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MY SISTER CALLS IT BREAKFRIST
Sugar crystal slush cover on the ground, the yard, the car this morning. Slickery noises as the car tires skid and catch even at a snail's pace on the tight turns in the neighborhood. Halfway through the morning, a glance out my window reveals huge fat white feather-flakes slowly drifting downward; nothing sticks.

The only way is through. Through the darkness, the cold, the wet, the dreamtime of winter. Just as everything natural is slowing down, turning inward, hibernating, our calendar and schedules and lives are speeding up: full speed to the holidays. This time of year is always grueling somehow.

In Swedish, there is a word that means "to close your eyes" - blunda. I think that it's so much more elegant to use this sparing way of describing what takes me 4 words to say in English. The world is closing its eyes right now, it's settling in for a nap. Världen blundar, den somnar. There's another one: somna. It means "to fall asleep". It comes from the same root as somnolent, but sadly, we never say in English that we are somning. We're dropping off. We're falling asleep. Falling. Into sleep.

Anders is gone this week, and I'm single-parenting. I can't imagine doing this full-time, forever, though I know I'd manage if I have to, as I do when these short periods happen; a few days, a week. It makes me appreciate my husband all the more: all the things he does with the kids. Just the fact that he gets up earlier than I do and fixes them breakfast every day is worthy of my adulation. I HATE getting up early, and I LOATHE the very idea of food if I do have to get up early. Fixing cereal with sour milk (yeah, it's a Swedish thing) is enough to make my gorge rise. Early morning gorge.

Haha! that made me laugh.

I never used to eat breakfast, partly because my stomach has always been queasy in the a.m. For year and years and years I never ate breakfast. The other part is that I don't really like very many typical breakfast foods. I don't like yogurt or hot cereals or cereal with milk. In fact, this late in life I wonder if my lifelong aversion to milk might not actually be some degree of lactose-intolerance, but then I think of my ongoing love affair with cheese and shake my head. Nah.

These days I actually DO eat breakfast, at least on weekdays, at work. But it's not until about 2 hours after I've gotten up, and there are only breakfast rolls with cheese or cucumber or jam or tomato (and ham or liver pate and pickles on Fridays) or some strange Swedish combination of the above. One of my colleagues cuts a roll in half and puts jam and sliced cucumbers on it. Others put jam and cold, sliced cheese. I just shake my head at them. I've been at the company for 3 years now and my breakfast, whether with cheese and tomato or cheese and ham is always melted for 20 seconds in the microwave. It's SO DELICIOUS (especially with this cheese.

I can tell you that for the past 3 years, EVERY SINGLE day, some one of my colleagues has commented on my melted cheese breakfast roll in some way, but never NOT once has anyone else tried one. They are SO missing out. Of course, I have never tried jam with cucumbers or jam with cold cheese, so I guess it works both ways.

This post nearly degenerated into a love song to cheese, but I managed to backspace and delete in time. So, I'll go with breakfast instead, I guess. Do you eat breakfast? Every day? Do you eat the same thing or do you vary your morning meal choices? Would you eat jam with cold, sliced cheese?

Ginormous Blindingly Bright Birthday Wishes to davesanngel!
 curious
mood: curious
music: Jewel—Doin' Fine


Comments
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Thank you for the birthday wishes!

=)

As far as breakfast goes, I eat it everyday. It varies as to what it is though - toasted bagel with butter or cream cheese, oatmeal, cereal with milk, pancakes, eggs, peanut butter & jelly sandwich, cold macaroni & cheese, pizza, turkey sandwich - a lot of it depends on what is in the house (duh!).

Is that really sour milk or is it buttermilk or whatever karnemelk is called in English?:) Either way, tis gross ;-)

It's not buttermilk. It's called filmjölk in Swedish, and as far as I can determine after having asked several Swedes about it...it's really just sour milk. My kids LOVE IT.

I would never eat jam and cold, sliced cheese for breakfast. I would never eat cheese for breakfast. It took over a full year of marriage where G asked me every morning if I wanted cold, sliced cheese with my toast, and I answered no every single time, before I realized it was so hard wired to him that I had to actually state that I was never, not ever, going to want cold, sliced cheese for breakfast so he could just save himself the trouble of asking.

I usually eat some variation of toast. Bagel (there I will have cream cheese, but only on a bagel), toast, English muffin, Portuguese muffin, etc. On rare occasion I can be talked into pancakes or waffles but nearly anything heavier than toast is too much for me in the morning.

What's a Portuguese muffin?

ALSO - I would kill for English muffins to be available in Sweden. Thomas' English muffins, to be exact.

Well, given the fact that I am Swedish I guess it comes as no surprise that I actually like cold sliced cheese on my morning sandwich.
I like it with jam (preferably apricot or orange jam, but strawberry/raspberry works too if nothing else is available - but then I usually go for just bread, butter and sliced cheese.)

