I treasure overcast fall weekends. The cool grey sky threatens of rain and all outside work is put on hold. This is bad news for Bird. He logs too many hours behind a desk during the week, and by Friday he is craving manual labor and tangible accomplishments. Our hundred-year-old cottonwood tree doesn’t seem to care and continues to pepper our yard with her dilapidated leaves, adding to Bird’s anxiety. From the look on his face I can see he is fast at work on his ‘B’ plan. As a consolation I suggest we forgo our usual ten-minute breakfast fare of English muffins and peanut butter and indulge in a leisurely breakfast. Bird agrees. Sensitive to his disappointment in the weather, I try to contain my joy – there are few things I love more than sharing the kitchen with Bird.
Game on. We scour the refrigerator for fixings: farm fresh eggs, smoked thick-sliced bacon, and cheese. Then it’s off to the garden. Our bountiful Swiss chard crop stands colorfully at attention even on such a dreary day. It will look beautiful with the red pepper Bird is holding in his hand. Back in the kitchen, we grab our cutting boards, chef’s knives, and skillets. We make our own breakfasts; Bird is scrambled. I am sunny side up. Bird loves bacon. I prefer an extra pat of butter on my toast. We divide the slicing and dicing tasks for the ingredients we’re both fond of – garlic, fresh rosemary, the chard.
The skillets sizzle away. Bird stirs his crumbled bacon with such care. His patience is something I admire but can never mirror. Thick slices of grainy bread are slowly toasting. Their sweet sesame aroma fills the already savory smelling kitchen. If we time it just right, we’re sprinkling our cheeses and grinding fresh black pepper over our creations in unison. Today, Bird is Gruyere. I am feta.
At the table, Bird reminds me that he thinks runny yolks are gross, and I retort with how the flavors of a fresh egg are lost when it is foolishly scrambled. Our banter lacks animosity – it’s a usual part of our playful shtick. And then the room brightens; the sun is breaking through the dark clouds. Bird brightens too, smiling as he points to the slivers of blue sky. He reverts to his ‘A’ plan. Our hearty plates devoured, we grab our rakes and venture into the yard.