically she was my step-aunt, but that’s beside the point); I had a built-in playmate who was fun and shorter than me and had cool toys.
However, the most remarkable event at my grandparents’ house was that every morning when we finally climbed upstairs, an aromatic curtain of perfection drifted from the kitchen.
As a good farm wife did back then, my grandma had a full breakfast ready for us. Bacon, eggs, french toast….it felt like whatever we wanted. I’m not entirely sure this is really true but that’s how I remember it and how my nose remembers the smell of love, family, and pure delight.
I still love the smell of bacon and eggs in the morning. It brings me to a happy spot in my heart and mind.
Nutritionists love to impress the importance of a good breakfast in the morning and I whole-heartedly agree that we need to break our fast with nutrient-filled foods.
I also know that for a fact that my family will not, under any circumstances, get up in enough time to have that nutrient-dense meal beyond coffee.
Breakfast or a couple more minutes of sleep? This is not a choice for my tired teens.
Thus when I have the eggs frying and the bacon sizzling on a weeknight, everybody is happy. It’s time for sweats, pajamas, or any leisure wear. It’s a time not to rush but linger at the table. It’s a time to leave the phones in the room and see how many more pieces of bacon you can swipe off the platter before anyone notices.
The meal adds a bit of exhale to our lives…family connection and laughter are never a bad waste of time. Plus it’s a quick, cheap, and easy meal for mom to make! Bonus, bonus, bonus!
I’m curious why such a simple meal brings so much joy to our lives. And when I ask around, other people have the same reaction. It’s simple, almost primitive in nature, and easy.
I like to believe that such a simple, delightful meal elevates our closeness because we relate the smells and sounds of breakfast to rest and relaxation and ultimately love and closeness.
Here are a few of my favorite breakfast for dinner (aka “brinner”) combinations that we love to devour at our family table:
- The Classic American Breakfast: bacon, eggs (in whatever style you deem appropriate), pancakes/waffles, and fruit slices (we love apples)
- The Skillet Meal: Hash browns, eggs, roasted peppers and onions, breakfast meat of choice, and cheese
- Omelet Bar: This is fun when all the kids are old enough to make their own omelets with supervision and a broken omelet just becomes fancy scrambled eggs.
- Cereal/oatmeal bar: Let’s be honest, cereal and oatmeal are good meals so why aren’t they good enough in the evening? No one is judging you…we can’t all be Martha Stewart 100% of the time. And who says you can’t but two or three cereals together. I love cereal but don’t necessarily want it in the morning, but at night, it’s divine!
- Huevos Rancheros: Our family favorite! Eggs braised in a ranchero sauce (for our favorite recipe click here), tortillas, refried beans, salsa, and any other toppings you have in your fridge. I use our leftover rice, black olives, avocados, etc.
Meals should be nourishing both to the bodies and souls of our families and ourselves.
My grandma must have known these mornings were precious to my heart because she made me feel so special with the closeness the meal captured. And somehow my family gets that same feeling when I make breakfast for dinner.
Take a simple step back and enjoy those around you with a time to uplift your spirit, a time to make memories, and a time when it’s not so much what’s on the table but who is around it.