- Gorgeous, adjective: Beautiful; very attractive; very pleasant.
- Jittery, adjective: Nervous or unable to relax.
- Outrageous, adjective: shockingly bad or excessive; wildly exaggerated or improbable; very bold, unusual, and startling.
January mornings in Chicago are cold, particularly if you own an older home. They are not insulated well and the cold seeps through the walls and windows. The first dash to the bathroom when you wake up means you get up. There is no snuggling back in bed. The brisk ambient air and the chilled floor beneath your bare feet takes care of that. I could have slept in. We weren't going anywhere, not even to the store. But I was up.
I had shopped the night before and planned what we would eat. I felt like I was stripping the shelves when I went through the check out line. My teenagers go through a lot of food. I was an only. I didn't know.
For some reason, I find winter mornings gorgeous. I love the snow sparkling in the sunlight. We didn't have that type of morning. The sky was a pale-ish gray and flurries whirled jittery around the corner of my neighbor's gutters. When I went to the gym, I was able to watch HGTV. We don't have cable or dish or any "good t.v.," as we jokingly call it. Whenever I am there, the show happens to be about couples buying some gigantic, expensive house in a much better neighborhood than mine. It kills me when they say, "The houses are so close together. You can see everything." Really. The house that I see on television is half a block away; our neighbors are so close we know when their dog is ready to come into their house.
I took everything out to make the casserole big enough to feed 6-8 people. Yes, yes, there are only 5 of us, but they are teenagers with a tapeworm-like appetite. I dream about going to a brunch buffet, with cloth napkins and quiet music. People do that, I'm told. Instead, I'm popping open a tube of crescent rolls, spreading the dough in a pan and layering with some thawed Potatoes O'Brien, eggs and as expected, cheese. And I'm doubling the recipe, more or less.
I wanted to serve fruit. We cut up some apples and pears. It was fine but I can see why the good cooks opt for some type of berries. They're just the right size, no prep work. Kiwis would work. Starfruit would be a little outrageous for our family but I've tried them and think they would be eaten without drama.
For the past week and a half that they are off school so we have done the impossible. We've all sat down at the table and eaten with each other. That is a huge feat in itself. They eat without complaint, except for my youngest. He decided he didn't like the crust of his first piece. The other three pieces were eaten without notice. And I had to ask them to clear off the table. I didn't like having to ask them but at least they did it.
When they were young, eating together was normal and exhausting and routine. Now family breakfast is a luxury.
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