Posted tagged ‘breakfast’

“It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”

October 25, 2016

When I first got home from Ghana, I was waking up around 4, or if I slept in, around 5. Now I am waking up at 8 or, like today, closer to 9. In Ghana, I was asleep by 9 or 9:30 at the latest. Every morning, the rooster woke me up when it was still dark, and I’d sleep fitfully until 6 or so. I go to bed much later now, and there are no roosters or calls to prayer   in the early mornings to wake me up. Where am I going with this? Well, I am writing Coffee so much later now. I take my time in the mornings and read both papers. I also do the crossword in the Globe and the cryptogram in the Cape Times. Sometimes I have breakfast, but most mornings I just drink coffee. I am in no hurry. That’s a piece of Ghana still with me, and I’m holding on to that for a while. Mornings should be leisurely. I can think of no better way to start the day.

For the first time, Massachusetts is allowing early voting. I figure on hitting the booth today. I figure it is a foregone conclusion as to who will win the state. Massachusetts is about as blue a state as there is. We even voted for McGovern, and I think we were the only state which did. Later, after President Nixon resigned, bumper stickers appeared which said, “Don’t blame me. I’m from Massachusetts.”It was wonderful being clairvoyant.

This morning I watched an Edward G. Robinson movie on TCM called Confessions of a Nazi Spy which was released in 1939. EGR played an FBI agent who hunts down Nazi spies one at a time by capturing members of a spy ring operating in the United States. I did a bit of sleuthing and found out it was based on the articles of former FBI agent Leon G. Turror who had been active in investigating Nazi spy rings in the United States prior to the war and lost his position at the Bureau when he published the articles without permission. The movie was banned in Germany, Japan and many Latin American and European countries. The music played during the credits was God Bless America. I liked the movie and figure the obvious propaganda was well timed.

My laundry is sitting in front of the cellar door where it has been for five or six days. I have plenty of clean clothes of all sorts. Needing clothes seems to drive my doing the laundry; however, I am getting tired of looking at that laundry bag so I have a couple of choices. I can throw the bag down the cellar stairs and shut the door or I can do the laundry. I’m leaning toward doing the laundry. I can be a sloth for only so long.

“He who puts stew with jollof rice has trust issues.”

October 14, 2016

Getting up before the sun appears is getting annoying. Getting up before my papers arrive is also annoying. The only thing saving the morning is my first cup of coffee.

Yesterday was warm. Today it will be much cooler, in the high 50’s. Right now it is windy and damp and quite chilly. I’m glad I put the storm pane on the back door.

Today I am having breakfast out, and I have a dentist appointment, my six-month cleaning. Gracie and I will do the dump later in the afternoon. I’m also thinking Chinese food for dinner. I have a hankering.

My friends and I ate jollof rice just about every evening in Ghana. Think jambalaya. I even got to have it on the plane ride home. It was served with chicken curry. The hotel restaurant served the biggest mound of jollof, and we seldom left any on our plates. We never tired of eating it. I’m thinking I might just have to learn to make it. I do have several recipes. I just ordered my Halloween candy.

I just ordered my Halloween candy, what we used to call nickel bars. I remember how excited we were to get a bar instead of loose candy. Usually it was a Hershey’s. Last year one kid yelled to his father standing by my gate, “It’s a whole big bar!” He’ll be able to yell the same thing this year.

Gracie just scared me. She fell into the table from the couch. I grabbed her and held on for all I am worth. My first thought was she had collapsed. I was set to take her to the 24-hour vet, but she left my arms and got off the couch. She seemed to walk fine. The final test was a treat. She wouldn’t eat the first three choices but took the fourth and then went back for the other three. I figure out she had been too close to the edge of the couch and lost her footing. I have begun to breath.

I haven’t decorated my house yet for Halloween, but I did finish unpacking and putting everything away. I only have one wash left to do. The cloth I bought is in this room in a tall pile. The colors are vivid. My favorite is the black and red tie and dye. It will make a great shirt. The 12 yard bolt is for tablecloths, Christmas presents. I also have a 6 yard bolt of a beautiful blue and black pattern. It too will be used for presents. I brought back a tablecloth for myself. Peg found the material and had it cut in half and hemmed so it wouldn’t fray. Now I just need to have some dinner guests so they can ooh and ah.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

October 11, 2016

The morning came a bit later for me so there is progress. I woke up at 5:20, later but still before my paper. I am enjoying real coffee with real cream. I turned the news on but decided I didn’t want to know what is happening: ignorance is most decidedly bliss.

