“What you making, Mama?” she asked me as she stood next to me at the counter.
“Scrambled eggs, love. And mushrooms.”
“Mmmm. That’s delicious!” she said.
Add some warm quinoa, a touch of goat cheese, and some of the salmon Danny cured a couple of days before? The three of us at the table?
That was a good breakfast.
We’re big on breakfast around here.
Admittedly, we have a different schedule than most folks, so breakfast can be slow. Together, we play for awhile after waking: a little Sesame Street, some riding on the tricycle, Ladybug Girl books, playdough, painting. Lu has a snack immediately, since she wakes up hungry. We savor our cups of hot coffee. And then it’s time to start cooking.
Eggs. We love eggs. Soft scrambled eggs. Poached eggs. Fried eggs with frizzly brown edges. Baked eggs with cheese.
Lately, Lu has been crazy for Bread and Jam for Francis. We can’t seem to read it enough times in the day. She always looks a little confused, however, when Francis turns down all the lovely eggs her mother makes her. Me too. If I sit down for a meal, and there’s an egg on top of it, I’m grinning.
(By the way, it is becoming increasingly clear that eggs have been mightily misunderstood for years. Those egg-white omelets just aren’t necessary. The cholesterol in eggs doesn’t translate into high human cholesterol. It was always an assumption, never proven. Our doctor told us — eat as many eggs as you want. And we do.)
On mornings when we find the refrigerator nearly bursting with bits of interesting foods — roasted vegetables, nubs of Parmesan cheese, a sigh of the last of the salami — we throw it all together into a frittata. You can’t go wrong with a frittata.
I love thick yogurt — preferably homemade, but I have no problem with the store-bought ones without a hundred ingredients — mixed with maple syrup and fruit. I’m longing for the berries in that photo (will summer ever come around here?) but the rhubarb compote I made a couple of evenings ago works fine too.
(Dice up the rhubarb. Add lemon zest, a small handful of muscovado sugar, a quick grating of nutmeg, some white wine like Muscadet, and simmer it in a skillet on low heat until it has softened and slumped into itself without becoming mush. Refrigerate it. Spoon it over yogurt in the morning.)
A little homemade granola and I’m golden.
In another week or two, the radishes that are muscling their shoulders out of the dirt in our garden will be ready for picking.
Breakfast that morning will be thin slivers of radishes, a smear of butter, a smattering of salt, and slices of gluten-free baguettes.
That’s all I will need.
And so it goes in our kitchen each morning. Is it an eggs day? Danny dices up leftover roasted sweet potatoes, adds curlicues of prosciutto, and poaches eggs. Yogurt and cereal? Lu always loves that. Maybe I’ve soaked gluten-free oats in buttermilk and cinnamon overnight, then cooked them up in the rice cooker so they are waiting for us before it’s time for Lu’s morning at school. Some days, it’s leftover cold pizza from the previous night’s experimenting on the dough.
On the weekends, we let Lu decide what we’re eating. Right now, she has one, definitive choice: “Waffles!”
There’s no gluten in this house, even though Danny and Lu seem to be able to eat it.
There’s also no lack of good food.
I wrote this for those of you who write to me, anxiously asking: what can I eat for breakfast if I’m gluten-free? Plenty!
And there are plenty of other choices, too. Those of you reading, will you leave some of your favorite breakfast suggestions here? Let’s give the newbies the relief of knowing there will be plenty to eat.