Cheese and cucumber or cheese and tomato is nice too. It's salty which I like.

The roll you describe with ham and cheese zapped in the microwave actually sounds really delicious, I'm gonna have to try that some day.

We eat sour milk (filmjölk) and corn flakes with sugar and cinnamon in the mornings. Sometimes Isabel gets oatmeal porridge which I loathe. Sometimes I make porridge from semolia and then I share it with her.

When I work I eat breakfast at work just like you, 2-3 hours after I get up in the morning. It's just on weekends and now that I'm at home all week that I eat breakfast. Mostly to set an example to Isabel. Sometimes I cheat and go to the bakery and get a roll or two after I drop her off at preschool.

God, that was long. Sorry.

Don't be sorry! It was interesting!

WHen Anders is making breakfast for the kids, they get gröt every other day. I won't make it, it makes me gag.

The perfect breakfast roll: a majsbulle sliced in half, with a little lätta spread on each side, a slice of ham and a slice or 2 of Wästgota Kloster Svart. Zap for 20 seconds on high, add a cold tomato slice or two, and then sprinkle a tiny bit of Aromat on top. Or rather, don't. That stuff is like CRACK.

Like you, I don't like breakfast when I have to get up early. When I still had to go into an office, I wouldn't eat until I had arrived, and then only some biscuits. These days, my breakfast are usually brunches; I don't usually eat anything before 11.

Melted cheese is delicious! I love toasted sandwiches with cheese... :-)

What is grot? (How on earth do you get all the Swedish symbols in there?)

I love it when you talk about Swedish language. :) It's so interesting--this is the first time I've heard any Latin root (somno)? I thought it was a Germanic language? Or maybe there's just some overlap, like in every living language.

I don't like to eat first thing in the morning either, but I usually have a glass of OJ right after the gym to get my blood sugar back up. Then a couple of hours later I have, every day, a toasted English muffin with pb&j and a cup of yogurt. Every day for about six years now. It never gets boring. In fact, sometimes I have it for dinner, too.

Cold sliced cheese sounds good just about anytime, though, depending on the cheese. And I would eat it with jam, in a box, in a tree, yes I would, Sam I am.

Gröt is basically oatmeal. Hot cereal. I know all the keyboard shortcuts for the Swedish symbols, plus we have Swedish keyboards here :) And yes, it's a Germanic language (like English), but there are overlaps everywhere!

My mum eats that cheese with jam combo, often on crisp bread.
I myself actually miss filmjölk a lot, now that it's not available, even though I didn't eat it super often when I lived in Sweden.

I have to confess that many mornings I prefer to heat up dinner left overs in small doses for breakfast. I like porridge, but rarely make it. And yes, i have been known to nuke a sandwich too!
(ps. that cheese is fabulous!)
safest bet when nothing leftovery is around or I have no decent bread: cornflakes with milk or fil.

Edited at 2007-11-14 01:19 am (UTC)

That cheese is my absolute favorite. They just came out with a new cheddar one that is excellent, too. :)

Mmm, I love most cheeses that I've tried, especially orange rind muenster and really soft whole milk mozzarella. I've found some cheeses from Norway and Denmark that I like a lot too, but I forget the names. No Swiss cheese for me, and I'm not much on American or any of the 'pasteurized processed cheese-food(garbage)'. ;) I'll eat cheese any time too, melted, cold slabs, grated, however...

As far as the single parenting thing goes, you get used to it. One learns to work their schedule around, sleep at odd times, and just do what must be done. It IS nice to have a break at times, although 9 weeks in the summer is longer than I'd prefer. Maybe 3 or 4... :)

Having another parent/adult around that you can really TRUST to do the best for one's children though... that's priceless, and much more appreciated now that I occasionally have one around. Just being married doesn't guarantee that one has a supportive and responsible person to help raise a child! ;)

We've had a couple mornings with hard frosts this year, down below 0C, a couple weeks ago. The bitter cold at 3AM, driving around in a van with the windows down and sometimes a really shoddy heater... that's one thing I'll not miss about my job with the paper! Yes, I'll still be awake before the sunrise to go open my Club across town, but part of that is so I miss most of the traffic (both ways.) I'm actually looking FOWARD to moving for the first time in recent memory!

Stay warm. :)

It's so true, about the trust issue, when it comes to your partner and your children. It is priceless!

(Anonymous)

I used to have a major problem with breakfast - I usually don't wake up hungry, and the idea of food really made me queasy. And cereal? Don't get me started - I never ate cereal as a kid, all that milk was just TOO MUCH. But somewhere along the way I changed. (Maybe when I got pregnant?) I still like my breakfast to be leisurely. Lately I love my bagels with cream cheese and strawberry jelly - but I love gooey, cheesy breakfast sandwiches as well. There are just special, in my book.