My house was cold this morning, and it seemed a bit strange to feel real cold, not the blast of an air conditioner. Bolga was hot, never lower than 95˚.

Today I will attempt to empty my suitcases. Every time I go into the living room I step around them. It is just that I haven’t had the energy, and my usual compulsion to finish the task seems to have disappeared. It should also be laundry day.

Fern, one of my cats, looks so much better. She is the one who nearly died from heart and kidney complications. She is eating, purring and demanding treats. She is also back to sleeping beside me on the couch and with me in bed. While I was gone, she slept in the other room. I worried about her when I was gone.

I bought lots and lots, yards and yards, of Ghanaian cloth. Some of it is tie and dye. I just couldn’t stop myself. One of the cloths is a 12-yard piece. I’m going to have table cloths and napkins made as Christmas presents. My suitcase was incredibly heavy.

I haven’t eaten breakfast since I got home. Every morning in Ghana I had eggs and toast. It didn’t matter where I was. Other than the lodge, all the eggs tasted the same. They were fried and had no yolks. The toast was always cold. I tried once for French toast but my description produced an egg sandwich with the bread fried on one side. It was good but not what I expected.

The former students who visited brought bananas and oranges for my friends. I did snag a couple of oranges, and they were as sweet as I remembered. We tried sweet apples for the first time. You eat the petals and spit out the seed. They were work but they were delicious.

Today I have a library board meeting. It is truly back to the usual.

“I am drawn to the ocean; I find solace in its mystery.”

June 12, 2015

The morning is lovely. Earlier I met friends for breakfast at a spot on the water. To get there I took the long way around on the road which hugged the seashore. The houses along the sides of the road are big and beautiful with gardens to match. A couple of the bigger houses are well hidden behind high bushes. Some are gated.

As there is no breeze for a change, the water was still. The fog was thick enough to hide the ocean beyond the breakwater. When I arrived at the restaurant, it was high tide, and I could smell the salt water. I took in deep breaths as if to memorize the smell. Boats came and left by way of the channel. One excursion boat was filled with kids in life jackets, a school group we guessed. Good for them! It is a perfect day to be on the water.

The sun is shining, and it is already warm, 76˚. After today, though, the days will be cooler, and even a couple of nights will dip to the 50’s. The weekend will be dry. June on Cape Cod is unpredictable.

Today all is quiet. Not a lawnmower or blower disturbs the songs of birds. This room is still shaded and cool. The sun won’t be here until the late afternoon.

I am barefooted. That is the summer standard in the house and on the deck. When I was a kid, I went barefooted all the time. My feet were calloused and even the hot sidewalks had no effect. I loved the feel of cool grass between my toes. In Ghana I wore sandals all the time, but my feet still each became a giant callous impervious to everything including a lit match. Why a lit match? It was a test, a silly test, to determine exactly how tough my feet had become. The match did not even bother me at all.

I have a couple of places I need to go, but I am reluctant to leave the cool house for the hot, busy road. I guess, though. I’ll just have to bite the bullet.

“I believe in rituals.”

October 16, 2014

Last night it rained and today it is supposed to rain again, heavily. The sun is popping in and out of the clouds. The temperatures of the last couple of days have been in the 70’s with mild nights in the 60’s. My windows are opened and the front door still has its screen. Gracie sits there and looks out for the longest time. I wonder what keeps her interest as my street is a quiet one. I stand with her every now and then just to keep her company.

All my life I have had morning rituals. During my childhood the weekday mornings were always the same. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, do teeth then walk to school. For breakfast I always drank cocoa. My mother gave us toast and eggs and in the winter we had oatmeal, the sort which always has lumps. When I was in high school, I had to get up earlier and getting the bus was added to the ritual. In college, I grabbed breakfast on the way out, and every morning my friends and I would sit together in the canteen, drink coffee and race each other in finishing the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. Usually we worked in teams of two. When I was in Ghana, I had the same thing every morning: horrible coffee, two fried eggs and toast. The eggs were cooked in peanut oil, and they were the best fried eggs I ever had. If I had a break in classes, I’d walk to my house and have another cup of coffee and sit on the porch to drink it. Breakfast never varied. I had margarine on my toast as butter was imported and not in my budget. I’d sometimes add groundnut paste, the Ghanaian version of thick, thick peanut butter which needed to be mixed with peanut oil to make it spreadable. The Ghanaians used it as a soup base. Those mornings in Ghana were amazing, every single day.

