Posted tagged ‘Toast’

“Laziness is the first step towards efficiency.”

November 24, 2017

Gracie and I slept so late it was mirror to the nose time. After I finally woke up, I didn’t rush but rather took my time completing the usual morning tasks. Feeding Gracie came right after setting the coffee to brew. The papers took a while to read, and I had to do the crossword puzzles. Despite the hour being closer to lunch, I didn’t skip breakfast: toast with my second cup of coffee.

I have designated today sloth day.  I’m not even dressed. All the sales don’t even tempt to go out, but I will shop tomorrow on small business Saturday as I still need a few gifts. Last night I went through a clowder of catalogues (I choose clowder because I like the alliteration) and found a few smaller presents I’ll order on line tomorrow. My list is short. I’m getting close to the end.

Dinner yesterday was wonderful. My plate was so filled I couldn’t eat it all and had to take home a doggie bag.  There was turkey, of course, gravy, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce.; however, despite this groaning plate, I did find room for  dessert: creme brûlée. My logic was it is a light dessert, easily managed. I ate every bit. Now I am looking forward to tonight’s dinner: leftovers.

The restaurant was filled. The whole time we were there not a single table stayed empty for more than a couple of minutes. We sat one tier up from the windows and had a panoramic view of the ocean, close to the shore and calm with no white caps, and we watched the spectacular setting of an orange-red sun bright with light as it disappeared below the breakwater. It was a perfect ending to a lovely day with friends, dinner and leftovers.

“Her routine was as predictable as the rotation of the earth.”

November 11, 2017

Last night was bitingly cold. When I took Gracie out around 1:30, the cold took my breath away. Gracie didn’t like it any more than I so she peed as she walked. It was not squatting weather. Today is much warmer in comparison. I went into the yard with Gracie and didn’t mind waiting. She roamed a while then picked her spots. She squatted just fine.

I have all these patterns of movement every morning. I take Gracie out and fetch my papers then we both go to the backyard. Once Gracie’s finished in the yard and we’re back inside the house, I make the coffee then get Gracie’s dish. That’s kitchen to hall to den. On the way back from leaving Gracie’s dish, kitchen to den, I get the cat’s dish. That’s den to living room to kitchen. I fill the cat food dish then pour my first cup and head back to the den. That’s kitchen to living room to den. I read the Globe first then it’s back to the kitchen where I put the toast in the toaster oven and wait. Once it’s done, I fill my cup for the second time and walk back down the hall to the den to read my second paper, the Cape Cod Times. That’s where the usual pattern ends. The rest of my day is free form.

I didn’t make it to the dump yesterday. Even on warmer winter days the wind rips across the recycle center, and it’s cold. Yesterday the dump would have been freezing, frozen tundra like. I won’t be able to go until tomorrow as it is closed for Veteran’s Day.

Today I have an empty dance card. I’ll go through my recipes to find appetizers for game night tomorrow. I expect to get the laundry done. I’ve hit my breaking point. The pile is high enough to have my full attention and merits a sign: beware of falling laundry.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

September 24, 2017

We have sun and a blue sky, both among the missing for the last five days. I was surprised by how warm it is when I went out to get the papers. My lawn and deck are a mess. Leaves and branches cover both. The leaves are so wet they are pasted to the lawn and driveway. The deck is slick. I had to take mincing steps to keep my balance. I hope the leaves are quick drying in the sun.

Breakfast is my favorite go out to eat meal. I like my bacon crisp and my eggs over easy. My toast is usually rye. I love to use it to sop up the yoke. Sometimes I get French toast. I slop on maple syrup, the real stuff. I also get crisp bacon with my French toast. Some places offer home fries, but I only like them seasoned so most times I just pass.

In Ghana, my breakfast was the same every day. I had two eggs fried in peanut oil, toast and coffee. Butter was expensive so I used margarine from a tin. The coffee was instant with tinned milk. The eggs and the bread were fresh. Sometimes the eggs came from my own chickens. The rest of the time I bought them in the market. The bread was fresh and sweet. Cooking the eggs in peanut oil added a wonderful taste. I always had two giant cups of coffee, one with breakfast and the other sitting out on the steps in the front of my house. I’d watch the little kids walk to schools close to my school fences.

Every place I’ve stayed on return trips to Ghana serves a complimentary breakfast. It is generally two eggs, toast and coffee, and yes, the milk is still tinned.

I don’t often cook breakfast for myself. Usually I just have coffee and, of late, toast or an English muffin. I don’t ever use margarine, and I use light cream in my coffee. I like to indulge myself. My favorite coffee is called African blend, but I like to try different coffees. I just bought some Ugandan coffee. It was expensive partly because it came in a red striped cloth bag with beadwork. I admit I was drawn by the bag.

