Starting to plan your holiday menus? This savory butternut squash and Gruyere breakfast strata is going to be served again and again! Packed with butternut squash and melted Gruyere cheese and spinach, this is filling for cozy fall and winter mornings!
I made my mom cry yesterday. Not intentionally, but with good news. Well, more aptly, it was Ben who made her cry.
Ben’s life as a nurse has been a gift, he loves his job, the people he works with, and the hospital he works at. But what has been a struggle, for him, as well as myself. He has been working nights for the entirety of his time as a nurse. We have gone through nursing school, then the time he was working nights at the nursing home, and now the three years he has been at the hospital in Med/Surg.
What it has meant for us as a couple is that he has missed out on everyday activities with our family, he’s sleeping during the day and away at night. I’ve been isolated with just myself and Emmett, and when he is off work and transitioning between being awake during the day hours on his time off, he has to miss a day with us to transition back to the night shift work schedule.
The number of tears I have cried, anguish I have felt, and memories I have missed with my husband and with my family has been long and, truthfully, quite painful. And it’s not to say that it hasn’t been for him as well, as he works to support our family, it takes a physical toll as well.
But that is all going to change! Ben is going to be on DAY SHIFT!
Everyday after work I call my mom on the drive home. (Yes, it’s hands free) When I called my mom yesterday, we were talking about everything under the sun, and as we were about to wrap up our phone call I pulled an “oh, wait! I have news!”. And then the tears started to flow.
All of the waiting and hoping is finally paid off. We will finally be a normal semi-functioning family unit! HA!
It will be a life of transition. I’ll have to learn how to share the bed again, because I’m used to sleeping alone. I will have someone to talk to at the end of my day, and kiss before bed every night. He will be awake during the day, and gaining time with us, meaning we can finally spend some weekends entirely together, having adventures we had dreamed of, going on hikes, working around the house, and MAKING MEMORIES!
We will have every other weekend entirely together, being able to plan time away. The list of places we wanted to go, and things we wanted to do was always curtailed by the inevitable Sunday night shifts he had to work, meaning we could never get away for a weekend without having to be home strictly on Sunday so he could sleep for work that night. We could never go back to eastern Washington to the Palouse to see family, or spend time in the wheatfields we loved. Time away with our friends was strategized to be on weekends he “might” be able to be awake to see it.
But no more. The freedom of this transition is completely life altering. Emmett will get more time with his daddy, more laughs, giggles, and cuddles. I will get time with a partner, less time alone, and someone to share the daily toils with. Our holidays will be spent together, unencumbered for the first time in 10 years.
And for that, and so much more, I am ever so thankful.
Need more breakfast ideas?
Savory Butternut Squash and Gruyere Breakfast Strata
- 6 cups cubed Butternut Squash
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Sage, minced
- 2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 loaf Rustic Bread, cut into 1- 1 1/2″ cubes
- 6 Eggs
- 1 pint Whole Milk
- 1 pound Pork Sausage, cooked and drained
- 8 ounces Gruyere Cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Sharp White Cheddar, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a silicone mat lined baking sheet, add butternut squash. Toss the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, sage, rosemary, and half of the minced garlic. Bake the squash until fork tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Cook pork sausage in skillet over medium heat, cutting it into large crumbles and chunks as it cooks. Drain it on several paper towels on a plate and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, and milk. Stir in the Gruyere and cheddar cheeses, and remaining minced garlic. Fold in the bread cubes, sausage, and squash.
Pour the whole mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the bread pudding is not runny, and the top is golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool 10 minutes prior to serving.