Today started out like any other day. I woke up at my usual early hour, and started to get ready for the day. I generally wake up before everyone else in the house and try to use the time to shower, do a little cleaning, laundry, and organizing; and then I roughly review and plan the activities for the day. If there’s still time I try to sneak in a quick cup of coffee while it’s still quiet. I usually have about 2 hours (and yes, that means that I wake up very early).
Today though, I woke up, started my usual routine and about 15 minutes in, my daughter woke up. This isn’t the first time that this has happened, and to be honest, I don’t really mind it because it usually gives us some quiet mother-daughter time on the couch. We watch an episode of Sesame Street, she has a glass of milk, and I have my coffee and do the planning from the couch until breakfast time. Nothing gets cleaned, no laundry gets done, and there is no pre-day organization; so, while I love the mother-daughter time, it does also give me a small sense of panic. I try to remind myself that these mornings are a gift in disguise because, as I’m sure every parent already knows, the opportunities to spend these quiet moments together don’t last forever and time really does pass by quicker than we expect, but nevertheless, that little feeling of panic always manages to sneak in.
After our Sesame Street episode it’s time to eat. Breakfast time (or any mealtime) lately has come with some challenges. The picky-eater phase has set in, and I have had to get creative finding good, healthy meals that will also be eaten. Usually, when I ask, “What do you want to eat?” the responses will vary from “French fries” to “cookies” to “ice cream;” and my responses vary from “we need to eat something healthy” to “let’s find something different” to “maybe later” (I can never say a full-blown “no” to ice cream).
The only exception to this is Sunday mornings. I don’t ask for breakfast suggestions on Sundays because we have a family tradition of bacon, eggs, and “breakfast potatoes” (I included the recipe for these at the bottom for anyone who is interested). We have been making it since we moved here. This past Sunday, we made a slight change to the routine and made our breakfast into a picnic in the living room. We sat around the coffee table and had bacon, eggs, and potatoes. It was very impromptu and actually really fun.
This morning as our episode of Sesame Street ended and I was still in a slight panic-mode, I asked my daughter what she wanted to eat and mentally prepared one of my usual responses; and she completely surprised me by telling me that she wanted a breakfast picnic again, like we had done on Sunday.
Our goal when we do things like breakfast picnics has always been to try to create some fun memories for her to look back on, but to be honest, at this age she always seems so focused on getting back to playing that I have always assumed that right now Sunday breakfasts are more for the parent memories than for hers.
Instantly, my mood was changed from one of slight-panic to one of excitement to re-create Sunday morning breakfast for her; and so this morning we sat around the coffee table, ate our breakfast, and talked about what we wanted to do for the day. It was a really sweet moment for me, and I didn’t care at all anymore that there were uncompleted chores. It was also another really good reminder for me that she is growing and remembering and that little things like a family breakfast on a Sunday morning can be impactful.
Our Family Breakfast Potatoes
- Total Prep Time: 2 hours
- Total Bake Time: 40 min, plus 10 minute cooling period
- Serves 3-4 people
- 6 large Red Potatoes or 3 medium Russet Potatoes, cut into 1” cubes (usually from Maple Bank Farmor Stew Leonard’s, depending on the season)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (usually from Nutmeg Olive Oil Company)
- 1/2 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- Salt & Pepper
- Leaving the skin on, cut the potatoes into 1” cubes and place in a bowl
- Refrigerate the bowl uncovered for about 2 hours (I have also refrigerated them overnight, depending on morning time constraints)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
- Scatter the potatoes evenly in a 9 x 13” baking dish (I love using stone bakeware for this recipe but I have used glass and metal baking dishes also)
- Drizzle the potatoes evenly with olive oil
- Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper
- Using a wooden spoon, push the potatoes around the dish until the bottom of the dish is evenly coated with the olive oil and the potatoes are evenly coated with the seasoning
- Put in the oven for about 15 minutes
- Pull out the dish and push the potatoes around again (this will help them to cook evenly)
- Continue cooking for another 15 minutes
- Pull out the dish and push the potatoes around once more
- Continue cooking until the potatoes appear evenly browned, about 10 minutes
- Pull out the dish and allow to cool about 10 minutes, I usually sprinkle them with a little extra salt before serving
*If the potatoes don’t appear to be cooking evenly, try pulling them out and pushing them around the dish more frequently than every 15 minutes*