Most mornings begin abruptly, with a 3-year-old’s face in mine, asking me to go downstairs for breakfast. (Or with a baby crying to be picked up from her crib, which then wakes up the toddler, who asks to go downstairs.) I know I’m not alone in this abrupt human-alarm-clock experience, but I’m sure we can all agree that it is brutal.
Before I can wipe the sleep from my eyes, the three of us are trudging down the stairs still sporting our bedheads. There are so many needs to be attended to before I can even begin to think about the much-needed caffeine jolt and quick breakfast that will give me the energy to navigate the morning chaos. Diapers have to be changed, bums wiped, the breakfast whims of a picky kid must be addressed and a 10-month-old has to be expertly placed in a high chair with finger foods in just the right way so that she’ll actually be content to stay there for a few minutes.
Once all that is done, it’s a sprint to make myself coffee and breakfast ― and consume it. The meal has to be quick to make, because this moment of the children’s contentedness will only last 10 minutes, tops. That’s one of the reasons I eat the same thing for breakfast every single morning: peanut butter and sliced bananas on whole wheat toast. And I am not ashamed.
There’s a lot that I love about this breakfast. For one, I don’t have to think about what I should eat ― it’s just part of my morning routine. Toast bread, smear with peanut butter, top with bananas, and EAT. It’s quick, it’s hearty enough and it never ceases to feel 100 percent satisfying. Plus, it doesn’t really require a plate or utensils, so that ups its appeal by a whole lot of points.
But mainly, I eat this for breakfast every single morning because it is damn good. And no matter how many times I make peanut butter and banana toast, it never gets old. Actually, I’ve been making it for longer than my kids have been a part of my life.
I’ve been eating the same thing for breakfast since back in the days when I could slowly roll out of bed; when taking a shower before heading out the door was a chore, not a luxury; back when I not only had the time, but also free hands to actually make any breakfast I wanted.
I’ve sometimes wondered why I didn’t branch out more. As a food editor, I’m hyper aware of all the delicious things that can be eaten in the morning. Pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, omelets, stratas, steamed eggs, etc. It’s almost embarrassing to realize that all these breakfast foods I dream and write about, I don’t actual partake in on a daily basis. But then, with one bite of my repetitive breakfast, I know I’m making the right choice ― again and again.
What it comes down to, I’ve realized, is the comfort of the routine. The ritual of smearing the peanut butter on the warm bread and watching it melt a little, nestling the banana into the slightly generous spread of peanut butter and taking that first bite, knowing exactly what it’s going to taste like, how the textures will meld. It’s grounding. It’s a constant in a world where you just don’t know what will happen next. And that’s what makes it taste so good.