Mother’s Day breakfast memories

I enjoy cooking and like to think that I’m fairly versatile when it comes to preparing food.
And Mother’s Day was the successful beginning of my love of cooking.
I can’t remember when I first began cooking, but it probably started when my brother and I were old enough to man the kitchen of my parents’ home on Third Street.
This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and I still can remember that first meal my brother and I prepared that morning.
We were up really early that day because we had decided we were going to serve Mom breakfast in bed. It was a really simple meal: bacon, eggs, sliced tomato, and toast.
The special part was that Mom was going to eat breakfast in bed. And it was going to be a secret—we would surprise her when we walked through the bedroom door with her meal, along with juice and coffee on a platter.
My parents’ bedroom was right across the hall from the kitchen so we had to be stealthy in our preparations so mom wouldn’t know what was happening. We were as quiet as two young boys could be as the griddle was pulled out of the kitchen cupboard.
We were as quiet as we could be when we pulled apart the coffee percolator, filled the grounds cup, and put it on the stove to percolate.
Little did we realize how much the smell of bacon could waft through the house until my mother asked, “What are you doing, boys?” Our immediate announcement was “Nothing.”
My parents must have had some idea as my father peeked around the corner to make sure everything was OK. We let him in on our secret, but asked him to keep it from my mother.
There were no major catastrophes that morning, though the toaster buzzed loudly when it had over-heated and we were trying to jam two more slices of bread to toast.
We actually were making two breakfasts; one for my mother and another for my father. Three of the four yolks broke in the pan. All four eggs probably were over-cooked and lacked salt and pepper. The bacon was slightly burnt.
The toast appeared perfect and well-buttered but the coffee was weak.
Most importantly, we managed to carry two trays with breakfast, coffee, and juice into the bedroom and present them to our parents without tipping or spilling anything.
It was a success.
I can’t remember if we cooked anything for myself, or brother or sister that morning, or if we even went to church. That memory eludes me. But my mom was really excited by the surprise breakfast and played the part that she hadn’t heard or smelled anything.
It was a successful beginning. Mom did do the clean-up, and ever since I’m regularly reminded that I can find a way to use two of anything when I only need one.
I’ve planned and cooked many a successful dinner or dessert since. But that successful breakfast going back more than 50 years is perhaps my proudest accomplishment.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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