February 05, 2011

In Defence of Breakfast; Or, Dunkin' Don't

Some men, under the illusion that the behaviour makes them seem tough, leave the house each morning on little more than a cigarette, and perhaps coffee. During my stay in the Boston vicinity, I observed that this was often augmented by doughnuts, on the way to wherever men went. I do not like to see unhealthy people. The grey, pallid skin, raccoon-ringed eyes, chapped lips, and mournful vacancy of the expression are all tell-tale signs of the malnourished. Men who look like this do not seem tough to me. They seem fragile.

Breakfast like a king! It is the first phrase of a three-part maxim, the other two being ‘lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper’. I’ve never been entirely sure about the latter phrase, but in any case, I absolutely adhere to the primary exhortation. When one breaks one’s fast, let us say, at 8 a.m., it may be thirteen or fourteen hours since the body has been nourished. It craves food, and should have it supplied. One cannot possibly expect to make it through a morning’s work in any kind of fit shape unless one is sustained. To eat well in the morning is to take on the fuel necessary to be the best one can be. Let us hear no more of the coffee and cigarette regime.

The knock-on advantages are many. One snacks less. One binges less. One feels fit and able. For those of you who are overweight, I would suggest that eating well – eating best – at breakfast will help you lose weight, for you will be satisfied at the beginning of the day. You will have more energy to exercise, and more will to do it. But what to eat?

The possibilities are endless: porridge, boiled eggs or scrambled, kedgeree or poached haddock, kippers, fruit, pastries and breads, cereals, cheeses and cold cuts. Mix it up, but be sure to feed yourself well. Once, or maybe twice a week, go all out with a Full English. It need not be overly greasy, if done properly, and will sustain you like nothing else. The ingredients, lest anyone should be in any doubt:

Bacon (streaky or back, preferably grilled, according to the English definition of that word).
Sausage (none of your cheap and nasty processed stuff, but something your butcher made. Grilled, for twenty minutes).
Eggs (however you like them. Poached is the healthiest way).
Mushrooms (fried).
Kidneys (from whichever animal you prefer, and lightly fried).
Black pudding, if you can find it.
Fresh tomato (sliced in two and grilled).
Hot toast with butter and jam.

Some people like Heinz baked beans for good measure. Can’t say I disapprove. Wash it all down with a pot of English Breakfast tea, or, for the more refined approach, some Earl Grey.

Nary a weekend in the Beātum household goes by without one. I wish you the same comfort.


  1. I had one just this morning, but..

    Now I have a hankering for another. It's one of the best meal-combinations I know.

  2. Excellent post. I can almost taste the lovely English breakfast. And I agree entirely -- especially in reference to your dubious attitude towards "dine like a pauper"!


Related Posts with Thumbnails