Breaking the Fast with Breakfast

July 1994

Hungry Man
Breaking the Fast with Breakfast

The Meal Nobody Eats

In the course of an average day, the mythical average American adult watches four hours and 12 minutes of television and flips through a magazine for entertainment, and, no doubt, for the half-dozen breakfast ads for cereal, orange juice, coffee, English muffins, and at least one of a small child berating a parent for not eating a Pop-Tart. We are a culture obsessed with a meal we don’t even eat: breakfast.

We have to go to the gym. We have to get to the bank. We have to finish paperwork. We have to get dressed. We have no time. We have to get a child off to school. We have nothing in the cupboards or refrigerator that looks good. Basically, if whatever deity may or may not exist up in the sky thought breakfast was so important, it would have made the menus much more interesting.

Most of us grew up on breakfast cereal. Lovely little flakes, crunchy nuggets and colorful, squishy marshmallows abounded in bowls all across America. Prepackaged and processed breakfast cereal was introduced in the 1860s to the unsuspecting public by an equally unsuspecting cadre of Seventh-Day Adventists at their sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. The latter were merely trying to add to their vegetarian diet. The former just wanted something to eat besides bacon and eggs.

Squirreled away (can I use squirreled in relation to a sanitarium?) in the facility was one C.W. Post. And living nearby was local resident W.K. Kellogg. Need I say any more about what happened between that sanitarium and Madison Avenue?

I am of the opinion that breakfast should provide your most balanced meal of the day. A proper selection for each of the four basic food groups is an absolute necessity: sugar, fat, salt, and caffeine. So yes, a sardine omelet, Bavarian cream doughnut and espresso would be a proper breakfast. But thanks, I won’t be joining you this morning.

We don’t want our nutritionists to keel over wholesale in horror. (Well, maybe just some of them.) In order to achieve the proper balance and still provide for something that the remaining nutritionists would only gasp politely at, we have to get creative.

About a squillion years ago, a friend gave me a coffee recipe guaranteed to charm that special guest on a first Saturday morning. that was back in the days when we believed in one-night stands and weekend romances. We have, of course, outgrown that belief. My friend called this Brazilian Coffee; I haven’t really a clue why, and neither do my Brazilian friends.

Brazilian Coffee

Serves 2

1 cup strong, fresh coffee
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 cup half & half (or ½ cup milk and ½ cup heavy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick

Combine the coffee, sugar and salt in a pan. Warm over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and continue cooking, stirring steadily, for three minutes. Whisk the half & half and the vanilla into the mixture and continue cooking another three minutes. Break the cinnamon stick in half, put each piece in a large coffee mug and pour the coffee mixture over.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? How about baking up a few muffins to impress that stud muffin still asleep in the other room?

Citrus (Stud) Muffins

1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup unsalted butter
grated rinds of 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Melt the butter over low heat. Beat the eggs, milk, butter and grated rinds together and stir into flour mixture. Stir until just mixed; if you stir too much, the muffins will be chewy. Pour into greased muffin cups (⅔ full in each one) and bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, and the tops are golden brown. Makes about a dozen.

And that about covers our four basic food groups. So get creative with your mornings. And next time someone says you can have two eggs “any style,” let’s see just what kind of style you have…

Genre is a gay “lifestyle” and travel magazine. It was launched in 1992 by three entrepreneurs, two of whom shortly thereafter left to found QSF magazine. I went with them…


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