Stay in Bed
Words by Agatha Khishchenko Photograph by Tim Robison
From milk and cookies to a movie for two, there are many ways to turn your bed into a place for gathering, entertaining and dining.
Breakfast in Bed
The sun streams through the window, awakening us with its warm rays. I sink deeper under the duvet and glance at my sleeping partner before rousing myself out of bed. Hair tousled and pajamas rumpled, I pad into the kitchen and begin my weekend ritual of grinding coffee beans, toasting bread and soft boiling eggs. Arms laden with a tray full of breakfast, including steaming mugs of creamy coffee, I climb back into bed, eager to dunk buttered toast soldiers into runny yolks. A sharpened pencil stands at attention, ready to tackle the Sunday crossword. The morning hours stretch leisurely ahead of us, a sign the weekend has arrived.
A Surprise Indoor Picnic
Unexpected rain showers cause a picnic to be reinvented indoors. A plaid blanket draped over the duvet, gingham napkins and a handful of wildflowers turn our bed into a private indoor picnic. We lean back on plush pillows while nibbling on the accoutrements that were wrapped lovingly in our basket: cold roasted chicken salad and red-skinned potatoes cloaked in a creamy herb-flecked aioli. We sip from pony-necked beers. Slices of pound cake and watermelon are a sweet ending to our impromptu indoor picnic.
Milk and Cookies
Nothing conjures childhood like a glass of cold milk and a plate of cookies. Bedtime meant an evening treat, listening to fairy tales while nibbling on cookies or biscuits. Occasionally a neat row of Oreos would appear, inviting us to plunge them into glasses of cold creamy milk. We would snuggle under blankets and quilts, a plate of cookies balanced on our knees, begging for just one more chapter to be read aloud. Our parents would smile, patiently sigh and always succumb to our request: just one more story, one more chapter. Today, a plate of cookies, a mug of tea and a novel make for a familiar bedtime treat.
Movie for Two
The threat of a snowfall entices me back to bed. While a movie choice is debated, a menu forms—savory olive-oil popcorn, sliders, salted-caramel sundaes—decadent options but fitting for such an affair. We each sip a Negroni while preparing our spread, debating who will win the Oscars this year. A touch tipsy, we dim the lights, slide under the covers and cue the film. Movie night has commenced.
While I love backcountry camping, some of my friends are not as eager to rough it in the great outdoors. We decided to bring the backcountry experience indoors. Sleeping bags are spread in the bedroom, a flask is passed around, a friend strums a guitar and stories are shared. The room is lit by candlelight, which we use to melt marshmallows onto graham crackers and bars of chocolate, the urban camper’s version of s’mores.
Avid tennis fans think of Wimbledon as the epitome of the season’s tournaments. The time difference means the serious matches are aired just as daylight breaks on the east coast of the US. Alarms are set, tea is brewed and we watch the finals while partaking of the traditional Wimbledon breakfast: strawberries and cream. Between sets, we slather preserves and clotted cream on scones and rush to the kitchen for cucumber-and-cream-cheese sandwiches. Wearing our best pajamas 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, we sit in bed, ardently cheering on our favorite players, and hoping next year we will be there to watch this spectacular event live on Centre Court.
As a child, I secretly relished catching a cold because it meant I could stay home from school, reading Nancy Drew while my mother brought me meals in bed. A runny nose and fever meant chicken soup: a hearty broth that my mother would boil for hours and fill with sweet carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower. A sore throat meant a cool bowl of ice cream or hot tea with buttered cinnamon toast. (For my Chinese friends, ginger, scallions and congee were de rigueur when one took ill, and my Italian friends would eat bowls of warm pastina sprinkled with parmesan.) As an adult, staying home alone doesn’t hold the same magic as before, but I make do, brewing tea, toasting bread, or if all else fails, ordering in hot soup. Flannel pajamas, a thick duvet and my warm puppy snuggled at my feet make staying home a pleasurable experience.