“In the kitchen Valeria was making breakfast, his aunt never made breakfast even though Carlo insisted for years that a hotel hoping to cater to French and Americans must offer breakfast. “It’s a lazy man’s meal.”, she always said. “What laggard expects to eat before doing any work?”

Today is a pleasant winter’s day. The sun is shining, the breeze is slight and it’s warm, winter warm anyway. I slept until after 11. Ever since Colorado, I’ve tended to sleep late, but it’s purely coincidental. I’m just sleeping late. As my mother would say, “You must need it.”

Gracie and I were out yesterday and got four errands done. We’re good for a while now.

January was always a nothing month when I was a kid. We went back to school and were stuck there with no days off until February vacation.That was like five or six weeks away. After school we were mostly stuck inside unless there was some snow for sledding or a warm afternoon for biking. I remember the boredom, the walking around sighing when there was nothing to do. I couldn’t go out. It was too cold. I didn’t have a new book, playing games was boring and TV was sparse in the early afternoons. Stretched in front of me were endless hours or what seemed like endless hours until Superman. I’m sure I must have driven my mother crazy. Usually I’d decide to read a book I hadn’t read in a while. I’d drown out every sound and be drawn into the pages. I’d forget about time. Superman surprised me. He seemed to come so soon.

My mother never made soups. She served Campbell’s. My favorite was her tomato soup as she added milk or cream instead of water. It was a thick, tasty soup perfect for dunking grilled cheese sandwiches. The two always went together. They were lunch supreme when it was cold outside.

My mother served oatmeal or eggs for breakfast in the winter. I liked the oatmeal but mostly I liked the milk and the sugar I’d put on it. My mother served the oats cooked on the stove which were never as white as the milk and were sometimes lumpy. It didn’t matter. I liked oatmeal because it was hot. The eggs were usually soft boiled and served in egg cups. My mother cut the toast into strips and put them on the plate with the egg cup and the egg. The top of the egg was open and we’d dunk the toaster strips into the yoke. That was a great breakfast.

Winter had the best breakfasts, always hot so we could face the elements. The rest of the year was usually cereal from the box, a pale version of breakfast, except on Sundays when we’d have bacon and eggs and toast, breakfast supreme.

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10 Comments on ““In the kitchen Valeria was making breakfast, his aunt never made breakfast even though Carlo insisted for years that a hotel hoping to cater to French and Americans must offer breakfast. “It’s a lazy man’s meal.”, she always said. “What laggard expects to eat before doing any work?””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It has been snowing here since eartly morning and it never seems to end. I don’t have to drive anywhere until Monday so it shouldn’t bother me really but it annoyes me 🙂 The wind is strong too and it will be wors tomorrow afternoon. At least this will kill a lot of ticks and hopefully moose fly larvaes so nothing bad that doesn’t bring something good with it I guess.

    January has always been the month without any hope 🙂 Darker and more dreary than November since there is no hope for a holiday nowhere near in time. December has at least the holidays 🙂

    Oatmeal was a standard breakfast in our family, that was something not even my mother could fail at 🙂 Now days I prefer it made from rye, tastes much the same but is less like wallpaper paste in its texture. We rarely had any sugar on it though, myt mother always thought it couldn’t be a healthy thing to have on food and today it seems she was right, who would have guessed 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The last I had read was you thought you’d be spared too much snow. I guess that was a couple of days ago. I hope the snow does kill all those ticks and such. I know they are still hanging around here. The winter moths were just out and flying around lamps.

      It’s true about January though now they have added one day off for Martin Luther King’s birthday. It is always celebrated on the third Monday in January so everyone gets a long weekend.

      I think the sugar was a bribe to get us to eat our oatmeal. It was only on the top so one spoonful in was all oatmeal. I’m not much of an oatmeal fan now.

      Enjoy your evening!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    January didn’t bother me so much. February was my yuck month for many, many years. It wasn’t until I got a horse and boarded him in a barn without an indoor ring that I learned to love February and loath November. The difference was solely in the amount of daylight left to ride after I got out of work and drove to the barn.

