Breakfast for Dinner

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To try brown sugar bacon skewers and crab and sweet onion omelets, click here for the recipes.

It may happen in other places, but in all of my travels and my many addresses I have not experienced this simple pleasure except in the South. Breakfast for supper is a special meal that seems to happen one night a week where I live. It may have been borne of lean times, maybe after the Civil War or during the Great Depression.

In the Deep South many folks did not even feel the Depression of the 1930s, because they had been doing without for many years since the boll weevils ruined cotton in the region. There used to be a saying in Natchez: "We were too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash." I don't know for sure but if "breakfast for supper" came from bad times, then it rings true that good things often come from bad.

My mother did not even attempt boxed Bisquik. She was the one Southern woman I know who used canned biscuits.

My mother is an incredible person in many ways, and she was an amazing mother of nine children. She had nine children in 12 years--no twins. I remember my father introducing me to one of our customers at one of his restaurants, Trosclair's, as his second of nine children; the very nice lady exclaimed, "Oh you must love children," and my father jokingly replied, "I hate children but I love my wife." My father did not hate young children, he just enjoyed us much more after we were in our early teens. He did love my mother--that I know for sure.

My father was not a formally-trained chef but came from a long line of really great cooks from Opelousas, in South Louisiana, and like his mother, aunts, and grandmother he could cook anything and make it taste good. My mother, a true Natchezian, had a limited repertoire when it came to the kitchen. Lucky for us she did not cook very often. It is a bit odd that one of my signature dishes has become my biscuits. My mother did not even attempt boxed Bisquik. She was the one Southern woman I know who used canned biscuits. I would cringe at the sound of that "pop" of the can, but at the same time we all knew it was a better choice for her than to attempt the real thing.

The one meal she did a decent job with was breakfast for supper. I am sure the good ingredients that my father secured from his frequent trips down the River Road such as fresh green sausage, smoked Andouille sausage, and cane syrup helped her attempt. Cane syrup on any biscuit is a treat, even canned. To our surprise, after my father died my mother began to cook many of his recipes and did a great job. I guess she learned just the way he did and the way I did, just from being around a good cooks.

I love omelets and have dinner parties where omelets are the main dish. You can make them special by adding some crab meat, or you can make them more affordable with something as simple as mushrooms and a good cheese. I also have a technique I will share so you can make your omelets ahead and finish in the oven to serve everyone at once and with ease.

I love good sausage, but my friends and family request my brown sugar bacon on skewers. My bacon skewers are very easy but memorable. If you don't have this tradition in your home, I highly recommend it for family or guests. There is something about breakfast food that brings an instant level of comfort. It also is an affordable trip to the store if you are trying to cut back in some areas. Eggs are still a bargain, and what a versatile ingredient they are.

Recipes: Brown Sugar Bacon Skewers & Crab and Sweet Onion Omelets

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Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of Regina's Table at Twin Oaks. More

Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of two cookbooks: A Collection of Seasonal Menus & Recipes from Regina's Kitchen and Regina's Table at Twin Oaks.
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