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Breakfast for dinner

I‘m guessing I was not all that different from most kids in this regard, but the first words from my mouth when I bounded into the house after school was, “What’s for dinner?”

On the very odd occasion, my heart was filled with dread because my mom’s quiet answer to my question was simply, “Meat.” See, I knew that if we were having chicken, she’d say chicken. If she’d made a roast, she’d tell me we were having roast beef. But if she said “meat” – oh, the horror! – I knew the feature at dinner that night would be my worst nightmare: liver.

I don’t believe she served liver all that often (though in my mind, even once is far too much), but when she did my sister and I were obligated to eat just one tiny square of it, no exceptions and no excuses. My mom is an amazing and talented cook, but no one – not even Mom – could make anything appealing about that horrible piece of vile-tasting “meat” sitting on my plate waiting to be choked down. During those meals the faces of my family around the table blurred through my angry, frustrated tears as I held my nose and forced down that nasty morsel (doused in ketchup to hide a taste that simply couldn’t be hidden) with as little chewing as possible.

To this day, even ketchup on a hamburger has the potential to trigger an involuntary gag reflex.

But sometimes… sometimes I’d come home to the most intoxicating smell of all – bacon frying! – and realize with a thrill that one of my most favourite and beloved meals was in the process of being prepared for our consumption:

Breakfast for dinner!

I think in part I loved breakfast for dinner so much because it broke all the rules. There was something so delightfully naughty, somehow, about sitting down to a sanctioned plateful of “morning food” in the evening. Eating breakfast for dinner brought us together as co-conspirators, thumbing our noses at convention and propriety.

And it was good! Bacon and eggs, sometimes sausages, fried tomatoes, occasionally blueberry pancakes or homemade biscuits. And the biscuits! Back in the 1970s I don’t remember anyone knowing much or caring about heart disease, so Mom’s biscuits were rich and often delightfully flavoured with bacon grease and served hot, dripping with butter and melting in our mouths. Those biscuits tasted like small pieces of heaven… delicious, delicious heaven.

Mom was a full-time homemaker who often stayed up through the night in the summer, when it finally cooled down, to preserve bottle after bottle of fresh fruit brought back from the Okanagan to feed us throughout the winter months. It’s no surprise – and in fact was tradition – that “dessert” after breakfast for dinner was always a big bowl of fruit salad, the perfect ending to the perfect meal.

The memories of the hated “meat” are strong, but my memories of breakfast for dinner are stronger and sweeter.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • a.eye January 22, 2012

    Breakfast for dinner is the best idea ever.

    Me and my sibs would sometimes eat bowl upon bowl of cereal before my mother came home from work… not really sure how we thought she wouldn’t know since she was the one who had to keep buying more.

    I still love to eat hot breakfast foods any chance I get… at any time!

    • Dawn January 22, 2012

      I agree – it IS the best idea ever! Especially if bacon is involved.

  • Peter R. January 22, 2012

    I had the dreaded liver for supper often too…my dad would cook it to the consistency of shoe leather…yup, even ketchup would not help.

    But, bacon…oh my! A rhapsody in swine.

    • Dawn January 22, 2012

      Mmmm, bacon…

  • Agatha January 22, 2012

    Breakfast for dinner continues to be a favorite for us. I make homemade biscuits while my husband fries up some bacon. I then make gravy, and occasionally a scrambled egg for myself (that man hates eggs…heathen). It’s just so … comforting.

    • Dawn January 22, 2012

      Comforting… exactly! Breakfast food just fits.

  • Jen P January 22, 2012

    One of the best suppers of all time; breakfast for supper.

    Sadly, I’m the only one who loves biscuits in my house. I could eat them at every meal, with butter and honey!

    And don’t even get me started on the lengths our family will go to for the last piece of bacon!

    • Dawn January 22, 2012

      Biscuits are the best! And bacon… there’s never quite enough, is there?!