    My mother let us play outside for awhile after school on most days. Only on very cold or blizzard days did we have to stay indoors. Mostly we wanted to on those days anyway. There were always books around to be read.

    Oatmeal with milk and brown sugar or maple syrup was one winter breakfast. Eggs were usually fried and served with toast and bacon. Once in a very great while we got soft boiled eggs in the little cups which was fun.
    Sometimes we got Cream of Wheat. Cream of Wheat is not food and should never be mistaken for anything other than wallpaper paste regardless of what is put on it to make it taste like something.

    Tomato soup with buttered toast or toasted cheese sandwich is probably the best cold weather lunch of all.

    Still damp, dark and chilly up here. All the lights downstairs are on because there isn’t enough light for me today. Eh, the electric bill has been paid. I’m good for another month. 🙂

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      February had vacation and Valentine’s Day which trumped, for me, a nothing January. I think of March as the shoulder month: sometimes winter, sometimes spring.

      The afternoons were so short that we never had much time to play even when we went out. Once in a while my mother had me ride my bike to the store for something she needed, and I like those rides. No kid except me read books. My brother could but didn’t, and my parents books weren’t something I would read.

      We never got Cream of Wheat, and I don’t know why unless my father didn’t like it.

      I love grilled cheese sandwiches, the gooier the better. Tomato soup can be sublime but only when it is thick and rich.

      I think the light has been on out of the day. It got dark around one and stayed that way.

      Stay warm!!

  3. Richard Says:

    Grey-ish, and warm, with ‘cold’-ish movin’ on in. It’s still not gonna get as cold as I’d like, but like the Stones told us, “You don’t always get what you want” …

    Saw the physical therapy guy today. Said he doesn’t think the problem’s caused by a herniated disc, but suspects verterbrae conditions as the cause. I guess he’ll call the ortho doc and discuss the X-rays before we start 3x/wk treatment next week. On a brighter note, he said my core strength is better than some of his patients 20 years younger than myself. Yay me!

    Took a ride to WallyWorld and Kroger after that to pick up some groceries for more of Morpfy’s Chicken & Corn Chowder. I’m gonna make more for when it’s cold next week so I don’t have to drive anywhere. Well, except maybe to the PT guy’s place.

    January in New Orleans was always ‘the month before Mardi Gras.’ We never looked forward to the Lenten season that followed, tho’. There were many years when Mardi Gras was cold – not ‘chilly,’ but cold. In those years when we had a late Mardi Gras, like in March, it was generally warm enough to go out without sweaters. The year my high school fraternity made a truck float to roll in the parade behind the Krewe of Rex, it was cold-ish to warm-ish. By the time we completed the first half of the route, we had thrown all our beads and were reduced to throwing beers and sandwiches … hey, free food and drink, right?

    Always liked soup, but never got ‘a thrill up my leg’ from tomato soup. Mom made it occasionally, but chicken noodle was always the preference. Grilled cheese sandwiches are always good at any age, and they’re always better with a pickle wedge. Sliced pickles are okay, but a dill wedge is perfect.

    Oatmeal’s a great comfort food. When I make my ‘Xtra Special Mystery Magic Oatmeal’ for Youngest Grandson, I add pineapple preserves, double chocolate powder, evaporated milk, butter, a touch of brown sugar, and just a pinch of salt.

    Usually I fix grits with bacon and sunny-side-up eggs, and the grits get a topping of chopped green onions and extra butter with salt ‘n pepper. Just before they’re finished cooking, I add a bit of whipping cream to whiten ’em up. Haven’t had a soft-boiled egg in years now – those are great. My grandmother put ’em in an egg cup with torn-up white bread and butter and broke the egg into it. She always served us tea ‘n toast with it.

    You’re right about winter breakfasts being the best of the year. After those ended, it was back to Sugar Corn Pops or Shredded Wheat or stuff like that – unless Mom wasn’t watching the deli bologna and Swiss cheese … then it was Sam’mich Time!

