A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Queso Tipo Roquefort & Breakfast (In Bed) With The NY Times
Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have never really liked smelly cheeses even though I cannot live without cheeses in general and I do adore some strong ones. It is all my mother’s fault. In Buenos Aires I remember that her favourite spread for her morning toast was “queso tipo Roquefort”. Even then she would point out to me that this was a very good Argentine imitation of her favourite cheese from the Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. She sometimes combined it with jamón crudo as Argentine (at least then they were sticklers in not stepping on the toes of some of their European cousin’s patents) called Prosciutto di Parma. While I can blame my mother for ruining my possible enjoyment of smelly cheeses she did instill in me the idea that breakfast was a most important meal.

It was my grandmother who further taught me that breakfast was supposed to also be fun. She would smile as she would dip her toast (slathered with butter, strawberry jam and peanut butter) into her very sweet café con leche. Breakfast was never breakfast without her sweets.

For many years in Vancouver breakfast was a sit down affair at the dining room table. It became difficult to coordinate one breakfast with our different schedules and our two daughters’schools. But we managed.

Nineteen years ago it all changed when my friend Mark Budgen suggested that instead of spending money and gas trying to secure the NY Times at a newsstand that it would be better if I obtained a daily delivered subscription. There was an enterprising Korean gentleman who would drive every day from the US border and deliver the paper in most of the lower mainland. He retired in Shaughnessy and the business of delivering the paper was taken over by the Globe & Mail.

Breakfast, with some few exceptions has been in bed since. Rosemary and I roughly alternate the days one of us goes down to prepare breakfast at around 6:30. My grandmother would not smile and my mother would have found it odd that I would have the previous evening’s cold pizza for breakfast. Pizza for breakfast is a rare occurrence but about 10 years ago we would often have bacon on Sundays.

It is simple now. Rosemary drinks decaf and on a few days fo the week I make her cream of wheat with brown sugar. Of late my roses have been happy with her as they share her bananas’ potassium. Rosemary eats the inside with brown sugar and I cut up he peels and sprinkle them around my roses who grow all that much better with that potassium.

My breakfast is a very large mug of very strong tea (made from loose tea in a large ball) a glass of juice (V-8 or apple, Rosemary likes grapefruit) and two Venice Bakery scissor rolls that I bake in the oven until they are very dark.

I don’t spread that tipo Roquefort on my bread but like my mother I enjoy those morning papers (the other one is the Vancouver Sun). And so does Rosemary. It seems that the day has not really begun until we silently (we never talk at breakfast) have our breakfast in bed and read our papers. Both of us follow the exploits of Rex Morgan.


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