171: Cooking Outlook: Breakfast

Cooking is only fun when you don’t have to do it. When I used to have to prepare and place on the table three meals a day, plus keep assorted snacks handy because I was not employed full-time, I despised cooking. It did not help that my first husband was a picky eater: only certain things go with certain things, and they have to be prepared in certain ways. There were several times when I prepared a meal, only to have him come in from work, look at what was ready on the table and turn and fix himself a sandwich instead. Whatever it was that I had fixed that day was immediately struck off the available menus list. By the time he passed away, I was down to about a dozen meals I was willing to prepare, and he was willing to eat. That did not help my love of cooking.

My second husband eats pretty much whatever I prepare, and he will also cook himself. That willingness to enter the sacred woman’s territory of the kitchen and roll up his sleeves to actually prepare food for the family makes any occasional, minor criticism of the food I prepare just not a problem, and cooking is becoming fun again. The problem is work. I work outside the home, and he is the home-maker here in Morocco. So, HE has time to cook, I usually don’t, except for the weekends. THEN I can cook, too.  We can even cook together! What a novelty!!

For me, breakfast is a cultural, family signal for vacation. We did not have time for much of a breakfast during the work week, maybe just toast and juice, or cereal. BUT, on the weekends, or the vacation days, my family made breakfast royale: pancakes or waffles, grits, biscuits, fried ham and/or bacon, scrambled eggs or an omelette, hash browns, grapefruit or melon, fruit salad, fresh-squeezed juices, syrups, hot teas, hot chocolate, hot coffee…no breakfast food was off-limits.  Sometimes, we would sort of celebrate and have breakfast for dinner during the week. This was an alien concept for my husband and the family HE was raised in. He is a person who quite happily does without morning food until he is ready for lunch.

We had to work out this cultural family difference, because I felt deprived on the weekends and on vacation, and he was annoyed at the waste of time on a meal he did not really want to eat, anyway. Now we understand each other and we compromise: My late vacation breakfast occurs about lunchtime, and he is happy to eat it, too. He will even help prepare it, which is still a novelty and a pleasure for me, as well.


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