Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Do You Believe


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. (At least, that’s what the big boys tell us.) Kids who eat breakfast learn better. People who eat breakfast have fewer problems with their weight. 

I’m convinced. Breakfast is a good thing.

I believe in breakfast. Probably because I’ve eaten breakfast every morning of my life, with the rare exception of forced fasting days. (Days when babies, blood or surgeries are happening.)

Before we moved to C-Town, we lived in Old Ford in a house with my parents, my just-younger sister and my grandparents. Mom and Grandmother spent a lot of time in the kitchen at least twice a day, cooking big meals.

I have more memories of breakfasts than I do dinners. Even as I little kid, I could tell Grandmother’s biscuits from Mom’s. And who made the scrambled eggs. Dad made the best.

All the men in our family are wonderful cooks, in case you’re wondering. Sometimes the kitchen was crowded with cooks.

We had to be careful if Granddad was in the kitchen just after we’d butchered. He loved to fix scrambled eggs and calf’s brains. And while brains might be non-toxic, I never wanted gray matter in my mouth. Eeeeew.

One of my memories of Old Ford was when I discovered sugar. After the cereal was out of my bowl, I put in more sweetener. Now that was good! I kept adding until Grandmother said, “I think you have enough sugar.” She glanced into my empty bowl and immediately took the sugar off the table.

Mama’s favorite breakfast was pancakes. Blueberry, if possible. My favorite is biscuits and gravy with fresh side. (That’s probably Dad’s fav, too.)

Have you ever eaten fresh side? It’s the same meat as bacon, except it hasn’t been cured. To me, it tastes kind of like pork chops, except much better. Sometimes you can find it in the store, but not often. Usually, you have to butcher.

When you cook fresh side (if you ever get the chance) salt and pepper it well, then fry until the fat along the edge is well done. Oh! My! Stars!

Like my daddy says, It’ll make your tongue lap your brains out.

When we moved to C-Town, we had a neighbor who had kids some of my siblings’ ages. (With six kids in our family, we had someone almost everyone’s age.)

When the sibs stayed all night over there, they came home talking about eating Egg in a Well. (I think that’s what it was called.) It might be the dish that’s called Egg in a Hole or even Toad in a Hole. Whatever it’s called, it’s good!

We just called it Egg in Toast. Here’s how–

Butter a slice of bread and cut a hole in the middle. I put a little butter on the pan in the hole, then drop in an egg. (Try not to break the yolk.)  Salt and pepper egg to taste.

Lightly butter the up side of the bread. When the egg is set, turn the whole thing over and toast the other side.

I like to fry another slice of toast to go along with my egg in toast. 😉  Strawberry jelly is WONDERFUL on fried toast. Don’t ask me how I know that. And don’t tell Weight Watchers I eat it. I might get banned for life.

Some of my favorite breakfast memories are from our vacations. Sometimes my parents would take all their kids, Grandmother and Granddad, and whatever of the rest of the fam who wanted to go, and we’d travel in campers.

We camped out (if sleeping in campers is camping out) and cooked most of our meals over an open campfire.

For breakfast, we didn’t just have cereal. We had meals.

Aunt Phyllis could cook a half-dozen eggs at a time, baste them until they were just done perfectly and slide all six out of the pan in one motion without breaking any.

Mama took along a heavy cake pan, made of cast aluminum (I think) to use as a griddle for frying bacon or making pancakes.

I inherited my mother-in-laws pan like that. While I don’t often cook for a lot of people like Mama did, I take it along when I fix biscuits at our writers’ retreat each year.

It would be about the right size to fix cinnamon rolls in, too. I may have to try it later.

So how about it? Do you believe in eating breakfast or not?


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

7 thoughts on “Do You Believe

  1. I like breakfast — I just don’t like most breakfast foods. I usually eat cereal with coconut milk or protein-fortified oatmeal. I like eggs over easy and hash browns once in a while and love good gravy (but not biscuits).

    My granny used to save her banty eggs for me . Mom would fry them in a little cast iron skillet, which I have now. It just needs a bit of care to be usable again. I thought those tiny eggs were the coolest.

    • I’ve never eaten banty eggs, Marilyn. Our chickens were always the big ones that could flog you and make you cry. 🙂 I want to see your little pan. How big is it?

  2. Good gravy is my favorite breakfast from years ago. I used to make it on Saturdays. I remember Mom and our mutual Aunt Lola talking about the “fried potato diet” meals on your family vacations. Mom got to go one year when she was in a bad depression after her mastectomy. Our mutual Uncle Charlie and Aunt Lola (my Mom Nola’s twin sister) were going that year and they wanted Mom to go, thought it might pull her out of the funk. And it did! With Dad paralyzed and in the nursing home and then the cancer, she needed Something And that trip did the trick. All of us kids were thrilled. Did you go that year?

    • I didn’t go that year, Alene, but I wish I had. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful memory to look back on?
      Fried potato diet, huh? LOL. Our families sure knew how to keep us happy. 🙂

  3. I don’t eat breakfast very often as I usually hit the floor running, BUT I do love it when I take the time for it. Mother was a Mitchell which makes her a wonderful cook.
    daddy would make “flapjacks” on Sunday morning, this was real neat!! He would also polish all our shoes Sat. night!! Sometimes Mother would warm a whole loaf of bread in the oven (bread used to be wrapped in cellophane) making it all soft and hot, just perfect for her delicious gravy!! Most of the time when I eat breakfat here at home by myself I eat a bowl of heart-healthy cereal, I do love cereal!!

    • I eat a lot of cereal, too, Sue. But at home we only had it on Sunday mornings when there wasn’t time for a real breakfast.
      Did you make breakfast every morning for your kids?

  4. Althought breakfast food hasn’t ever been a favorite of mine, Saturday mornings were the day that Mama fixed waffles. We loved it best when she put lots of pecans in them ~ yummy with warm maple syrup. Fun times at our house usually involved some sort of food, though. And Sue is right ~ all the Mitchell girls were great cooks.

    My “breakfast” when I was a kid was a can of Campbell’s vegetable soup (weird, I know) ~ it was what I wanted as I absolutely love soup. I ate it almost every morning before school. I’m thankful that Mama let me chose what I wanted to eat rather than making me eat bacon & eggs ~ it was just hard for me to choke down eggs early in the morning. I do love to eat breakfast at a restaurant when I am on vacation or sometimes late at night.

    When my kids’ were growing up, their favorite breakfast was biscuits & chocolate gravy ~ made from scratch. That was always a real treat, & they still love it to this day.

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