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your morning breakfast

One of the women I do essay tutoring with was telling me about the breakfasts her great-grandmother used to make for her and her siblings.

"She'd always make us the same thing," she said. "A cup of tea, and cinnamon toast."

She was smiling and her eyes were sparkling as she told me, and I could practically taste the cinnamon and feel the warmth of the tea. I love cinnamon toast.

What's your idea of a great breakfast? I remember my grandfather used to have an orange, cut like a grapefruit, so you can scoop out each of the triangles around the center. He'd also have an English muffin or toast, and he'd melt butter on one half of the muffin (or one piece of toast) by putting the other half of the muffin (or other piece of toast), fresh from the toaster, on top--the warmth would melt the butter.


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2016 05:29 am (UTC)
I love hot oatmeal with butter. Or French toast. :)
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:53 pm (UTC)
I love oatmeal too! My earliest memories of breakfast are of oatmeal.
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:06 am (UTC)
What's your idea of a great breakfast?

I don't interface well with most breakfast foods, but I have very fond memories of my grandparents' house where grapefruit, kippers, and bagels with cream cheese and lox were common.
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:54 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, yum. I never had lox until I was a grown-up, when I *loved* it.

I love breakfasts with lots of components.
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:03 am (UTC)
Cinnamon toast is one of the breakfast foods that I associate with my grandma's house, too, that and oatmeal and cream of wheat. All of which I still love. I make cream of wheat with fine semolina, and the kids (and now J) love it. Makes me happy, like a connecting thread to pieces of my life.
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
Wonderful way to carry on a tradition!

Speaking of semolina, I've been making semolina crackers--they're tasty.
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:18 am (UTC)
I LOVE breakfast. I mean, when other people make it - I usually grab a bun and some coffee, myself. I like fried eggs but I am more likely to eat them for dinner. I think of breakfasts in terms of places, where I eat what the locals are eating because I'm not cooking for myself.

Traditional Japanese breakfasts are amazing, though hard to find even in Japan. Rice, hot green tea, pickles, smoked fish, seaweed. (Traditionally, also a raw egg to mix with the rice, but I don't like that. Natto, ditto.)

In Japan, I also like a hot bun with bean paste or barbecued pork, and a can of coffee - their canned coffee is so good. Maybe a pastry and a latte, with a design on top. Sakura for spring, a maple leaf for fall.

In Taiwan I had fried turnip cakes. Those were delicious. Soft inside, crispy outside, flecked with scallions and dried shrimp.

Bacon and eggs and hash browns are good. Pancakes with real maple syrup you dip the bacon in, and coffee. Diner food. My Dad makes good scrambled eggs with onions and bell peppers.

In Paris, I had warm chocolate croissants, fresh-made, with coffee.

In Venice, I went to a sort of breakfast bar - you literally stood at the bar, there were no seats - and had a party and cappuccino, watching the canals. It wasn't a tourist place but it was right outside where I stayed. Everyone else there seemed to be working men.

In Maharashtra there is a flat bread called bhakri, made with a grain called jowar (sorghum). It has a very unique texture - the bottom is heavy and dense, almost like play-dough. The top layer is very light, like a puri. I ate them warm with butter and jaggery, which is like brown sugar but also dense/pasty and has a unique flavor. It melts into the butter. You can't get either of them here - well, I sometimes see frozen bhakri or the hard jowar, but not the fresh stuff and the fresh is completely different. It's peasant food and people were always surprised that I liked it. But if I can ever get it again, which will only happen if I go back to that particular part of India, I know it will be just as delicious as I remember. I would eat it on chilly gray mornings, getting ready for school before the sun came up.
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:37 pm (UTC)
Aaaaaahhhh, THANK YOU! I was hoping someone with lots of wide-ranging breakfasts would stop by.

I love Japanese breakfasts--love Japanese pickles!

And the particular, regional memory of bhakri--mmmmm. And I know jaggery! I picked up a paperback cookbook from an Indian food store, and it mentioned jaggery... so I went back to the food store and got some, at one point.

My mouth is watering!
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
My favourite breakfast changes wherever I am too, so I think eating the thing that a place does best is an important aspect. In Australia, it's an Aussie-style cafe breakfast, but that's not my favourite anywhere else. In Malaysia, it's nasi lemak or chai tow kway. In Vietnam, it's Bún bò Huế...
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:28 pm (UTC)
I definitely think having different breakfast choices depending on the place is a good thing. Also, in places with dramatic temperature changes, different choices depending on the season.

