Grandma and grandpa had always been strict about breakfast.
“You must take your breakfast before you get out of the house.”

Their house is about 20 meters next to ours. One day my dad and I went over to their place to eat our breakfast – grandma made some nasi lemak. It was around 10am. Midway we met grandpa, refilling the reban with chicken. He said, “Have you had your breakfast?” Dad said, “We’ve had a drink just now. We’re going to have nasi lemak at yours.” “Why did you not have your breakfast before coming over?” grandpa asked again.

Hmm…so we literally have to take breakfast before getting out of the house.

It’s a family tradition, because they were so strict about it. When my dad and his siblings were young, grandma would make sure that they have taken something before going to school or work. As difficult as it was then, grandpa would make sure that there’s at least milk in the house.

Up to now, I can’t survive well without breakfast. I could go on without lunch or tea, and could sleep without dinner. But without the most important meal of the day, I’d loose focus by 9am. Which happened a lot last year.

I realised lately that the sooner I have my breakfast, and the bigger (and healthier) the breakfast is, the more energetic I get. Eg, in the house vs in the car. Toast and butter vs toast and scrambled eggs and cereals. Nasi lemak vs breakfast cereals. And I must have milk.

Weekend breakfast is a different story altogether……

It could be fried bihun or crispy-outside-soft-inside cucur udang. With keropok and some chilli sauce. Hot tea. All windows and doors open. Breezy and bright.

Or roti telur in the mamak’s before going for shopping. Or just out for a good morning meal. Or before going for rounds in the morning. After an 80 minutes of swimming in the pool. With all three or eight or ten siblings. Aunties and mummies and daddies. And uncles. All the single ladies. Sitting as exposed to the sun as we can. Laughing about last night’s activities. Or last month’s. Or last year’s. Two half-boiled eggs. Laughing at the politicians. Passing around the ‘gossip column’.

Never eat roti canai with apple juice. No matter how thirsty you are.

Dadar with sambal tumis, or last week’s curry, or kurma, or just condensed milk. Yummmmmmeeeeee….. This meal does not only bring fullness to the tummy, it would bring joy to the heart.

Dadar is the Javanese style of a pancake – the batter is made of flour and coconut milk and a bit of sugar. Spread like a lempeng and then rolled. My grandma made this for grandpa everyday for breakfast. After years, I have yet to master the art of making dadar that doesn’t stick to the pan.

For me, breakfast is the highlight of a weekend. If I do nothing else in those two days, it would mean a lot if I could just have a huge breakfast with my loved ones.

Right….now I miss Rawther’s crispy roti canai and soft roti benggali and his famous dhall…….