This is not the week for food adventures. Noodles and ice cream are some of my favorite things in the world, but when you eat these vacation foods for a week or so you start to crave something simple. On Sunday I came back to my humble Hokuriku Expat Kitchen and made myself a massive pot of vegetable soup, which (supplemented with brown rice and salad) I’ve been eating ever since. Seriously, the biggest culinary happening in my week was my first visit to Mosburger – which, come to think of it, would have made a fine column if I’d thought to bring my camera.
Anyway, this morning I woke up a little late, so I was a little frantic as I got dressed, washed my face and threw together a lunch. I always save breakfast for last. This morning I looked down at my oatmeal, and it made me smile. The perfect soy milk to oatmeal ratio, piled high with bits of apple, toasted walnuts, sprinkled with cinnamon and just a glint of brown sugar. Nothing special – but healthy (mostly) and pleasing to look at. And not only was I full afterward, but I felt more peaceful for having saved those ten minutes to enjoy my oatmeal and a cup of tea.
Lunch and dinner are all well and good, but breakfast is my favorite. It’s not just a meal; it’s a state of mind. If the children I teach suddenly decide that they no longer like dancing to If You’re Happy and You Know It, if the guy sitting next to me is smacking his lips as he eats, if my ancient work computer refuses to open a word file, if I suddenly remember that it’s only Tuesday – if the world in general feels dark, dank and dreary, I think about breakfast. When I remember how the sun that morning made the perfect strawberry in the middle of my bowl of yogurt shine, and how the steam rose lazily from my white teapot, I take a deep breath, and suddenly the day doesn’t seem so horrible after all.
The only thing better than a breakfast date with myself is sharing breakfast with someone else. I’ve only had this pleasure a handful of times since moving to Hokuriku, but come August I’ll be recieving a permanent breakfast partner. Let’s hope he likes pancakes.