The Story of my Breakfast

I like to eat eggs for breakfast, especially on weekend mornings when time allows. I’ll have two, usually, and enjoy them with some sort of whole grain product. I like eggs scrambled, in an omelet with vegetables, shirred, fried, poached, pretty much any way eggs can be prepared.

I just returned from a business trip in Idaho yesterday, after breakfast. I have been living with my 21 year old son, out of economic necessity, his and mine. I moved in with him when his roommates all transferred to other schools, pursued new lifestyles and joined the military. My rent had been raised, and as we get along quite well, we decided to be roommates until we both found a better situation.

Twenty one year old, athletic, active, hard-working young men can consume a surprising number of eggs. Mine is no exception. Our arrangement has been to each buy our own food. I shop at Whole Foods, he shops at Target. Eggs, for some reason, fall outside of this agreement, and I’m not really sure why. If eggs are in the refrigerator, they are community property. And I don’t mind. Except that we’re out of eggs. And grocery money, simultaneously.

I am a big believer in breakfast. I’ve read too many Jillian Michaels’ books not to be. My daughter and I often ask “WWJD?”, “what would Jillian do?” Besides, it’s an excuse to eat food, which I love to do. On mornings when there is little time, or no eggs, I will prepare another healthful breakfast consisting of a fruit, a whole grain and a lean source of protein. One of my favorite “weekday/workday” breakfasts is yogurt and oatmeal. I buy the actual oatmeal, not the quick oats, just because it has more body and a nicer texture, and is less processed. I not only read labels on food, but try to count up the number of processes food has gone through to make it to my grocery cart, the fewer the better.

My yogurt habits, like many of my eating habits, have changed slowly over the last two years or so, during which time I have managed to lose and keep at bay nearly fifty pounds. Now I have your attention. I used to buy any yogurt that was “natural”, usually berry flavored. As I began to consume less and less sweetened products, this yogurt became entirely too sweet to eat. I then began to “cut” it with plain yogurt fifty/fifty. Then, something amazing happened.

Late last summer, I visited my new boyfriend. We’d been friends for a couple of years, having only met once, at a bar (a story for another time) while I was on a business trip in Alaska. It was all completely innocent and platonic. To begin with. We texted and talked for a couple of years. He came to visit and we fell madly in love. A couple of months after his visit, I went to visit him. He is truly an Alaskan man, he hunts, gathers, grows and traps most of what he eats.

One of my fondest memories of this particular trip was berry picking on the tundra. It is remarkable just how many species of edible berries grow absolutely everywhere on the tundra. I’d never even seen tundra before and it was so incredible. It felt like walking on a sponge. It changes color seasonally, and is full of low growing berry bushes. We talked and picked and talked and picked, blueberries, mostly. We filled our ziploc bags and talked and picked and talked and picked some more. It is a day I will never forget and will always cherish.

We also picked raspberries during my visit, they grow in his yard, near his greenhouse. We also picked raspberries at a friend of his home, his friend being his high school English teacher. How many of you are friends with your high school English teacher? Speaks to character, as far as I’m concerned.

My S.O. (significant other) knew I liked berry yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast, when not having eggs (he isn’t a fan of eggs, but I think we can still make this work). He had gone out of his way to buy a tub of plain, Greek yogurt. He expected me to stir fresh berries into the plain yogurt and eat it. Now, I had, once before, stirred thawed, frozen, store bought berries into plain yogurt, and to be honest, it produced a gag reflex upon consumption. But, I wasn’t going to turn down his thoughtful gesture. I stirred the berries into the yogurt, added just a touch of local honey, and it was fabulous! He didn’t like it. Oh well.

After my (reluctant) return home to my store-bought lifestyle, I received a big box of frozen delectables from the far north, including moose, salmon, grayling, grouse, and the ziploc bags full of berries we’d picked. My yogurt this morning was full of blueberries I picked off the Alaskan tundra and raspberries I picked from a retired English teacher’s berry patch. I stirred in local, organic honey and so thoroughly enjoyed it with my oatmeal. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

Meanwhile, my son has come downstairs for breakfast. He is sitting across from me, we both have our MacBooks open on the kitchen table. He is solemnly eating his blackened grilled-cheese sandwich (the only food he has left in his stores, cooked on too high of a heat setting). This is rather pathetic. I may have to scrounge through the couch cushions and see if I can come up with enough change for eggs for the week, and for yogurt, I’m almost out.



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