Sarah Saltiel (20) | Born in Mexico | raised in the US | living in France

While not limited to December, any event that makes the members of my family shuffle downstairs with sleepy eyes is heralded with brunch. This generally involves a bit of bickering about the merits of pancakes vs french toast, and whether we want sausage or bacon, until it's resolved that the griddle will be divvied up into subsections for each family member's preferences.

Satisfied, we then gather around the christmas tree, or around the presents (we have three family dinners in December), scraping our plates and continuing to eat as the festivities begin. My brother and I used to douse everything in syrup until pancakes became indistinguishable from french toast, and would eat them with sticky mouths inbetween yelps of excitement.

My mother loves blueberries and cooks them into her pancakes, or covers the pancakes with blueberry syrup. My father eats his french toast without syrup, but with a single tomato slice. As a child with a voracious sweet tooth, it boggled my mind. Now that I'm in college, when I make myself french toast, I'll sometimes eat it dry with a single tomato slice. I never like it, but I sometimes do it anyway -- as if to singlehandedly enact the eating rituals of all my family members.

Sarah Saltiel (source Food Network).jpg