Southern Boys and Breakfast

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A new tradition has emerged with the living arrangements at the new house. One (and sometimes both) morning of the weekend, after the first press of coffee has been consumed, I’ll make a good, proper breakfast. Eggs scrambled for Bobo, eggs over easy for me and mags, bacon, toast. More coffee. Sometimes potatoes, sometimes a quick sauté of diced veggies, sometimes chilaquiles. I like the ritual of sitting down together at the table for a proper breakfast. I like the feeling of family and household. And at a certain level, I think I like it because it reminds me of my Grandfather.

From the general ages of ten years old to fifteen, I spent the majority of my weekends at my grandparents’ cabin on the lake in rural Mississippi. Two of my cousins were always there, and my aunt, and of course my grandmother and grandfather. Granddad always woke at the crack of dawn, started the first pot of coffee and drank most of it while reading the paper. At the leisurely hour of 6:00 am, he would start rattling pans in the kitchen. Bacon or sausage or country ham, sometimes two outta three. Homemade biscuits. Milk gravy, or red-eye gravy if he’d made country ham. Oatmeal. A big bowl of scrambled eggs. Coffee, milk juice. Both of my grandparents grew up on farms, where breakfast might be the only meal you get until 5:00 pm, so it better be hearty enough to last you the whole day.

It never occurred to me to be surprised that it was him cooking, instead of my grandmother. I accepted it in that unconscious way children do; Granddad made breakfast, that’s just the way that it was.

And now here I am, the gray-haired old man of the household, the early riser who likes the bit of quiet before everyone else is awake, time to read and enjoy that first cup in the morning stillness. And the one that makes a big grand southern breakfast every weekend.

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