I have bags and bags of cereal in my pantry, the healthiest being Frosted Mini-Wheats. That’s right, we don’t mess around. But since the summer has begun, and our mornings have become much less rushed than during the school year, my breakfast repertoire has expanded from a bowl of Fruity Pebbles to cheese omelets, bacon, French toast, Nutella pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and other hot breakfasts Bug only dreamt about while half-asleep shoveling lukewarm oatmeal into his mouth while I yelled at him to hurry up or he’s gonna be late! from the top of the stairs with a baby on my hip ironing Hubs’ shirt-of-the-day.
Every Saturday growing up, we always had a hot breakfast. I can still picture my dad shuffling from the bedroom, finally awakened by the aroma of my mother’s cooking as we gathered around the breakfast table after being pried away from back-to-back episodes of Saved by the Bell where Zack Morris schemes, seems to get away with it, gets caught, hilarity ensues. Remember when James from The Max played both his father and Mr. Belding? Genius. Too bad Mr. Morris with his giant cell phone and ambiguous business calls and sporadic guest appearances decided to be the Involved Dad for once and showed up to Bayside High’s school carnival where he dunked Mr. Belding in the dunk tank after Mr. Belding ridiculed his throwing arm. Ruh-roh, Shaggy.
But Mo-om, Mr. Belding and Mr. Morris are JUST about to discover each other’s real identities!
One meal that was always a breakfast treat was champorado, mine and my dad’s veryveryveryvery favorite, period exclamation point comma splice I’m Ron Burgundy?
Champorado is a traditional Filipino dish often served for breakfast or dessert (Spoiler Alert: it’s sweet) that is basically a chocolate rice porridge. Made with a sweet, sticky rice, you boil it in cocoa water until done, further sweetening it with sugar or (my preference) condensed milk. In other words, ahhhhhh! (That’s the wavy voice sound I make when I imagine the Heavens opening up.)
It has been roughly seven years since I last had champorado, because I haven’t been able to find the sticky rice you’re supposed to use. Coincidentally, I have yet to introduce champorado, a very sweet and significant part of my culture and childhood, to Bug. But when I do, I imagine great things will happen.
I remember when I last had it. Yeah, it’s that good.
Squiggly lines squiggly lines squiggly lines. (What. That’s how they began every flashback and dream sequence in Saved by the Bell. OWN it, Oprah probably does.)
Bug was newly born. My mother had come to stay with us for a couple weeks as we started to slide into the role of New Parents. I somehow had a bag of sticky rice. I’m thinking my grandmother probably brought it to me when she had visited. Irregardless isn’t a word, I had the Right Stuff like NKOTB.
I had talked about champorado to Hubs, trying in vain to capture its essence of chocolatey goodness, hyping it up like the season premiere of American Idol, when finally my mom decided to make it for breakfast. We sat down at the table, both my mother and I watching expectantly for the moment of glorious awakening when Hubs would take that first bite.
He loaded up his spoon. To his credit, he didn’t hesitate. He held, in his hand, a tiny mountain of champorado. He took a bite and gave a, “Mmm!”
I knew immediately. “You hate it.”
He hated it! White Man not a fan.
To be fair, I should have noticed Hubs’ less-than-impressed facial expressions whenever I gushed about the awesomeness that was chocolate rice porridge, but I figured that was just his face.
So, so disappointed.
But I do know that Bug, my little Asian-Caucasian Sensation, will love it. LOVE it, I say!
For another part of this complete breakfast, visit Clay Morgan’s ode to breakfast cereals here. You will laugh. You will reminisce. You will cry. Especially if you don’t buy those cereals anymore, Responsible Adult.