When I started teaching, I got up 5, had two cups of coffee, read as much of the paper as I could, got dressed and left for school at 6:20. On the way to school, I’d stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium coffee. I did that every weekday until I retired.

In retirement I haven’t changed much though now I get up whenever. I feed the cats, fill the water dish, fill the dog’s dry food dish, let the dog out, put the coffee on and get the papers in the driveway. Sometimes I have toast and sometimes I have a bagel but mostly I just have coffee, usually two cups, one with each paper. I take my time reading the papers. I then check my e-mail and finally start writing Coffee.

I think of my mornings as ritual, as almost sacred.

“I live on good soup, not on fine words.”

September 12, 2014

The morning is a bit chilly with a cool breeze. The sun may be bright, but it hasn’t the strength of a summer sun. Soon enough it will merely give us light, not warmth, and will spell the end of bare feet and arms and move us into slippers and sweatshirt weather.

I ordered flowers for the garden. My choices were determined by color. The company sent a $20.00 coupon if you spend $40.00 so I couldn’t resist the half-off. I was going to shop locally, but I saved money, on-line, even with shipping.

I seldom remember the names of flowers. People look at blooms in my garden and want to know their names. My face goes blank and my eyes glaze. I have no idea of most of them. I know white hibiscus is already in the garden so I ordered red. I also can name the seagrass so I ordered rose fountain grass and dwarf fountain grass. If I get asked, I can always remember grass.

As the weather cooled, my mother would sometimes send soup in my thermos for lunch. It was either tomato or chicken noodle. My mother would also pack Saltines for dipping and a dessert. I used to eat a little soup, mostly the chicken and the noodles, then crush the Saltines in the broth. They would get soft and mushy after having absorbed all the liquid. They were delicious.

My thermos generally broke before the end of the school year usually from being dropped while in the lunch box. I’d pick up the lunchbox from the ground, open it and then shake the thermos. I’d hear the dreaded sound of broken glass, of slivers of glass from the thin layer. I knew what it meant, and I knew how my mother would react: she’d get angry and get that disappointed look. I was always a bit amazed by her reaction because the broken thermos was generally a yearly event. Using kid logic, I figured she should have expected it and not gotten angry, but I was never foolish enough to her that.

“Every morning you are reborn, and prove it worthwhile.”

August 14, 2014

The White Rabbit and I share the lateness of the hour. My morning has been leisurely. I read both papers and doubt I missed anything happening here or in the greater world. While my English muffin was toasting, I watered the plants. I am such a multi-tasker say I with a bit of tongue in cheek.

Yesterday it poured. I had to shut windows and doors. It was a noisy rain battering the roof and dripping from the eaves. Gracie slept in her crate most of the afternoon. I took a nap, the best thing to do on a rainy afternoon.

Today is another delight. It is in the mid 70’s and will go down to the low 60’s tonight, perfect sleeping weather, and every day for the rest of the week is predicted the same as today though tomorrow night may even get as low as the high 50’s. It feels more like fall than summer especially in the mornings.

Okay, it’s time for a little bit of Ghana here. The trigger was the cool morning, my favorite part of the day in Ghana. Each morning was the same. I’d have my two eggs cooked in groundnut oil as the Ghanaians call it, peanut oil for us, two pieces of toast, wonderful toast from uncut loaves of bread sold from trays balanced on women’s heads, and two huge cups of coffee, bad coffee which I actually got used to drinking. The food was cooked over charcoal on a small round hibachi like burner. The toast was cooked against the hot sides of the burner and needed turning. Boiling the water was first so I could drink my coffee while the rest of my breakfast was cooking. Thomas was my cook. He’d hand me the coffee, and I’d go outside and sit on my porch, no chair, just concrete steps. Little kids would pass me going in both directions. Just outside the front of the school was an elementary school and just beyond the back gate was a middle school. My house was beside that back gate so I could see the students lining up and hear the national anthem before they went into school. The youngest, heading to the elementary school, always stopped to say good morning and stayed a while and stared. A white person in Bolga in those days was still a novelty.

I had a table, a couple of chairs and a refrigerator in my dining area. One whole wall was just screening, no glass, and the floor always got soaked when it rained. Thomas would call me to breakfast. Those were the best tasting eggs I’ve ever had. On my two trips back, I had eggs every morning, and they were as delicious as I remembered. The coffee was still the worst. In forty years breakfast hadn’t changed a bit and mornings were still my favorite part of the Ghanaian day.