Peapod has come and gone. The driver was nice enough to leave freezer and refrigerator items in bags near the fridge so I’ve already put them away. When I finish here, I’ll put the rest of the groceries away. I had to be inventive to fit everything in the freezer, and my fridge is hardly ever this filled. My kitchen has become a land of plenty.

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.”

April 29, 2017

Today is cloudy and damp. It is supposed to be a warm day with the temperature reaching the mid 60’s, but it had better clear up quickly as it is a threatening sky. When Gracie and I went out, I waited for her and by the time I got inside I was chilly.

Gracie and I had a bad night. Falling asleep was difficult so I gave up trying around 2:30 and turned on the TV. It was 4 on my last time check before I finally fell into the arms of Morpheus. Poor Gracie was restless, and it was my fault.

When I was a kid, the Saturday night menu never changed. We always had hot dogs, baked beans, and brown bread. I never ate the beans, but I did eat the brown bread and loved the hot dogs. The brown bread came in a can. I used to butter it. Sometimes my mother fried it a bit. That was my favorite way to eat brown bread. I think it tasted better warm than cold. A while back, I bought a can of brown bread. I figure I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. When I opened the can of bread, I easily remembered the indentations circling it. I always thought they were a design. I toasted the bread then buttered it. I was shocked to find I didn’t like the taste all that much. I guess my memories have been tempered by time.

My dirty clothes have been sitting in front of the cellar door for over a week. When I was working, I did my laundry every Sunday. I lived by a weekend schedule. Now that I have all the time in the world, I do it when the mood hits me or when I am out of clean underwear. It’s the same with going to the dump which was another Sunday chore. I went the other day. I could smell the bag in my trunk. It was either leave all my windows open or go on an unscheduled dump run. Gracie was thrilled with my choice and so was I. The car smelled much better in a day or two with the windows cracked open.

I figure I inherited doing weekend chores from my father. Saturday was his big day. It was get a haircut or trim day, pick-up and leave his white shirts at the Chinaman’s, as my dad called the laundry, and drop in to say hello to friends like Pullo the druggist. When my dad retired, his schedule fell all to pieces. He didn’t need to get shirts cleaned. He let his hair get just a bit longer, and he didn’t go uptown anywhere near as often. I figure retirement means throwing out any schedule.

This morning I have a couple of errands. Tonight is Darci Rose’s tenth birthday dinner. She is a Westie who thinks of me as Aunt Kat or at least I think so. I need to buy her birthday presents.

The sun is coming out. Let’s hear a halleluiah!

“Every day my mother had tea. My dad has his ritual cigar. They had their evening cocktail. Those rituals were done nicely, with flair and feeling.”

March 27, 2017

Today is chilly, damp and cloudy. Last night it rained, and the ground is still wet. More rain is expected today. My dance card is empty so I’m staying close to hearth and home. I’m declaring today a sloth day. It’s a sit on the couch, watch TV, and snack day. It is comfy clothes including a sweatshirt that has seen better days. It is not fit for public viewing.

It has been a quiet news day. The front page of the Globe had only a single Trump article, and it was at the bottom of the page: “Trump girds for tax fight and Prepares to reverse Obama climate plan.”

When I’d visit my mother, she and I had rituals. We’d sit for hours at the kitchen table playing Big Boggle. We’d order take out for dinner. She paid and I picked up. On Saturday, we did some shopping. Both she and I liked off-beat places, never a mall. Sometimes we’d venture afar. One Saturday we went as far as North Conway, and we shopped and had lunch. We were gone so long my father figured we were lost, wandering aimlessly from backroad to backroad. Little did he realize that my mother and I loved backroads, even when we had no idea where we’d end up. On Saturday night, depending on the season, my father barbecued. It was always a couple of different meats, chips, a potato salad or pepper and egg. Chinese sausage was the favorite meat one year, but my mother’s marinated steak tips were perennial favorites. On Sunday morning my dad went out early for donuts. He was a plain donut guy, and he spread butter on it. He’d then start cooking breakfast. It was always eggs, bacon and toast. The eggs were easy over and the bacon crispy. I’d sit at the kitchen table to keep him company    Sometimes I was on toast duty. Sunday afternoons were for cribbage. When I won, it was the luck of the draw. When my dad won, it was expertise. I lived to skunk him.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

August 30, 2015

The house feels hot and a bit clammy. The humidity has returned. Gracie just sits in front of me and pants. If I were a dog, I’d do the same thing.

