This morning, my breakfast at the Other Other Good Coffee Place is almost too pretty to consume. I have a big latte in a creamy white round mug, the foam on the top forming into a leaf pattern with striations of caramel and white. My little sandwich, egg and folds of thinly-sliced ham and perfectly-melted cheddar, looks like a Martha Stewart creation on its flaky croissant. I actually smile at my food in appreciation of its damn good looks. Note that I wrote "almost" too pretty to consume -- oh, I am going to suck up every bit of it.

I have learned that having protein for breakfast is the smart thing for me to do. If I have something sweet like cereal or a muffin, I am hungry again too quickly. This pretty food will get me nicely through the morning, and I probably won't even want a lunch. Protein, lots of water, watch the fat and carbs, all is well. It's actually simple.

Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. I think that is the case, but so few people have or make the time to enjoy it properly. There is work and school to rush off to, and breakfast usually turns out to be whatever you can cram down your face in 10 minutes, or you skip it altogether. I wish every breakfast could be in a sunny, open kitchen, at a clean table, no one rushing, beginning the day talking and waking up and enjoying some decent warm fresh food before each heading out for the day. LOL. I know, it's impossibly June Cleaver. But that's the vision I am stuck with. Blame my cultural upbringing.

My mother, who is even goofier than I am, would fairly often serve breakfast by extending her long arm out, reaching a long leg backwards, and saying, "TA DAAAAA!" in a theatrical move worthy of vaudeville. She would even do this when I was a surly exhausted self-absorbed teenager scowling at her because it was still dark out and I had to stand outside in the freezing cold to wait for the horrible school bus and an hour's ride. She never stopped smiling, or making me whatever I wanted for breakfast, even though I didn't deserve her consideration whatsoever.

I will see her soon, after a year's absence. I will make a point of making her a lovely, almost-too-pretty-to-eat breakfast. I will extend out my short arm, kicking back with a short leg, and I will say, "TA DAAAAA!" She will smile, and I will smile, and it will be a good start to the day.