What’s for breakfast?

In our house, the meal that we fuss over is dinner. It’s the time when everyone’s home and, after a grueling day at work and in school, the husband and the kids deserve some pampering. But breakfast is quite another story. Since neither the kids nor their father eats breakfast, the house helper and I often eat what’s left from the kids’ packed school lunches (like the rice topping below) or whatever leftovers there are from the previous night’s dinner. Of course, some days are exceptions.

When I go to the wet market for fish or vegetables, I often come home with a hodgepodge of local delicacies. Sometimes, it’s puto but more often, it’s suman the more varieties, the more enjoyable our breakfast. In the photo above (clockwise from the left), there’s Suman sa ibos (unsweetened and wrapped in coconut fronds), suman sa lithia (cooked with lye water, wrapped in pairs with wilted banana leaves and served with hot chocolate or sweetened coconut cream), suman malagkit (made with glutinous rice) and suman cassava.

There are nights when I have too much work and I go without sleep. That’s when I find it convenient to have something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven while I do my reading and my writing. During those times, breakfast is a grand event. Adobo with fried eggs and hot rice is a favorite.

Because my husband and our 15-year-old daughter, Sam, are very much soup people, and because we have consciously stayed away from powdered soup mixes for over a year now, I often buy soup bones and simmer them in large pots. I keep the homemade broth in several containers in the fridge. On days when I crave noodle soup, often for breakfast or brunch, I take one container out and reheat the broth while preparing the noodles, meat, and vegetables. I just add the hot broth and I’ve got my noodle soup. Sunday is Daddy’s-turn-to-cook day. Sometimes, he’s in the mood to prepare something special, most Sundays we go out, and the Sundays that he feels some tummy filler is enough to shut us all up, it’s Spam and eggs.