A Christmas Breakfast Scheme

A Southern mother dotes over the special meal, hoping to keep her sons coming home for the holidays.

To try popover pancakes with raspberry jam, click here for the recipe.

I love Christmas and after my boys came into the equation, I began to love it even more. Speaking for all mothers, wherever they live and whatever religion--Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim--we would all go to the ends of the Earth for our children. I knew that I was meant to be a mother and I have received more joy from motherhood than I could have ever imagined--a fact that may make my boys' adult life all the more difficult. Yes, we mothers are often over-protective.

I have a confession to make. I am so attached to my boys that scheming to keep them home began about eight years ago. Martin was 8 and Luc was 11. I found myself making Christmas breakfast more and more elaborate each year, thinking to myself, "They will never want to be anywhere else on Christmas morning."

I will continue to try to make Christmas morning so special that my sons will want to bring their future brides home.

I think that was the same year I made lobster soufflés--followed by lemon ones. I ordered some festive paper balls filled with trinkets to decorate the table. When the boys did not love the soufflés, I began to plan for the next year, knowing I was going to have to step up my game if I was going to keep them coming back after they left home.

Two recipes, my breakfast cakes filled with raspberry jam and skewered bacon with brown sugar, were borne out of this desperation. I had to secure my position during the holidays for years to come. The bacon always works like a charm, but they do like my pan-fried quail, too.

I love an elegant breakfast; I would venture to say it's my favorite meal. One year for a Beaujolais Nouveau party I had the wine-maker ship an amazing array of French cheese to go with the wine. I decided to keep the party very elegant, but served scrambled eggs with crème fraiche, pan-fried quail with apple smoked bacon, and crusty French bread. To this day, I think it was the most perfect pairing for a wine dinner that I ever came up with. Simplicity sometimes comes off as pure elegance.

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Photo by Regina Charboneau

Elegant breakfasts rely on a good table setting: china, silverware, champagne flutes, flowers and tiny wrapped gifts. I always set my table the day before, and prepare everything ahead that I can. My recipe for my Christmas popover pancakes is made quickly in the blender, and is easy if you have everything measured out ahead of time. The homemade raspberry jam with orange zest makes them really special, and can be made a few days ahead.

My obsession has since gotten worse. I tell my sons, now 16 and 19, that I would prefer they date girls who do not have stable families. Really, it would be better If the girls were orphaned, as I have no intention of sharing them with another family over the holidays. We all laugh, but there is a pinch of seriousness. I do know I will have to become more open in a few years time, but I will continue to try to make Christmas morning so special that they will want to bring their brides home. This is my only hope.