What do nais lemak, chai tow kway, and Bún bò Huế involve? (And how do you generate Vietnamese diacritics?!)
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
Nasi lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk, typically served with fried anchovies, pickles, sambal and some sort of curry or fried meat and often a half egg. Chai tow kway is a type of radish cake, fried like noodles with bits of egg and chilli. (Hmm. Egg is a bit of a common theme here...) Bún bò Huế is a type of spicy beef (bò) noodle (bún) soup found in central Vietnam (i.e. from Huế) . For the diacritics, there are two ways - on the Mac, I can easily swap character sets from the top of the screen, but when I just want a few words, I'll typically just google them and cut and paste - like I did just now...
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:05 pm (UTC)
heh, and like I did, copying your text.

Boy, all those dishes sound SO GOOD. I especially could go for some nasi lemak... maybe I should learn to make that...
Jan. 25th, 2016 11:10 am (UTC)
Crumpets! :o)
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
Crumpets are lovely. I never had them until I went to England :-)
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:06 pm (UTC)
One of the great things about my life is that I get to make breakfast just the way I like it, every day: a glass of fruitjuice (not too sweet), lots of strong coffee, and toast from my own bread (the current loaf is a light rye that was really successful). Marmalade, or jam or lemon curd sometimes, for a treat, but mostly just olive spread. It doesn't matter, the toast is the important thing.

There aren't many traditional breakfast foods I don't like: muesli and porridge and smaoked haddock and croissants and all of those things. But mostly I like them for lunch or supper. Breakfast is juice, coffee and toast.
Jan. 25th, 2016 12:56 pm (UTC)
Homemade lemon curd is THE BEST.

PS (But homemade marmalade is so close to just-as-good that we should probably call it a tie)

Edited at 2016-01-25 07:29 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2016 11:54 am (UTC)
There's a local producer who sometimes comes to the Farmers' Market with fruit curds, which are as good as home made (which probably just means 'not too sweet'). Lemon is classic, but raspberry is unexpectedly delicious.

I sometimes make orange curd, when the Seville oranges are in season.
Jan. 26th, 2016 01:10 pm (UTC)
My mouth is watering at the thought of orange curd from Seville oranges. I can't get those here without special ordering them (which I've done to make marmalade), but I might try it to make orange curd.
Jan. 25th, 2016 01:50 pm (UTC)
Let me add a smiling slice of Crenshaw melon.
Jan. 25th, 2016 01:55 pm (UTC)
Some smiles are so delicious!
Jan. 25th, 2016 03:43 pm (UTC)
oh I used to love cinnamon toast. thanks for the reminder!
Today I'm eating a bagel with butter because I need to go grocery shopping, but ideally there would be half an avocado and some cheese on it.
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)
Do you know what they like for breakfast in Timor-Leste? Avocado with sugar, mashed with milk! I tried it and it's really delicious. It's funny when you're used to a food as savory and then you have it sweet, or vice versa.
Jan. 25th, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC)
I had an avocado milkshake once, so I actually can imagine what this tastes like!
Jan. 25th, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC)
I love the image of the woman and the enjoyment in her voice.

Most of my life before marriage I didn't have breakfast, for some years because food was scarce, then I had a job that required me to leave for work at four a.m. when my stomach said hell no.

My favorite breakfast is exactly what I can't/shouldn't eat: start with half a grapefruit, or better, a whole one (can't have it due to meds), then move on to two eggs over easy, all mixed up with seasoned, crispy breakfast potatoes with carmelized onion, crispy bacon, and a butter-slathered blueberry muffin. The only part of which is healthy are the blueberries, of course.

Every once in a while, only when I travel, I do indulge that breakfast--and it keeps me going all day.
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:06 pm (UTC)
Your verboten breakfast sounds delicious!

The tall one (actually, both the boys are tall ones now, but the older of the two) used to call blueberries "beewops" when he was about 18 months old.
Jan. 25th, 2016 09:02 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of my daughter's beesh for chips. (It was weird, how her dyslexia heard words backwards before she even started writing mirror image.)
Jan. 25th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
I loved my father's French Toast. He would occasionally make that for us on Sundays after church. Dad always liked to try out baked breakfast food like Dutch babies when he was in the mood; when Mom made breakfast it was merely a round of cereal or eggs and toast or oatmeal or, for a while in my high school years, Pop-Tarts. None of my grandparents were around so we didn't have breakfast with them. These days I love cinnamon toast, but I don't think I had it as a child.
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
Pop tarts were a treat I didn't have until I was adult. Nowadays the healing angel will sometimes by a package to have as snack food.

