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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pancake-stack.jpg Once upon a time, when my future husband and I had just started dating, he called me one Saturday morning to see what I was up to. I was in the car with my friend Phoebe and a trunk full of laundry.

“We’re going to Michael Green’s for breakfast,” I said. I had him on my Reagan-era car phone, which had a curly cord and a speakerphone, which may as well have been a tin can attached to a length of string.

Peter thought about this for a moment. “Is that a restaurant or a person’s house?” he asked.

 

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waffle_iron_sm.jpg Who knew that making waffles could be so fraught with symbolism and stress?  As a single woman, I never gave a thought about waffles, irons or, come to think about it, marriage. One day my mother called to say she couldn't, just couldn't send me a waffle iron. Why? She had read a "Cathy" comic strip where Cathy's mother went on her usual neurotic rant about how she couldn't buy Cathy a waffle iron because waffle irons meant children, which meant marriage, which meant husbands, none of which Cathy had. 

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pieslice_1.jpgMy Dad used to eat chocolate doughnuts for breakfast until he met my Mom who thought that eating chocolate doughnuts for breakfast was up there with, say, cold pizza.

As a result I can’t imagine eating chocolate doughnuts, at all.  I think breakfast should be confined to breakfast food (or if you’re on a diet, something to skip.)  But someone sent us an apple pie last week that I can imagine having for breakfast (and lunch and dinner).

It’s an amazing apple pie. It comes in the mail, It bakes in the oven in a brown paper bag (I don’t know what the paper bag has to do with anything but it’s true).  And it’s full of apples that are still crunchy and tart and sweet and ambrosia-like.  It has hints of lemon and bites of sweet, a perfect crust and something sort of crumbly.

It’s called the Heritage Apple pie and it’s won a lot of awards and it’s made by hand and shipped to you from their small bakery in Texas (of all places).  And I ate three pieces in two days (and I don’t even eat sweets) and I wish we had one in our kitchen right now.

walnutpancakesDid you ever buy some ingredient that you thought was good for you? You know what I'm talking about. Oat bran, flax, amaranth, wheat germ, teff, spelt, millet. It sounded like a good idea when you purchased it. You might even have bought it for a specific recipe. But then the inevitable. It sits in your pantry or fridge or maybe even the freezer. Then one day you are cleaning out the shelves and you come upon it. If you're lucky, it still has the label on it. Otherwise out it goes!

My weakness seems to be flax meal. I have bought it several times. I don't use it very often so I forget that I have it and I buy it again. Oops. Fortunately flax is pretty easy to use if you put your mind to it.

Flax is a seed that can be ground into meal for better digestion. It is very healthy, containing calcium, niacin, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin E. It is also rich in fiber, antioxidant lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. It has a pleasant nutty flavor and a mucilaginous texture akin to eggs that make it a perfect ingredient when you are trying to replace eggs in a recipe. Most often I add it to granola. But I've also used it in muffins and other baked goods.

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