BREAKFAST

I love breakfast!

No apologies, no hesitation, no nuances – just a straightforward love of breakfast.

A cup of coffee, a simple bowl of Cheerios, a slice of toast – that’s breakfast at its most minimal.  Although my diabetes now requires me to tone down breakfast, there are some things that I particularly love with breakfast.

Start with a cup of fresh, hot coffee.  It requires no doctoring, just its rich flavor wafting aromatic out of the cup into your nostrils. A quality cup of coffee is the “first love” of a good breakfast.   And please, please, please — do not ruin the experience by serving me decaf.  I’d rather have a warm glass of diet Pepsi that’s been sitting on the counter for three days.

I can begin to embrace breakfast with a gusto by a cold glass of tomato juice served while the meal itself is being prepared.  Many places add a slice of lemon,but for me such “decoration” is totally unnecessary.  If I have lemon at all at breakfast, let it be lemonade.  Occasionally, when I am not too worried about my blood sugar, a glass of Florida’s best orange juice is a pleasant addition – but it has to have lots of pulp or the whole OJ thing loses substance.  OJ is the first place where I might want to chew my breakfast,  When the price on either is too high or none is available, there’s much breakfast refreshment from a glass of ice water with that slice of lemon that people erroneously want to insert into my tomato juice.

Now the main courses begin to arrive–generally on multiple plates balanced artfully on the forearm of your waitress.  How do they do that?  I have trouble carrying my keys in my hands let alone do the balancing act required by breakfast waitresses.  And they do it without velcro.

So what comes first?  Two eggs sunnyside up/  Please do not let them get cold in the kitchen before they reach me.  And if you break the yolks, I’ll send them back.  Never mind that I am about the plunge my fork into their shimmering yellow surface.  Part of the blessing is savoring the plunging of the fork into those two yellow faces staring back at you and watching the yolk run into the whites.  And don’t burn the whites. A runny yoke loses its culinary satisfaction when it is eaten with the rest of the egg that has begun to take on the texture of burnt toast.  

Of course – toast.  My preference, four half slices of raisin toast, slightly crispy with a pat of butter melting into its surface.  My diabetes has turned breakfast potatoes into unwelcome carbs. At my home restaurant, the Silver Spring Family Restaurant has offered me fresh, sliced tomatoes as an alternative. (Unfortunately with an upcharge).  That’s the “fruit: with my breakfast.  I cannot quite explain it, but those tomatoes are a perfect taste counterpart to the eggs and toast, and they don’t compete with the coffee. (By now I should be on my second cup).

If i want to have a more filling breakfast, old-fashioned Southern grits with a huge dollop of butter melting into their hot, fluid surface has me salivating before I even get that first taste (which is usually ten minutes after they get to the table and have finally cooled enough to eat without cauterizing your epiglottis.  Unfortunately too many people are introduced to grits through a box or in the North where they never seem to make grits the right way (except in Cracker Barrel).  But give grits a chance.  You won’t be sorry and they are probably better for you than a double order of toast.

And for “dessert,” (yes, breakfast has a dessert along with your third cup of coffee) be sure and tie the whole experience together with a few danish, preferably something with cinnamon (unless you need more fruit, then get apple danish).  But don’t tell my health coach about the danish.

I love breakfast!

(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn

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