I don't know Dutch babies! It sounds rather... Swiftian.
Jan. 31st, 2016 04:40 am (UTC)
It's a cross between a popover and a pancake. My dad always put sausage in them, cut up, and used powdered sugar over it. I need to make one soon! Alton Brown's recipe is as similar as anything I see out there: http://altonbrown.com/dutch-baby-pancake-recipe/

Edited at 2016-01-31 04:44 am (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2016 03:48 am (UTC)
Ooh, that sounds, and looks, from the recipe, delicious and not too hard--thank you for the link!
Feb. 1st, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
I only know about Dutch Babies from Bob's Burgers.
Jan. 25th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
I am not at all hungry in the morning, and for that reason I love any place that will make me a vegan breakfast after noon. It's not that easy to find one; my favorite remains a now-defunct vegetarian restaurant called the Mud Pie. On weekends only, they had an all-vegan breakfast and brunch. People who wanted regular food could get it, but they had to ask, as vegans have to ask most of the time. The default was vegan. They had a tempeh and tofu scramble with lots of garlic and a generous amount of red bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and other vegetables in season, and they made amazing hash browns, and you could get waffles and pancakes and bagels and English muffins, all very tasty and safe for people who can't have eggs or dairy. They had a really dense and satisfying whole wheat bread made without milk, and they would give you margarine for toast made from it, without curling their lips. Sometimes I actually dream about it.

Jan. 25th, 2016 08:09 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, I love hash browns, and I love tempeh! And my husband would surely identify with your dreaming about a Really Good Piece of Toast.
Jan. 25th, 2016 09:02 pm (UTC)
They did amazing things with tempeh. I've never been able to duplicate them at home. I have been able to duplicate the hash browns; it just took a cast-iron skillet and, well, more patience than I usually have before evening, but hash browns are fine any time.

Toast is sometimes really primal. I don't know what they did with this bread, or maybe it was the toasting device, but it was crispy without being dry, and even the inside was toasted, again without being burnt on the outside or being dry.

I'll stop now. But it was quite the restaurant once it stopped being afraid of seasonings -- it was founded in the 1970's and was very timid about them for a while; not sure if that was the '70's, Minnesota, or a sad combination.

Jan. 26th, 2016 01:14 pm (UTC)
I need some actual food icons...
You don't need to stop! Delicious food is worth praising at length!
Jan. 29th, 2016 01:15 am (UTC)
In some English book or other I have read praise of toasting-fork toast made over a fire, above all other sorts.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 25th, 2016 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yummy! I like both savory and sweet in the morning. I grew up with sweet, but embraced savory when in Japan.
Jan. 26th, 2016 04:27 am (UTC)
I am a hard-core breakfast person. Breakfast is the one meal that never deserts me, no matter what the nausea is doing.

Many days I have steel-cut oats that have been sweetened with the fruit solids strained out of Tim's homemade gelato. Or else I have barley porridge with dried fruit and nuts. Or else I have granola with Greek yogurt, or apricot breakfast crisp, or homemade breads of various kinds. I also like cereal.

I also like savory breakfast foods, but not first thing in the morning. I like them later in the day. Me and breakfast basically get along great.
Jan. 26th, 2016 01:16 pm (UTC)
I am reading your comment at 8:15 am and my stomach is saying to me, "Yes, those would be good; how about any of those?" I just got an order of granola from the Providence Granola Project, so I might have that.
Jan. 26th, 2016 01:23 pm (UTC)
The part where the fruit solids get strained out of the gelato and put in steel-cut oats makes me feel...well, like my idea of how to do food is maybe not other people's idea, because "oh, just take the leftover bits that you'd usually throw away from your homemade gelato!" is not really standard. I do realize that.

Jan. 26th, 2016 01:24 pm (UTC)
Makes perfect sense to me!
Jan. 26th, 2016 06:37 am (UTC)
A great breakfast is vegetarian Eggs Benedict, fresh orange juice, and coffee at a restaurant that no longer exists. I do not have much energy in the mornings, so I have a good breakfast: tea and oatmeal. Or sometimes leftovers of last night's dinner.
Jan. 26th, 2016 01:17 pm (UTC)
I love having leftovers of yesterday's dinner! Often I'll save those for lunch, but sometimes, especially if there's just a tiny bowl left, I'll have them for breakfast.

I love an egg that has a personal name :-)
Jan. 27th, 2016 10:10 pm (UTC)
My perfect childhood breakfast is øllebrød (beer-bread porridge) with a bit of milk. I also used to eat it while working in the field as a student because it's warm and very filling. :)
Feb. 1st, 2016 03:50 am (UTC)
When you say "working in the field," was it agricultural work, or some other sort of fieldwork?

Either way, beer-bread porridge sounds like an excellent meal.
Feb. 1st, 2016 10:36 am (UTC)
It was mostly taking samples for analysing lakes and streams. Sometimes it would be evaluating forest areas or nature-protected areas, so it usually involved a lot of walking/rowing etc. :)

Spent one summer studying the Nereis Diversicolor - one of the best summers of my life. I do miss that sometimes.
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )

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