What's for Breakfast?

Breakfast in the Barefoot Kitchen

On weekends, I’ll make something pancakes or french toast or an omelet – it’s a much more relaxed time, so I don’t mind cooking something special to order.

But on weekdays, there’s not really enough time for that, so it’s usually something quicker like oatmeal or cereal or eggs or Alex’s personal favorite – a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich.  Or – "SAHMwich" as he sometimes snootily refers to it.  I don’t know why. 

So that’s what he had this morning.  And while I was spreading peanutbutter (Teddy, Old-Fashioned, Smooth) I thought I’d like some toast and peanutbutter with my coffee, too.  So I put a slice of bread in the toaster, brought Alex his SAHMwich, and sat down on the loveseat in the living room with my coffee.  Bill and Alex were sitting together in the slightly over-sized chair we have, watching the lizards and discussing what the native peoples of Alaska and parts north dine on.  Seals, fish, whales, etc.  Whatever they can get to eat.  And that led to a discussion of whether or not it’s bad to eat other animals (* and please – this is just a little snippet of my morning, not an invitation to debate whether or not it’s right to eat other living creatures.  This is not the place.)…and that led to a discussion about whether animals that eat OTHER animals are bad or not.  (General consensus – not.)

And while we were sitting around having this conversation, I got my camera, because Alex is really very cute when he’s eating.  He just enjoys his food.  And I have taken a lot of pictures of Julia "Palsy-Face" Rose lately, so I figured I should balance things out with some shots of Alex.

Here’s one.

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When Alex eats a SAHMwich, he is very organized about it.  He goes straight across the cut edge of the bread, then back to the beginning, and across, and so on.  Occasionally he will pause to inspect his work, and then he’ll get back to the task at hand.

While this was going on, and Bill was holding up his coffee mug because he doesn’t like having his picture taken (I told him I wasn’t interested in him, but in Alex, and that persuaded him to lower the mug.), we kept hearing two things – one was Julia speaking in a few different voices upstairs, obviously playing with a few of her million babies before joining the rest of the family.  The other sound was a brief hum coming from the kitchen – like something was turning on briefly and then off again.  Maybe the icemaker…maybe there were ice cubes stuck and they were jamming up the works.  That happens occasionally.  Whatever.  We’ve got dragons to talk about.  Are they bad?  No.  They are just doing what dragons do.  But they’re not real anyway, so it’s kind of a moot point.

And then something clicked in my slushy brain, and I went into the kitchen and realized, ah, my toast is ready.

Now, most people have a preference as to how dark or light they want their toast.  I vary, depending on the kind of bread, and whether or not I’m going to put butter or peanutbutter or butter and jam or what on the toast. 

But this morning was different.  I let the psychotic toaster decide.  And the toaster chose this:

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Yes.  It’s called "Blackened Bread" and if you like the cleansing effects of carbon on your teeth and innards, this is the toast for you.  If you like your toast extra crispy, look no further. 

Not everyone can achieve this level of cinder-like perfection.  I mean look at the even blackness over the entire surface of the bread, with that sad hint of brown reaching out from deep within the tiny nooks and crannies.

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It helps to have a toaster that doesn’t work properly any more.  The timing mechanism is broken, so when you’re toasting something, the little knob just stays wherever you’ve set it, and the heat just comes on and stays on.  Forever.  Or until smoke is pouring out and someone finally realizes that OH, S***! – she was going to make toast this morning!   (Normally I set the oven timer when I am going to toast something, but this morning I was distracted by the food conversation in the other room.  Yes, I’m an idiot.)

I left the little toaster oven door closed and opened the back door so I could fan as much smoke out of the house as possible.  Bill disconnected the two smoke detectors near the kitchen and opened a window.  My eyes should stop stinging by mid-morning, I think.  I lit a candle to battle the smell.  It’s not working yet.  Bill gratefully escaped to work, and the kids retreated to the basement to watch Curious George a bit before school.  And I, of course, took pictures.

Blackened Bread.  An exciting start to any morning.

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