Breakfast of Champions

I’m having company for New Year’s (please pray for me, that I’ll be able to stay awake until at least 12:15 a.m. Jan. 1 - it could be embarrassing to fall asleep watching an ancient, post-stroke Dick Clark radiating vim and vigor on live TV, putting me to shame).

My friend Janet and her husband and three kids are coming Wednesday and staying until Thursday. Which means I have to make something for breakfast for everyone. I’ve planned all my menus for a really good dinner which my husband will grill, lots of party food for leading up to midnight, and snacks and a variety of beverages for everyone. But breakfast always brings my company-planning wheels to a grinding halt.

I actually love to eat breakfast. And brunch - well, fergettaboutit. I love brunch. I love cooking it, eating it, serving it. I even love washing out a quiche dish more than any other dishes in my cupboard.

But because they’ll have to leave, we’ll be on a schedule, and I don’t want to drag out a bunch of cooking while they’re here, I’m not making brunch, I’m making a regular breakfast, and I’m stuck.

I don’t have a waffle iron and it just now occurred to me that I should have asked for one for Christmas. (Dang. I’ll have to wait for my birthday in October.) I don’t like making eggs and pancakes for company, because people have to watch me cook them and I hate when people look over my shoulder when I’m cooking. Family, OK, but company really intimidates me in the kitchen. And my kitchen is basically part of all the other rooms in my house, since we have this open floor plan. People still in bed can see me flipping pancakes.

My friend Barb has had big crowds of us over for breakfast after our class reunions and anything else that brings a bunch of her friends into Hubbard for a weekend. You walk into her house and everything’s all perfect and you can smell that she’s made the coffee already and she’s got this big long griddle that plugs in and there are pancakes on there and they’re perfectly toasty brown, and she’s wearing lipstick and she’s obviously had a shower and put deodorant on. She serves breakfast to you at her beautiful dining room table with sausage, orange juice and a bunch of other stuff. And her silverware matches.

My other friend Gail gave me a good recipe for Raspberry Crepes, but which Gail nicknamed “The Lesbian Lover’s Breakfast.” She was disappointed because all the men in the house took one look at the crepes and opted for black coffee and hunks of bread dipped in bacon grease. “Well, I guess this isn’t really a man’s breakfast; more like something you’d serve to your lesbian lover for Valentine’s Day.” The name stuck. I’ve made it, but never for anyone even slightly mannish, or even with a really short haircut, for that matter.

I have some recipes for some breakfast casseroles that are good, but Janet and Ben have teen-agers and so many of them are vegetarians, I think the Meat Lovers’ Cheesy Breakfast Enchilada Bake is probably not going to go over super big.

I will make breakfast in my grungy robe and I’ll probably realize about halfway through that I ran out of butter and will be forced to send one of the kids into Dunkin Donuts for reinforcements. Or we’ll pile everyone into the SUV and make the drive to Barb’s house.

Labels: , , , , ,