The Dude and I enjoyed a leisurely late breakfast out this weekend, and while lingering over our plates, we started swapping stories about all the pancake breakfasts we went to (willingly or not) while growing up as Midwestern Protestants.
There were church functions, Moose Lodges, all-you-can-eats down at the VFW Hall, follow-ups to 5Ks, fundraisers, and community gatherings…we have eaten our weight in pancakes many times over.
And in all that time, it never occurred to me to notice that every. single. one. of those pancake breakfasts was cooked by groups of men. Of course, we’d both also been to all other types of communal meals (chicken-n-dumplings, pizza parties, pot-luck out the wing-wang), and all of those were executed by women; typically stout, aproned matrons.
The more I thought about it, the weirder it seemed–and continues to seem–to me. And then I realized that in my own home, the Dude is The Breakfast Guy. Pancakes, waffles, omelets, crepes, steel-cut oats… I know how to make all those things, quite well, but they have, at some point, become his territory. I’m not really complaining, since I’m only too happy to loll in bed, reading, waiting for him to bring a plate in to me. But now I’m wondering what’s up with this affiliation.
My dad wasn’t a breakfast-cook, but he did have his specialities: pizza from scratch, chile con queso, chex mix. Fun food. Occasional food. And, of course, outdoor food: meat on the grill. But the pot roasts and chicken-and-rice dishes and the soups and vegetable sides that we subsisted on were all Mom. Or almost all her.
So, is it that breakfast foods are fun foods? Or occasional (weekend only) foods? Or that they’re not as difficult and involved as your average dinner-from-scratch? Is there a sausage component that I’m overlooking in an attempt not to make a cheap joke?
Few families I know divide up the cooking 50/50 (we try, but…no), but have you noticed any particular patterns in your households? And what do you make of this guys-do-breakfast thing?