When I was a kid, I was a morning cocoa drinker. Two of my siblings were tea drinkers. My mother would put a nice tea pot on the table rather than putting the teabags in mugs. For my cocoa, she’d mix the powder with some milk, stir it together then add the water. Some mornings she made eggs. Other mornings we had cereal. We always had toast. She sometimes made soft-boiled eggs and put them in yellow, chicken-shaped egg cups. She always lopped off the top of the eggs. I loved how she used to cut the toast. It was the perfect size for dipping into the eggs. Oatmeal was common in the winter, the old-fashioned kind which took some time. My mother kept a good variety of dry cereals, including each of our favorites. I never gave those breakfasts much thought. It never occurred to me how early she had to get up. Not only did she make our breakfasts but also our lunches, great lunches, the envy of our friends. We never said thanks. We finished breakfast, grabbed our lunches, kissed her good-bye and ran out the door. Kids just don’t think sometimes to say thanks for the every day.

There is a slight breeze as I can hear my chimes now and then. The birds are noisy. I don’t hear any people.

I have nothing to do today except maybe the laundry still sitting by the cellar door, but it doesn’t bother me much so it may sit there a while longer. I am not even dressed yet. I don’t care. There is no urgency in putting on clothes. I do love this life of leisure.

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

January 29, 2015

I am still house-bound. My factotum got stuck in high drifts yesterday and didn’t make it. He said few side roads in his town were plowed yet. I cleared off the two front steps with a broom because poor Gracie was beside herself in wanting out. When I was done, I opened the door, and she went out and squatted for what might just be a new Olympic record. Before we went to bed, she completed her business. This morning, she went right to the front door to go out. I am feeling so much better and far less guilty.

I am beside myself. For the last two days I have been reading the paper on-line, a most unsatisfying experience. I want to be turning pages. This morning I could see the papers sitting on a tall drift next to the driveway. There are two bags, one I’m supposing is filled with the two days I missed. I can’t get to them. They might as well be on the moon.

Today is bright and sunny. It is even winter warm. The icicles on my house are dripping. I can hear them when I stand by the front door. A very, long thick one was hanging off my outside light. I tried to break it, but I couldn’t though I did manage to break off the thinner lower parts.

I was just in the kitchen getting coffee and toast. I love the smells of both. My bread is scali bread or, as I just found out, scala bread for a single loaf. It makes the best toast. My friends from New Jersey had never heard of scali bread. I looked it up and found out, “Scali bread is an Italian style of bread made predominantly in the Boston, Massachusetts area. It is a braided loaf that is covered in sesame seeds.” That hardly describes the taste of scali, and how when it is toasted, the bread turns a delightful brown and the butter melts lovingly into the bread. Definitions seldom do reality justice. Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice that falls from the clouds. How boring that sounds.

My doorbell just rang. Gracie barked, and I wondered who it could be. It was my neighbor, and she had my newspapers in hand. I am delighted. I am done here as I am itching to get my hands on those papers.

“I believe in rituals.”

October 16, 2014

Last night it rained and today it is supposed to rain again, heavily. The sun is popping in and out of the clouds. The temperatures of the last couple of days have been in the 70’s with mild nights in the 60’s. My windows are opened and the front door still has its screen. Gracie sits there and looks out for the longest time. I wonder what keeps her interest as my street is a quiet one. I stand with her every now and then just to keep her company.

All my life I have had morning rituals. During my childhood the weekday mornings were always the same. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, do teeth then walk to school. For breakfast I always drank cocoa. My mother gave us toast and eggs and in the winter we had oatmeal, the sort which always has lumps. When I was in high school, I had to get up earlier and getting the bus was added to the ritual. In college, I grabbed breakfast on the way out, and every morning my friends and I would sit together in the canteen, drink coffee and race each other in finishing the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. Usually we worked in teams of two. When I was in Ghana, I had the same thing every morning: horrible coffee, two fried eggs and toast. The eggs were cooked in peanut oil, and they were the best fried eggs I ever had. If I had a break in classes, I’d walk to my house and have another cup of coffee and sit on the porch to drink it. Breakfast never varied. I had margarine on my toast as butter was imported and not in my budget. I’d sometimes add groundnut paste, the Ghanaian version of thick, thick peanut butter which needed to be mixed with peanut oil to make it spreadable. The Ghanaians used it as a soup base. Those mornings in Ghana were amazing, every single day.

When I started teaching, I got up 5, had two cups of coffee, read as much of the paper as I could, got dressed and left for school at 6:20. On the way to school, I’d stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium coffee. I did that every weekday until I retired.

