In my last post, I alluded to a breakfast I recently made for myself on the morning after my aunt died.
It was a self-care breakfast. One that took time. Skill. There were layers and tastes and it’s not the kind of breakfast I would typically make just for me.
But why? Why wouldn’t I make something nice just for me?
This isn’t a recipe. It’s a journey.
I turned on my electric kettle, listening to the water inside it start to softly bubble.
From the refrigerator I pulled out a pitcher of cold-brewed coffee, a bottle of creamer, a package of bacon, and an egg.
From the blue speckled antique saucepan on my counter I grabbed an avocado. I put a slice of bread in the toaster. Placed a pan of water on the stove. I turned on the heat, and soon tiny bubbles formed on the bottom of the pan.
I poured coffee and creamer into my favorite mug and sat it on the counter by the steaming kettle. Back at the stove, I diced the bacon and put it in the cast iron skillet. The smell is immediate, delicious.
I split open the avocado, soft and green. I scoop out half and mash it with a fork then .
I crack the egg into a ramekin and walk back to the stove. I take a deep breath. This is the moment of truth. I have never poached an egg.
I swirl the simmering water with a wooden spoon. The steaming water spins, and I carefully slide the egg into the center. The water wraps the egg white around the yolk. I’m amazed that it worked! I set a timer for four minutes.
While I wait, I take a peach, soft and fragrant, from the fruit bowl. I peel it, then slice it, my fingers sticky from the juice.
Then it’s time for everything to come together.
I put the toast on a plate and heap the avocado on top, sprinkling it with salt and pepper. I slide a wooden slotted spoon into the saucepan and pull out the poached egg, sliding it on top of the toast. I top it with the crackling bacon.
I balance my plate on top of my coffee mug. Hold the bowl of peaches in the crook of my arm. Carefully place each item on the table.
And then I step back and survey it.
This was what my heart needed. I grew up in the south–a region where grief and casseroles are impossibly intertwined. Yogurt was not what I needed on this morning. Or cold cereal.
I needed warm toast. Creamy avocado. Crunchy bacon. A poached egg that oozed sunshine. A peach that tasted like summer. Coffee sipped out of a favorite mug.
I needed breakfast.