Memories flood at times when a scent arises–catching you off guard. Bacon does this for me. The sacramental experience of our dad’s Saturday breakfast event unfolds for me. With five boys eager as chicks in a nest to feed, our dad would make from scratch his waffles or pancakes, mountain-piled plates of bacon, and potatoes. At times, he even made his own recipe of brown-sugar syrup. The bacon-fat haze in the house was a welcome sight after delivering the local San Jose Mercury newspapers earlier that morning.
Added to bacon were eggs cooked open-faced or over-easy. Imagine tall glasses of whole milk. Now, this full treatment was not a weekly event—but I remember we did it often enough to never be skinny kids. The power of the grabbing, grubbing, and elbowing time at our crowded table encouraged us to eat faster to get second portions. Well, often there was enough for a third portion.
I miss our dad. And, I miss our huge breakfast affairs. Sometimes he would simply live normal life over-the-top. To him, breakfast was more than a simple piece of toast. Oh yeah, his French toast comes to mind, too. But, I digress. These events fed us with more than just the calories. The smell, the taste, and the presence of our dad enriched our lives as much as the food.
Today, all of us are now men. My kids enjoy the pancakes and bacon I cook at times, and my dad is present in a way. I know my nieces and nephews enjoy similar experiences. The simple, sacramental breakfast a dad cooks for his children deeply affects us.
These times were sacramental because it’s the presenting of a meal to your family. And, the table surely brings a family together. A dad with his kids and people sitting together represent a moment of peace even when the fight for the last piece of bacon ensues.
When we head out into the harsh, cold world, we can find peace at the table and the meal it offers. Jesus is called the “bread of life” and I am pretty sure Jesus can be found in pancakes. Somehow, I think our dad knew this.