In retirement I haven’t changed much though now I get up whenever. I feed the cats, fill the water dish, fill the dog’s dry food dish, let the dog out, put the coffee on and get the papers in the driveway. Sometimes I have toast and sometimes I have a bagel but mostly I just have coffee, usually two cups, one with each paper. I take my time reading the papers. I then check my e-mail and finally start writing Coffee.

I think of my mornings as ritual, as almost sacred.

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

April 6, 2013

My house was cold when I woke up this morning. I needed socks. Without warm feet, I’m doomed to feel chilly even in slippers. I felt a bit of a nip in the air when I went to get the papers. Gracie was quickly out and quickly back inside. She and the two cats are having their morning naps. After all, they have been up all of three hours.

I wonder who first decided toast was for breakfast. I toast sandwich bread too but mostly I don’t, except for BLT bread which demands to be toasted. I always toast my bread for breakfast so a toaster is a must in my kitchen. Was toast happenstance or a brilliant idea? That’s one of the mysteries of life. I hate crooked pictures. Why go to all the trouble of locating the right spot, finding a nail, hammering it onto the wall and then hanging a picture you totally forget about? Pictures by their very shape need to be straight. I don’t mind an unmade bed. I like a made bed better, but I’m okay if it’s unmade. I think that’s because I don’t go upstairs enough to be bothered by it. Sometimes clothes sit in my dryer for a few days or even a week until I do laundry again. Folding it and then bringing the laundry up two flights is one of my least favorite chores. The laundry rush used to happen when I ran out of clean underwear, but that’s no longer the case. I bought plenty for my trip to Ghana so the laundry can sit in the dryer for a while. I don’t care about wrinkles. No where I go has a sign which says shoes, shorts and no wrinkles. Dirty dishes in the sink drive me crazy. I wash them by hand every day as I don’t have near enough for the dishwasher, and I want my favorite coffee cup every morning. I hate bad grammar being spoken on a TV series. It perpetuates the downfall of the English language. I care, but other people don’t. I get the line,”You understood it, didn’t you? That drives me crazy. If a song is sung off-tune, I can still hear it. Is that enough?

I have to go out today. Gracie and I have a few errands, but I’ll have to wait until later this afternoon. I’d hate to disturb her nap-time.

“I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time” so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”

March 1, 2013

Gracie and I finally made it to the dump yesterday morning then we went to Agway, a store which welcomes dogs on a leash. It was a perfect Gracie day. In the afternoon it rained a little, but in the late afternoon the sun made another attempt to break through but wasn’t successful. I figure the sun got a bit miffed and decided to stay away a bit longer. Today’s weather is like yesterday’s and the day before that and on and on: cloudy with a chance of rain. The forecast does change a bit for tonight: cloudy with a chance of snow showers. I’m beginning to feel like a mole. (Since I posted this the sun has managed to break through the clouds for just a little while. At first I thought it was a meteor signaling the end of the Earth but my instinctive memories managed to resurrect the word sun.)

I was a cocoa drinker most school mornings when I was a kid. My brother or sister (I forget which one) was a tea drinker. My mother always served the tea in a flowered pot. Thinking back on that, it’s kind of neat to have a pretty pot on the table in the morning though back then I didn’t appreciate the gesture. My cocoa was made in the cup. My mother would put some cocoa granules in the cup, add some milk, stir the two together then add hot water. The cocoa always had some bubbles on the top. We  usually had toast, and in the winter my mother would make oatmeal to sustain us on the cold walk to school. My favorite breakfast was boiled eggs served in egg cups. The eggs cups were yellow chickens. Many were missing their beaks. My mother toasted the bread and sliced it into strips so we could dunk it in the egg. She’d cut the top off the egg and we’d dunk for the yolk. I have those egg cups now. My mother gave them to me when I moved into my house. She thought I should have some memories from my childhood. The egg cups have Fannie Farmer etched across the bottom. I never noticed that when I was a kid.

I had cereal for breakfast yesterday for the first time in years. I think that’s why my childhood breakfast memories popped into my head. Cereal was our warm school morning breakfast and our Saturday morning watch TV breakfast. My mother had boxes of different cereals lined up in the kitchen. My brother liked Cheerios. I was a Rice Krispies fan. I think Corn Flakes also made an appearance though we thought it was an adult cereal. It didn’t do tricks like snap, crackle or pop. I like Corn Flakes now so maybe we weren’t far off. I think a banana really dresses up a bowl of Corn Flakes.

This morning I had coffee and an onion bagel with cream cheese. It was a most satisfying breakfast.