Archive for June 5th, 2010
Our little family of four has a ritual on Saturday mornings. Waking up early, the kids crawl in our bed and proceed to wake us with kisses and tickles. We linger in bed, all of us beneath the sheets, laughing and hugging and talking about what dreams we dreamt. Without fail, our daughter’s dreams are about Hello Kitty. Our son’s about some sort of invention, for he wants to grow up and be an inventor. Hubby’s about things he can’t remember but little snippets of, and mine about all sorts of crazy and unrealistic things (such as gorging on croissants and losing weight instead of gaining).
After much analyzing of what they could mean, and a few more kisses and hugs, we get up and get ourselves ready to head out to a hearty breakfast. We need fortification for the morning calls for walking and more walking. We are lucky to be able to live within walking distance to some of the best restaurants and shops in the city. And so we walk, whenever the weather and little legs permit. In the Pacific Northwest, sunny summer mornings are the most splendid of all.
Invariably, I end up having either an omelette with sauteed wild mushrooms in butter, or a fantastic oversized waffle with fresh berries and cream. Sometimes I order both and split the waffle with hubby, who never refuses. The kids, of course, order the chocolate chip pancakes with vanilla ice cream and cream on the side. Because it is Saturday, ice cream is allowed with breakfast.
Claiming they are too stuffed to walk, we give in to the kids pleas and take the car to the open-air market in the university blocks. What a sight greets us! Baskets of peonies and vibrant dahlias in every color. Fragrant lavender tied with ribbons. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries… berries, berries and more berries. Cucumbers, radishes, green onions. And earthy, aromatic wild mushrooms that smell of pines and oaks and damp forest grounds. All of them tucked between stalls of breads, cakes, cookies, and pastries, and those of cheeses, sausages, and wines.
Despite still digesting our breakfast, we don’t refuse samples of any of them. The pervasive smell of fresh herbs and root vegetables stir at our appetites, and sooner rather than later we find ourselves starving. After an hour or two of ambling between stalls, sampling the goods, buying the ingredients for the day’s dinner, petting dogs, and chatting with neighbors we run into, we find a seat, get a coffee and some mouthwatering food from one of the few vendors, and listen in to one of the bands playing, thankful for our little family and our lovely life. For it is these little things, these little rituals that make us the most grateful and bring us the most happiness.