A Day

[Mother’s Day breakfast, May 2009. ]

I’m not a breakfast person, really. I’ve gone on about this before and it’s really not that interesting; suffice it to say that I’m a fairly simple girl for most things and so most days of the week see me happily noshing away on granola with soy milk, a bowl of oatmeal, maybe a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, with of course lots of coffee and a piece of fruit for a mid-morning snack. Weekends, OK, I’ll have a bagel with avocado or some eggs or or or, but mostly it’s quick and easy.

But special days call for special treats and as mother’s day is an especially special day I decided to fete my maman with a feast. The day before I’d gone to the store armed with my carefully thought-out list:

baby spinach
1/2 doz. egges
raspberries or blackberries?
3 russet potatoes
Fage 0%

and on Sunday morning set my alarm for 8a so I could get up to cook.

First things first, of course, was making coffee to help me prop my eyes open with the hand I wasn’t using to flip through the old Fannie Farmer cookbook in search of my standard muffin recipe. The house was still and quiet except for the birds chattering away in the sunny backyard, and the neighbor’s cats drifted across the stones laid there. I love my apartment in San Francisco but the kitchen at my parents’ house is a thing of beauty: granite countertops (lots of countertops), a full-sized stove and oven, a skylight, a view of flowers and redwoods out the french doors. It’s a truly great place to cook.

So I did. I baked raspberry muffins and shredded potatoes and half an onion for potato pancakes. I piled a few baby greens on three plates and drizzled them with dressing. I pulled the muffins from the oven and set the table with gifts. I scrambled eggs with spinach and filled wine glasses with mixed fruit and Greek yogurt.

We sat in the backyard watching the swallows fight the songbirds for space and sipped mimosas and talked about books. It was a lovely morning.

[Inverness ridge from the trail, May 2009.]

And then we went to a party.

It was a day. It really, really was. Warm in Sebastopol and warm all the way over past Hog Island to West Marin and Inverness, sun-filled with blue skies. I brought a plate of cookies and nibbled chips and hummus and saw old friends and had lots of hugs and a few g&ts. The dog was very calm, the bay a blue smear out past the deck. I kicked my shoes off straight away and dug my toes into the thick grass on the lawn breathing in that good air: home, sweet.

After, we went for a Mother’s Day hike along the Bolinas Ridge. It’s a sort of funny trail because you’re basically walking through a cow field and said cows eye you quite balefully as you pass along (though of course I always call to them cheerfully), but pretty and rocky even so. On sunny days like Sunday, when the wind bends the grass over the hills almost like waves, there’s hardly any other place you’d rather be.

On the drive home the light over Tomales at 6 p.m. almost broke my heart in half it was so beautiful — but sometimes, I think, a little splitting open is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when there are muffins to come home to to warm up and spread thickly with butter and jam and just one glass of champagne leftover in the fridge to savor at sunset.

I wish you all a weekend of such perfect days.

Join the Conversation

  1. Oh West Marin…(peaceful sigh). : )

  2. Wow, what a beautiful post. The breakfast looked absolutely amazing. Way to treat your mom!

  3. That was a beautiful post – it warmed my heart. I can almost feel the wind that bent the grass, like waves, and see that piece of blue in the distance. What lovely prose.

  4. You got me with muffins and champagne at sunset. I hope to spend many many evenings that way. Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Ooo.. which books?

  6. well geez oh man! you broke *my* heart w/the end of this post. really beautiful. also? um, even tho we’re bffs and the same age i kind of wish you were my daughter for like one day a year so you could cook me a spread like that! i LOVE waking up to tons of delicious food!!! your mom (parents) are so lucky! i hope they know!

  7. This is a beautifully written post! Three cheers for using the word ‘baleful’. If you ask me people don’t use it nearly often enough.

  8. looks great, oh and the trail really does look like Scotland had to take a second look!!

  9. That does sound so wonderful! And tasty. :)

  10. I am so glad you splurged and made such a gorgeous spread for mother’s day breakfast. But, the best part was that you went on a hike. Hiking is by far one of my most favorite pastimes, especially after a fantastic breakfast. My mother LOVES cows, so she would have loved the hike you guys went on:)

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