~Sam

P.S. I do love cucumbers, so maybe I will try them with jam!

I used to eat cereal without the milk. I would only eat it with milk if I could heap sugar on it.

Considering how well you've been doing with your weight-loss, all I can say about cheese and jam is DON'T EVEN GO THERE. I too thought it sounded bizarre, but then I tried a good cheese on hot, buttered toast with a little strawberry jam. God help me. Just stay away, for your own good.
After successfully mastering the secret to making breakfast sausage that tastes perfectly American, I am going for English muffins next. Will let you know if it can be done in a home setting, or if the additives and preservatives and whatnot in store-bought muffins are a prerequisite.
BTW - filmjölk is often compared to Kefir or acidophilus. Regular filmjölk is too sour for me, but A-fil or Onaka are both fairly mild and work well with muësli (but never let the muësli get soggy!
Given how early one has to get up with kids, I don't think it strange at all that you wait to have breakfast. I didn't start eating breakfast when I got up until I did Dr. Phil and stopped eating after 8 p.m. - that made me RAVENOUS in the mornings.

I so rarely eat jelly or jam that it's not an issue :) Cheese, however, THAT is my downfall. Well, one of them. :)

I had thought of exclaiming Cheeses, Liz! but I wouldn't want lizardmom to think I was blaspheming :) And I couldn't come up with a goudanough pun that would make the grate. I must be losing my Kraft (wow, I'm funny in Swedish as well!)

Hmm... brekkie...can I recommend Vegemite with your melted cheese? It's the best! And I believe that some kind, generous person has even sent you some :)

I swiss I'd never started puns with you. You're brie-ing me down! To your level!

(Anonymous)
so freaking weird

just yesterday as I sat down with a bowl of fresh made oatmeal sprinkled with cocnut, dried cranberries and a dollop of greek yogurt I thought "god, I should post about how much I love breakfast" but then I couldn't possibly limit myself to anyone thing because I love scrambled eggs with toast and salsa, pancakes, french toast, BELGIAN WAFFLES oh my god I love belgian waffles, it goes on and on-- I love breakfast-- cannot eat omelettes, however. Strange fact.

Silly anecdote: the summer after we got married, T and I were camping with a big group of people and my sister was with us. She had driven up with me and we followed T's truck and she was playing some version of "The Newlywed Game" and would ask me like, what is he listening to on the radio? And I would say, " nothing-- he doesn't have it on" and we'd stop for gas and she'd ask him, and lo, he was driving in silence.

So, morning, and she is up with T at the campfire and she asks him, what's the first thing I'll do upon waking up? Coffee? brush teeth, etc? T says, eat something-- probably bread related.

I stumble out of the tent, enter the camp area-- no good morning to anyone-- hair, well, we won't talk about the hair or the drool stained face-- and grab a bagel half off the grill where someone is warming it up and shove it into my face. Stand, chewing-- gazing about.

T looks at my sister, shrugs. And she says-- you two were made for each other.

~bp

Re: so freaking weird

LOLOL! That is just hilarious! You would have totally won a washer/dryer combo on The Newlywed game! :D

I have a cup of ginger and honey tea first thing in the morning after a glass of water, and then breakfast a couple of hours or more later. At that time, my favorite breakfast is definitely savory, like some kind of leftovers from dinner the night before, or tempeh and veggies of some sort.
My breakfast eating habits have evolved over the years having various phases of habits, but unless I've been pregnant or nursing or with low blood sugar, eating is the last thing I want to do when I get up!

Even when I was pregnant, I didn't want breakfast. Probably because I had "morning" sickness all the damn time. I've rarely eaten leftovers for breakfast...I usually save them for lunch (though on weekends that's my first meal).

speaking of ginger (as gnostraeh did), i sprinkle dried ground ginger on my filmjölk. yum! but i eat filmjölk as an occasional snack or "lunch", never as breakfast.

i do toast with jam for breakfast. always. terribly nutricious. :-/

i've actually never tried the cheese and jam combo on regular breakfast/fika sandwiches, but almost everyone seems to be doing it. i do like plum tomato marmalade with dessert cheeses though. yeah, like berchshill says, better stay away from it. could be way too good!

I'll have to see if the kids like ground ginger. :)

Lots of breakfast foods (mmm, bacon!) are wonderful, but I'm not ready to eat any of them until 10:00 a.m. at the earliest. And, other than bacon between slices of heavily buttered toast (can't you just feel your arteries hardening?), breakfast sandwiches don't do much for me at any time of day.

I may try that cheese and cucumber idea for lunch, though. That sounds lovely. :-)

MMMM...bacon!

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