Christmas Breakfast


We started planning this year's Christmas breakfast around the time we started planning Thanksgiving dinner.

During one dinner planning conversation, I told Wyatt the story of the year I joined my best friend, Debbie, and her parents in Palm Desert for Thanksgiving. We had such a fun holiday weekend, and I made a peanut butter pie. That pie was so deliciously memorable that for the next several Thanksgivings, when Debbie and I would phone each other to trade "Happy Thanksgiving!" greetings, I would hear her dad's voice call from the background, "Ask her where my peanut butter pie is!" And Debbie would repeat into the phone, "My dad wants to know where his peanut butter pie is."

Wyatt found that story very, very funny. "Where's my peanut butter pie!" he shouted over and over, and then dissolved into giggles. Suddenly, he stopped, and said, "What IS peanut butter pie? It sounds DELICIOUS. I love peanut butter. And pie! I KNOW! We should have peanut butter pie for Christmas breakfast."

I don't remember how the tradition started, but this year will be our fourth Christmas where we have "Whatever We Want" for breakfast. So far, "Whatever We Want" has translated into "Dessert." Dessert for breakfast is basically forbidden, so it's an awfully special annual experience. In addition, there's something spectacularly satisfying about responding to a sullen child who says, "I want candy/cake/pie for breakfast!" on any other day of the year by saying, "Oh dear. Let me check the calendar. Nope! It's not Christmas."

Because we're us, it's not like dessert means a break from cooking or baking. We make all of our Christmas breakfast treats. Last year, we baked gluten-free Florentine cookies and served them with sweet potato ice cream. If you're ever at Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco, try the purple yam ice cream and you'll understand why we went with David Lebovitz's sweet potato ice cream recipe. For the two Christmas breakfasts before that, we made apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.

This year, we are planning on peanut butter pie and ice cream. The ice cream flavor will probably be chocolate. I've found a four-fork-rated peanut butter pie recipe on Epicurious, and I have the already proven Joy of Cooking recipe. Whichever recipe we choose (Joy of Cooking), we will need to make some gluten-free graham crackers so that we can have a graham cracker crust. Wyatt just informed me he cannot wait to smash the crackers into bits with a mallet.

Christmas Eve is slated to be our cooking day. We will make the pie crust and the pie, and prepare the ice cream batter, which we will freeze in the ice cream maker on Christmas morning. We will also make Christmas Eve dinner, which will be latkes, recipe courtesy of Debbie's mom, of course.

Between now and Christmas Eve, we will be busying ourselves with activities, because it is Christmas Break. We're planning to head downtown to ride a cable car and see the giant gingerbread houses at the Fairmont Hotel one day. We've got years of experience building our own little houses thanks to kits and extra candy that Wyatt's grandparents send:

Another day, we'll head to the Exploratorium. And if it's not too rainy, perhaps we can fit in some ice skating at some point.

Just a few days left of the crescendo of Christmas excitement. And then, maybe we can relax? Wishful thinking, I'm sure.