What ever happened to Breakfast? I asked myself that this morning. Our tastes and lifestyles have changed so much over my life time. Sometimes I get pangs of nostalgia that make me want to revisit some of those vintage food memories. Life has become very fast paced and the ritual of breakfast has been transformed to grab and go – granola bars, smoothies, breakfast burritos and egg sandwiches. It has to be convenience over time. I love the ritual of breakfast with family. I must admit I hated it as a Chef. Great breakfast line cooks are jewels – they are rare. When I got called in at 5 a.m.to do breakfast because one of my cooks did not show up- I hated it. I was the dinner Chef and usually did not get home before 1 a.m. One benefit of doing the breakfast shift was that I got to eat home fries with Hollandaise at the end of service. In designing breakfast menus I found that most people were not that adventurous and had very ingrained breakfast choices. I wondered why no one wanted the hueovos rancheros. I understand why now.
Where did the prune or tomato juice, the grapefruit with the cherry in the middle, the cottage cheese plates, the cream of wheat and red river cereal go? Does anyone eat buckwheat pancakes anymore?
I was wondering the other day if any one even eats soft or hard boiled eggs? When I was Executive Chef at a yacht club about ten years ago one of the members insisted I keep his egg cup in the kitchen so that I could prepare him his soft boiled egg each morning. At the time I thought it was a pain- especially when I could not locate his beloved childhood egg cup. Now, I have softened up and I respect his request. As a young cook making my own eggs I was always anxious if the eggs would be soft boiled to my specifications – if they were not they became egg salad. I loved the ritual of tapping off the top of the shell, trying to make sure you did not get that horrid crunchy shell into the soft yolk. Dipping fingers of toast into the center of the egg. I miss that ritual. I must start eating these delicious eggs again. Eating eggs this way has gone the way of the tea cup with the silver tea spoon.
If I looked in your kitchen drawers or cupboards I doubt I would find a grapefruit knife or egg cups. As a chef I collect all types of kitchen ware and yes I have both of these breakfast utensils.
It seems as if so much has changed- who puts out a toast rack or a grapefruit spoon with that bitter grapefruit? I don’t think anyone eats much grapefruit anymore. If they do it is the sweeter pink grapefruits. I wonder how the producers are marketing this citrus nowadays. I would only eat mine if it was loaded with brown sugar. Here is a song by Bronski Beat that features the egg cup and foreshadows the end of the egg cup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xuz94ZIPfJk&feature=kp
Long gone are the days of polished silver toast racks – I still have mine- I promise myself every year that I will polish it. It sits forever unattended with all my other silver. As a child we used silver for important occasions –
I used to take breakfast at Murrays diner at the corner of Bloor and Avenue Road. I enjoyed it – I usually ate with my mother there and she always ordered the cottage cheese. Last time I saw cottage cheese on a menu was last year in the Amana Colonies in Iowa. I suppose Greek yoghurt has taken over its shelf space. I don’t like it – I love it in Tzatziki -in savoury dishes but not for breakfast.
For my family, breakfast is one of our favourite meals. We look forward to the conversation, my famous eggs- not scrambled but gently coaxed, Home grown herbs and leeks find their way into the eggs at times, as does goats cheese. The fruit preserves that I have made in the summer, pots of coffee are made and remade.
My classic Pecan Candy Coffee Cake is an all time favourite. I often have a cheese tray with fruit for people to add to their plate. The ham that I marinate for days before baking and then gently heat in the sauté pan. I also always make gently fried tomatoes- green in the early summer or red later in the season. In winter I gently sauté my pickled green tomatoes they add vibrancy and crunch to the meal. I often bake muffins – my daughters favourite is the buttermilk- pumpkin blueberry.
When time and appetites permit I make classic eggs benedict with home made hollandaise. Seasonal Quiche is on the menu as well as are omelets made with just picked vegetables. I always offer yoghurt and fresh fruit. I am lucky enough to grow the raspberries on my farm and I pick the luscious blueberries on a farm up the road that sits on Georgian Bay. I pick enough to freeze to eat all winter long.
I suppose what happened to breakfast is that when I sleep in so late – it is brunch!
I love to eat Breakfast outdoors in the summer.
Here is a Favourite Recipe from my childhood – I still love these Sally Lunn Muffins- the original recipe is from my beloved Time Life Cook Book. It’s believed that Sally Lunn bread gets its name from the French soleil et lune, meaning “sun and moon. Feel free to add your home made preserves or seasonal fruit. I love them plain with lots of butter. I recall in the “Gourmet” Club that I started at Deer Park Junior High I made these Muffins. I tripled the recipe against the Home Economic teacher Mrs. Hawkins orders- after all it was “economics” My punishment was that I had to give them all away and I was not allowed to eat any! I made more when I got home.
Sally Lunn Muffins
I suggest you double this recipe- then you will get 12 large muffins.
Yield: 12 small or 6 large muffins
1/3 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease and flout a 12 cup muffin tin.
Cream butter and add sugar, then add the egg and beat until fluffy-
Sift flour and baking powder. Add alternately with milk to the butter mixture.
Pour into 12 cup muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
These are best warm served with lots of butter and fruit preserves if you like.
Here is a camping at Awenda Provincial Park breakfast.
A real breakfast of champions- Lobster in Maine- and yes it was breakfast!
Heading out to review breakfast in Glenwood Springs. It was wretched – the only great item was the apricot jam.
Rhubarb-Berry Crumb Cake.
Breakfast in Dorset
Breakfast in Paris