If any random person were to ask me what my favorite day, activity or part of the week was, it would take no more than one second for me to answer: Sunday morning-ish. Ah, better just say Sunday. See, a couple of years ago I made a general commitment to stay home every Sunday, consume a criminal amount of coffee and an equally criminal breakfast type brunch meal. In the "criminality" of it all, I am allowed a full day to bask in the charm of my family while partaking in the gift of food.
Sunday usually begins with a mild attempt to sleep in. But Isaiah, my four year old is expert at making sure I don't sleep too long as he crawls int bed with me around 8am snuggling up momentarily then demanding "Get up Momma." I usually grudgingly oblige and as we make our way out to the living room Isaiah holds hims arms up commanding me once again "Carry me to the couch Momma." But that's not the last of it because the final request is that we cuddle on the couch. He must know me well, because the moment I insist that I need to get up to make coffee he lets me go and gets up to play. My husband Joe and older son Nico are quite the champion "sleeper-inners", all sound and motion drifts past them like the lofty dreams they must be lost in. They must be dreaming of Sunday morning itself!
Part two of Sunday morning is where I sit on the couch with my coffee reading Oprah, Martha Stewart or some candy fashion magazine which does nothing but entertain me. Ahhh, life is good on the couch every Sunday at 9am. Where's the breakfast you say? Isn't it 9am already? Well, around here we like to make it sort of an all-day affair, so better to start later. Anyways, before the meal portion of Sunday begins there are several other obligations: Let the cat in and the dog out. Watch She-Ra or Clone Wars or Robotek (yes, Robotek). Let the cat out and the dog in. Break up some tiffs between our boys who are probably tiffing because they are hungry (hey, it has it's charms). Use brushing teeth as a means to distract boys from argument over watching Elmo or even more Clone Wars. Let the cat in and the dog out. Realize the pets are whining because they too, are hungry and aren't really asking to be let in and out. Feed pets. 10 am rolls around. And finally...MUST - MAKE - PANCAKES. And soon, or else the morning loses it's "charm".
SO I finally get around to making breakfast. Did I mention that this is may all-time favorite meal, ever? And having cooked professionally for about 15 years and still counting (many of them doing lots of breakfasts!) , this is sort of my time to bust a move in the kitchen. I mean, heck I've got all day!
Breakfast. Often it's good old fashioned pancakes with butter and warmed maple syrup, more coffee, and fresh orange juice. Okay, "fresh" from a can of frozen O.J., but I do put it in a really nice pitcher! On occasion, Belgian waffles with fresh berries and sour cream, Niman Ranch bacon and fried eggs. When I'm feeling supper snazzy I like to make fancy breakfasts like I did at Chateau Du Sureau when I prepared breakfast for their hotel guests. This would be something like roasted ruby-red grapefruit crusted brown sugar and brandied cherries as a first course. Hey, if you really want your breakfast to seem hoidy toidy, you have to serve it in courses! For the next course, seared herb polenta with perfectly poached eggs, Black Forest ham on top all doused in red-wine porcini sauce. Sometimes I make crepes Suzette which is stuffed with raspberries and sugar. Sometimes I make French toast with old bread. I thoroughly enjoy the process of heating the griddle, cracking eggs and even cleaning up as I work. In the act of preparing food, everyone thinks I am oblivious to their existence. I listen to the banter of my boys, the chatter of Joe and the sizzle of bacon. I turn a pancake and Isaiah hums a tune while he fidgets with Legos. I mix the juice and Nico shouts "Dad, watch this!" while he does some crazy Ninja jump from the couch. I set the table and Joe cracks up over the hilarity of kids. This is a day and time set aside for pure joy and nothing but.
I have this ad stuck in my head as a result of my loose habit of paroozing all manner of not-so-life-enriching magazines. It is an ad for a cruise. The picture is of a couple sitting on their balcony over looking a stunning view of Alaskan glaciers. The table in front of them is set for breakfast with white table cloths and beautiful china. When I first saw this ad I was a new mom in need of a break. I stared at the cruise ad for quite a while, finally understanding why people went on them. It's not just to do nothing I'm sure. It's to experience that sense of indulgence and luxury that many of us crave and all deserve. That ad struck a nerve in me. A nerve that came with instructions: On Sunday, when the week both ends and begins, in the morning when there is freshness and all things are possible, that is the time to relish all "normal" things that I most enjoy in life. And it's an immense reminder to me. The things I most enjoy are simple and unfathomably precious: time with my children and my husband, appreciation of good food, and forgetting the troubles of my immediate world as well as the bigger world. Everyone deserves this, especially people who are experiencing deep struggles.
When it's finally time to eat, the table is dressed in white. Favorite plates are set and silverware rests on cloth napkins. I beam at my feast and pour orange juice into jelly jars. Coffee gurgles once again as a second pot brews. There is festivity about our home. Whether it's eggs Benedict or flapjacks, the table is set as though we are royalty or as though it is Christmas day. Everyone literally cheers as I call out "Come to the table! Breakfast is ready!" And that alone is worth the effort. There we sit in our pajamas doing the most important thing in the whole world, enjoying our lives. As is often said, but less often practiced: There is no time like the present. The time I dedicate to practicing the yoga of being in the present is every Sunday morning, when it is simple enough for a beginner like me.
Stay tuned with The Yoga Teacher for breakfast recipes, photos and more. Coming soon!