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      My day was warmish and it will stay that way, in the 40’s, for the next few days. It gets cold when the sun goes down.

      I know back pain. After 3 surgeries and physical therapy, my back still causes me pain due to deterioration and arthritis. I just live with it and do what I can. Good for you and your core strength!!!

      I’m going to make that soup. Your making it again makes me want to taste it. It is ideal soup weather too!

      I haven’t ever seen Mardi Gras but I have celebrated it here with lots of wonderful food, drink and music. One year at a party we each got a shoe box and had to decorate it like a float for the parade. It was great fun except we were so intent on our floats we didn’t talk.

      I’d eat your ‘Xtra Special Mystery Magic Oatmeal’ with such great things added.

      I’ve never had grits. I always had cocoa with breakfast when I was a kid. My brother and sister had tea. I have the egg cups we used when were kids. They are chickens two of which have lost their beaks.

      It was back to Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes for me. If I had a banana to add, it raised the cereal to grand heights.

  4. splendidone Says:

    I love that you all love grilled cheese and oatmeal, two of the best comfort foods of all time. I stayed in today and made potato soup and added some broccoli -cheese soup I had frozen to it–pretty good if I say so myself and I made a pot of chili–big football game tomorrow night, I am sure a few people will stop in. I have decided that Winter means staying home and cooking for me–at least January and February. I love learning new things about everyone here in Kat’s coffee klatch. Christer I have never heard of Ryemeal, will you tell me a bit more please? And Caryn, reading about your horse, reminded me how much I wanted one when I was younger. Richard it is nice to hear your mardi Gra stories, and I can’t wait to use the phrase:”thrill up my leg” to describe something. I’ve missed you all so, I am so happy to be in a new year!

    • katry Says:

      splendid,
      I think grilled cheese is about my favorite sandwich. I like to add bacon and tomato just to change it up a bit. The sandwich needed to be gooey to be successful.

      I make great chili and great sausage cacciatore, both wonderful in winter. The sausage is a recipe from my uncle and the chili from my brother-in-law.

      I love staying warm at home especially when outside is freezing cold or even snowing. Both cats and the dog stay nice and cozy here in the den with me. Two are on the couch and one on a chair.

      Check a few days earlier and you’ll see a chicken and corn chowder recipe which Richard has already made and is making again.

      I’m always glad when you drop by to visit.

      Happy New Year!!

  5. Bob Says:

    I can’t think of anything as comforting for lunch any day is a grilled cheese sandwich with Campbell’s tomato soup. My mother always added milk to the canned soup and grilled American cheese on white bread. My updated version would include Tomato Basil soup and Chedder cheese on either Texas toast or a good French or Italian bread. Regardless, of the cheese or the bread it’s a great meal.

    January is always a let down after all the religious celebrations with lights, parties and gifts. February has President’s day and Valintine’s day to break up the monotony of long nights and inclement weather.

    My parents ate soft boiled eggs but my sister and I eat cold cereal with milk. Fried eggs were reserved for weekends. They didn’t have the fancy egg cups but would plop the eggs into a tea cup and dip the toast cut into triangles into the slimy eggs. Back then I would eat scrambled eggs prepared only in a restaurant. I think it had something to do with the grease that they fried the eggs. Of course I also ordered a few strips of bacon to go along with the eggs. Luckily my cholesterol level is still low considering how much fat we ate growing up.

    A beautiful day here in Tampa with highs in the mid 70s under partly cloudy skies. No wonder so many folks retire here. 😀

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I like the idea of tomato basil soup. That is a good combination. We only had white bread when I was young so all our sandwiches were served on white, usually Wonder bread.

      That week off in February went a long way toward making the rest of school palatable. It is sometimes the worst of all months for snow storms. Winter’s last hurrah of sorts.

      My mother cooked the eggs just right. The soft eggs never had slime and the yoke was never overcooked. I find scrambled eggs a bit boring, and we never had them at home. I cook soft boiled eggs sometimes and break up crackers in them. They are delicious.

      We’re due for rain but warm weather.


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