Breakfast on the farm

First farm chores, and then a hearty breakfast.

Until I was twelve, we lived on the family farm; the farm my mother grew up on. Our farm was a typical Ohio family farm of my grandparents day. The kind that is hard to find in today's world of mega agriculture.

The main livestock was beef cattle, but pigs were also part of the farm's economy. At different times there were different animals, but they were mostly for the use of the family; not to be sold at market. Crops were raised mostly for the livestock, though I believe Grandpa did sell some wheat.

There were always a few rows of sweet corn in the field and a large garden for the family's food supplies. Grandma kept the fruit cellar full of root vegetables and jars of home canned vegetables, fruits, soups, and condiments.

Life on the farm required a lot of physical labor. Grandpa, and later my dad, would be up with the sun to feed and care for the animals. For a time we had rabbits. I was only in elementary school, but feeding the rabbits before school was my responsibility.

Chores were done first thing. By the time chores were done you would be good and hungry. A hearty breakfast was needed, not only to fill your hunger, but to provide the energy needed for the rest of the morning's work.

We did eat some cold cereal and oatmeal, but a more typical breakfast was eggs, toast, potatoes, and meat. We did not have chickens during my time on the farm, but there was always a supply of fresh eggs from our Amish neighbors. I preferred my eggs scrambled with some cheese. The rest of my family liked their eggs dippy.

Dippy eggs are fried until the whites are almost cooked. Then they are flipped carefully, to keep the yolk in tact, and cooked just long enough to set the white part of the egg. The yolk is warm, but still runny. The fun part of a dippy egg is dipping your toast in the yolk.

Potatoes were scrubbed, thinly sliced, and fried with onion in a lot of butter. Fry until slightly crispy, add salt and pepper, and enjoy! The meat was usually bacon, but sometimes sausage from a pig raised on our farm or a neighbors farm.

Family farms like the one I lived on have become less common in Ohio. Many farms, like my grandparents, having been sold off in parcels, or to developers as the family farmer become less and less capable of competing with the large corporate farms.

But the family farm breakfast still lives on. It may no longer be the typical daily breakfast. Breakfast during the week now tends to be something quick; cereal, toast, or yogurt. On the weekends and in restaurants though, you will find families enjoying dippy eggs with toast, potatoes and bacon; a traditional family breakfast on the farm.