  • Christine January 22, 2012

    For me, breakfast for dinner is associated with Hockey Night In Canada. Sitting in the pitch dark den with dad, the TV providing the only light (a hockey watching tradition – the dark – that could not be broken), while my mother cooked bacon, eggs, homefries and toast. I can still smell bacon if I hear that HNIC theme song. And the reverse is true…bacon and eggs after the sun goes down makes me think of the HNIC theme.

    • Dawn January 22, 2012

      What a great memory… I love it! Thank you. 🙂

  • Beckey January 23, 2012

    I absolutely adore breakfast for dinner! One of my favorite meals ever. When thinking on what I might like as my last meal – this would get careful consideration.
    I also detest liver. I know that memory of sitting at the table in sad frustration trying to choke down one more bite of the nasty stuff!

    • Dawn January 23, 2012

      Liver is unspeakable. Bacon ALMOST makes up for it. 😉

  • Sabrina January 23, 2012

    (Enters oddball) As a kid, I liked liver but, I agree, breakfast for dinner is pretty great. My grandson can be a pretty picky eater yet he’s always willing to eat sausage and eggs. Oh and fried green tomatoes…Be still my heart!

    • Dawn January 23, 2012

      You know, I’ve never had fried green tomatoes, but after watching them cook them in the movie by the same name I would love to try them!

  • Kristin January 23, 2012

    My kids always get so excited when we have breakfast for dinner and, bacon is always a bonus. Bacon makes everything better.


    • Dawn January 23, 2012

      It does indeed! Bacon is the best.

  • Suzanne January 23, 2012

    The very idea of liver gives me the shivers. I have no idea why my mom would insist on making it every so often. You could smell it cooking before you ever walked in the house. When we got older we would ask her: “Why is it a good idea to eat an organ whose job it is to strain out the garbage in blood?!”
    Needless to say, breakfast for dinner is still a hit in my house. And cheap eats, too!

    • Dawn January 23, 2012

      Ugh, that smell… truly horrific. I think I’d blocked it out of my memory!

  • Becky January 24, 2012

    No liver love here, either. Tom likes it, so my mother used to make it for the two of them. Now that she’s gone, he’ll just have to get it from a restaurant.

    • Dawn January 24, 2012

      Much better than bringing it into the house! …though I hope he wouldn’t expect you to sit with him while he eats it. 😉

  • Claudia April 22, 2012

    Now I am hungry 🙂
    Claudia recently posted… S – Smile. Sleep.My Profile

  • Beth April 22, 2012

    What a nice look back! I still love breakfast for dinner…and the idea of having liver still gives me the heebie-jeebies.
    Beth recently posted… GBE 2: Blog On — Week #49: “Take Two: A Fresh Look”My Profile

  • sharon greenthal April 22, 2012

    I always liked chopped liver (a Jewish thing). It’s yummy on a ritz cracker, or rye bread.

    I love breakfast for dinner. And it’s so easy.
    sharon greenthal recently posted… Now and then and laterMy Profile

  • Jo
    April 22, 2012

    Imma freak. I love liver and liver paste and chopped liver and chicken livers. BUT I’d trade any of those for bacon and anything. I believe bacon is my favorite non-nutritional food. There is no benefit to eating it, except that it tastes sooooo yummy and almost like candy, such a no-no.
    Now, I want some. ♥
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  • Suzy
    April 23, 2012

    Breakfast for dinner – love that. In fact we’re having that tonight.
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  • k~ April 23, 2012

    Ohhhh now I really want a nice hot biscuit with butter and honey on it!
    k~ recently posted… T ~ ThoughtsMy Profile

  • sandra tyler April 23, 2012

    pre-heart disease years were the best; I remember growing up with all that artery clogging yummy stuff too like whatever those muffin things were my mother used to make from lamb grease….as for getting my kids to eat a square of anything I put in front of them, forget liver, is a battle.
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  • Anna April 23, 2012

    I love breakfast for dinner and I hate liver!
    Anna recently posted… NowMy Profile


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