Breakfast

benny.jpgThey say you always remember your first. And were we talking about a kiss, I remember sitting on a recessed bench filled with orange life jackets on the second level of the Boblo Island ferry leaning towards my sixth grade “girlfriend” Monica. I remember the stench of rotting sea life from the Detroit River and the paprika scent of Better Made BBQ potato chips mingling with the floral waft of Giorgio perfume from her neck (though I suspect it was the Parfums de Coeur Designer Imposters knock-off—after all what 12-year-old can afford the real thing?) as we hesitantly merged our lips. Were we talking about sex, I remember that too, but kissing and telling is one thing, getting laid and doing so is quite another.

What I’m really talking about here is my first Eggs Benedict, the legendary English muffin raft conveying tasty castaways of salty pork and jiggly poached eggs awash in waves of silky hollandaise. And of that, I do not remember my first.

Though, I suspect it was at an all-you-can-eat buffet, one of those restaurant-larder-clearing affairs featuring an orgy of tangled snow-crab legs, a miserable checked-pant-wearing short-order cook manning a butane-fired omelet station and mountains of chartreuse-rinded unripe cantaloupe. That means my first Benedict was likely a steam-table-parched muffin topped with Canadian bacon parchment and a sulfurous over-fried egg mottled with a gloppy, broken mock-hollandaise. Thankfully I subscribe to the idea that you try everything twice, because you never know if the first example was cooked right.

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200px-ibook_g4.jpgIt happened suddenly.  One minute we were together, touching, my hands on his body, as close as always, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, signs of dire distress.  It sounded like a heave or a deep sigh.  But I heard a click in there somewhere as well.  Something more than the whirl of a distant fan.  I heard danger.  I heard Mac’s finally gasp.

And then, after four years together, nine to ten hours a day, seven days a week, for all 52 weeks of the year – half of those trying to work, the other half simply searching together for answers – it was over. 

Lately, he was the first thing I reached for in the morning after my husband, who gets up early, was gone.  I pulled him off the table and woke him up from his sleep.  I demanded that he bring me the New York Times.  That was always the start.

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mehagian familyThe following is an excerpt from "Siren's Feast: An Edible Odyssey" by Nancy Mehagian, a culinary memoir that captures a colorful era and features over 40 traditional Armenian and vegetarian recipes...

When I was growing up nobody talked about dysfunctional families, so it took me a while to realize how fortunate I was to have the parents I had. They never argued in front of us and truly seemed to enjoy life and each other. My brother and I were rarely left behind on trips, including seeing the Folies Bergères when it first came to Las Vegas. I have to admit my childhood was somewhat idyllic. Perhaps too idyllic.

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From Men's Health

burgerking.jpgIt’s hard to overestimate the importance of eating breakfast. Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. Beyond that, people who skip breakfast are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, and they’re less likely to exercise.

But just because breakfast is the most important meal of the day doesn’t grant you permission to go into a feeding frenzy. But that’s exactly what many of the country’s most popular breakfast joints are setting you up for, by peddling fatty scrambles, misguided muffins, and pancakes that look like manhole covers.

Worst Side Dish
Burger King Hash Browns (large)
620 calories
40 g fat (11 g saturated; 13 g trans)
1,200 mg sodium
60 g carbs

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pancake.jpgIn the summer of 1966 I worked as a dishwasher in a summer camp near Hunter Mountain in upstate New York. This was in the pre-automatic dishwasher days meaning dirty dishes were dumped in a super hot sink of soapy water and washed and dried by hand. I used to come in around 6 a.m. to clean the breakfast pots and pans. Henry, a very tall, rail thin man who had been a cook in World War II in Europe, had gotten there at least an hour before me; I usually found him smoking a filterless cigarette and slowly beating  powdered eggs and water in a huge stainless steel bowl or ladling out pancakes on the football field-size griddle.

Though he was cooking for well over 150 people every morning he never seemed to be in a rush. Though there was no air conditioning and an eight burner stove going full blast, Henry barely broke a sweat. I started sweating from the moment I got there; and being a not very bright 14-year-old, I often compounded my problems by forgetting to use an oven mitt when picking up a hot pan or getting scalding hot water in my rubber washing gloves.

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