By Nathan Smith

Over the holidays, I spent some quality time going over old family photos and talking with my 80-year-old grandpa about the “good ol’ days.”

As a kid, I remember spending summers and Labor Day weekends at my grandparents’ cabin at Lake Brownwood. My cousins, extended family and I would gather several times each year to swim, play 42, eat, visit and enjoy the beauty of central Texas.

A highlight, and very early memory of mine, is watching my grandpa and great-grandfather (“granddaddy”) cook breakfast for anywhere between 20 to 120 Smith relatives. They began work before the sun made it up over the horizon.

On a huge, homemade barbecue pit, bacon and sausage sizzled in heavy cast iron skillets, the eggs were scrambled with plenty of black pepper and the aroma from the fried potatoes and peppers was indescribable.

My grandmother still makes her famous sourdough “grandmamma bread” and we went through dozens of loaves in toast form with cactus pear jelly.

The kids drank whole milk by the gallons and we may have caused an orange juice shortage at the local grocery store.

While grandpa and  granddaddy were the breakfast bosses, we pitched in when called on. Whether holding plates, hauling water or adding wood to the fire, it was always worth it after the first bite.  

After the cooking was done, we all sat down together as a family and ate breakfast. Being from a family of farmers, we all appreciated what it took to get all the elements from the farm gate to the table.

Back then, breakfast really was the most important meal of the day and it got us off to a great start. Information from the Mayo Clinic says studies show that kids who skip breakfast are tardy and absent from school more often than children who eat breakfast on a regular basis.

Also, breakfast skippers tend to overeat at lunch and dinner. For people trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast is never the answer.

So whether it’s flipping flapjacks or pouring milk over cereal, take the time for breakfast and take the time to thank a farmer who helped get it there.