I love family gatherings around the table; I love them even when I hate them, you know what I mean? I don’t know what your family is like, but mine is LOUD. And opinionated. And LOUD. Our meals together consist of tenderness and eagerness to have interesting, calm conversations- from my parents’ side; also, of snarky comments and pointless arguments, followed by emotional make ups- from mine and my sister’s side. I grew up thinking that all families had similar meals; and I was very surprised to discover that, in fact, they don’t.
This past summer, one of the best breakfasts I had was with Kat and Benoît’s family. Both architects, they have transformed their house, right beneath the Lycabettus Hill, into a delightful and inviting home which perfectly reflects them and their two beautiful kids, Anafi, four and Athos, two and a half.
Kat is one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her since high school and over the years, our relationship has changed in many ways. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, she always surprises me. I love seeing her with her kids, I love how she’s still the same girl I met in high school, brilliant, with messy hair, gorgeous legs and a penguin-like walk, yet so different. Being with her family always makes me smile, because it reminds me of mine: it’s loud and often chaotic, filled with love and whining, arguments and truces. And food.
Ben, comes from a big family; every summer the whole family reunites in a summer house in France. And every time they come back, Kat has stories about the kids (hers and their cousins), time spent at the beach and over family meals, were breakfast lasts forever and as soon as it ends, it’s almost time to start preparing lunch. A perpetual cooking and eating experience sounds like heaven to me, along with family, kids, arguments, the works. I love it. I know it.
So breakfast at their house was just that: long and leisurely- and reminiscing about it now, makes my quick breakfasts a little brighter. I brought my camera and a simple nectarine galette; I snapped a few shots with my phone (since I forgot to charge the battery of said camera), while lingering around the kitchen, drinking coffee and lazily setting the breakfast table; between tripping over Toutdoux (their enormous scary-looking, overly-friendly dog), pouring my heart out to Kat and marvelling at Anafi and Athos’ pancake-making skills, between Greek and French, two kids and a dog running around, between pancakes, soft-boiled eggs and soldiers, there I was, experiencing the joys and horrors of a family breakfast. Always a pleasure.