When we were kids every once in a while we would have breakfast for dinner. It was upside down, it was a break from the norm, it was exciting, and it was fun! My daughter loves breakfast for dinner, as do most kids I know. Even I feel like a kid again when I make myself an omelet, or something breakfast-y at night. In my younger days-when I could still stay up until 2 a.m. we loved going to the diner for a big, messy, greasy pre-dawn breakfast, now, sadly, I think that combination might be more than I could manage, but breakfast in the middle of the night is as at least as much fun as it is at 6:00 p.m.
A few years ago I went to Seattle for four days to interview for a job. Because it was a short trip, and I was travelling alone, I did my best to stay on Eastern time, going to bed early and waking early as well. On my last morning, the day of my interview, I awoke around 3:00, I was nervous, and had to get ready for the interview as well as pack to leave. Of course all of this took much less time than I expected, so there I was all dressed up and ready for breakfast at 4:00 a.m. local time. I Yelped, and found a bar in walking distance from my hotel that served food all night and set off. When I called my friend Nicole for some last minute advice and to chat, and told her where I was she was quite surprised to hear I was alone at a bar at 4:00, this scenario being quite out of character for me. It was a great breakfast, chicken fried steak, eggs and probably some kind of potatoes and coffee, and though I don’t think it was related to my meal, I didn’t get the job…
When I think of breakfast for dinner, I want more than a scrambled egg and a slice of toast, I want pancakes, or waffles, I want corn fritters with syrup and sausage or bacon. I can’t recall the last time we had breakfast for dinner, but shaking things up can bring out some creativity and challenge our notions of what a specific meal should be. Lately I have been having a more dinner-y lunch, and a salad for dinner. I haven’t done any metrics, but the results seem interesting. I think I eat less for my dinner/lunch at midday, and my salad dinner is certainly less than my usual dinners, and about the same as my lunch salad. I go to bed feeling lighter, and not feeling hungry. I can’t say I did this with any plan or purpose, though it may be a factor of my effort to consume more fruits and veggies (I have yet to hit ten, but am managing a solid 7-8 per day). In any case, for now it feels right, and lately I’m going with that for all kinds of things.
Even the most creative and adventurous cooks can fall into a mealtime rut. Our bodies, working on an internal timer seem to say “lunchtime” at a certain time, maybe 12:30, or 1:00 depending on our habits, and before we even check to see if we feel hungry, we eat, and then we do it again at 6:30 or 7:00. Of course for many of us these time as prescribed by our jobs, spouses, children, etc, but it is probably worth at least taking notice.
Time isn’t the only rut we’re subject to though. Do you eat the same breakfast or lunch every day? Do you even notice what you are eating? Do you enjoy it? You probably have more variety at dinner, but do you have 5-6 standard meals you kind of rotate through? Many people do, I do, and why do we so often rely on restaurants to provide variety? If you’ve got some great home cooking ideas please share them here, as I will as I start to expand my rotation of regular meals.