Saturdays mornings were my favorite as a child. My great-uncle would treat us to breakfast often. At times, the trio of us (my sisters and I) joined hands with Uncle Dick, promenaded ourselves out to the car and took a short drive around the corner to Denny’s. There was something special about that time together on Saturday mornings. My uncle would joke along the way, pointing out a stop sign here or there, asking what it said, then screeching to a halt when we’d say the word aloud. We’d giggle in response to the fun we were already having. He was playful with a raspy, lighthearted laugh and eyes that lit up when he smiled (he was a bit like Santa in that way).
He had this way about him, a way of making you feel as though you were the only person in a room.
Even now I’m obsessed with a good breakfast date. Great company and a hot cup of Joe coupled with an omelet or Christmas morning eggs Benedict, yes please! So much of my obsession is tethered to those early childhood memories. When you sit across the table from someone you love with your phone off, face up — it’s just the best. I realize that my hunger isn’t even for breakfast, it’s for that human connection.
Looking back, what amazes me the most about my uncle is how a busy man would give up his Saturday mornings and lavishly love my sisters and I without need of a woman as a buffer beside him. We were the young women beside him. With every bite, he was teaching us how to be ladies worth pursuing. He did have a lovely woman at home (my great-aunt Nancy willingly made homemade breakfast on the weekends he didn’t take us out — it’s the reason I know ketchup belongs on scrambled eggs). This sweet man wanted our time, and it was time well spent. I still look back in fondness of those sweet morning memories.
As I’ve aged, breakfast with friends and family is still so important to me.
I’m a firm believer that hospitality ought to come with warm cinnamon rolls, coffee, and a good long chat. The best compliment you could pay me is to come by, enjoy the food, and linger. My favorite recipe to prepare and enjoy with the people I love is cinnamon rolls. I’ve added the recipe here!
It’s essential to have activities which take us away from the humdrum of the daily — daily life, daily responsibility, daily drama; for me that’s a Saturday morning breakfast. We need a forced break in the ‘fast’ consumption. In this rushed society, it takes discipline to slow down, dine around a table, and just be with the ones you love.
I feel like I’m driving a car 100 miles an hour with music blaring out of open windows. I screech into a parking lot, throw the car in park, sprint into –7-Eleven, and race to the back of the store. I throw my head back under the Slurpee machine, and I fill my mouth with red Slurpee, tons and tons running down my face and neck. I just keep gulping and gulping, sticky red corn syrup-y sludge, more and more, until I stand up, smeared and dripping, and race back for the car, on to the next thing, jamming the car into reverse, music at mind-numbing volume.
That’s how I feel. And what I want is one strawberry. In total silence. No 100 miles an hour, no music, no fake red mess all over my face and neck. I want one real strawberry. And I don’t know how to get there from here. I am stuffed.
I don’t completely know how to get from here to there either, but I think it’s worth the effort that a calm Saturday morning can bring. If I am going to be stuffed, I want it to be from from good conversation, an extra measure of love, and perhaps a nice meal. You cannot overindulge a slowed clock with the ones you love.
What I do know … after all those years of sweet breakfast moments, the memories that linger longest are ones of family and friends, stretched out, ear to ear smiles, engaging one another around a table.
So here is to many more breakfast dates! May your next date be sweet and your shared moments sweeter.