Thursday, January 1, 2009

English Breakfast

First thing’s first, a gentleman eats breakfast.

A child or spinster might subsist on a milky bowl of cereal or a pop tart. Perhaps a yokel on vacation might be fit to dine on pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Or if your in a complete rush, nobody would fault you for multitasking with a muffin or bagel in your non-steering hand. And of course, there is a simple elegance to a bowl of porridge accompanied by a banana or half grapefruit. If you happen to be a trucker, or just plan on spending the good part of your day sitting down, there’s nothing wrong with scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, hash browns, a short stack and a bottomless cup of coffee. But you sir, Mr. aspiring gentleman, will require an English breakfast.

Virtually every town and region of the British isles has a different definition of a full English breakfast, but they all have a few things in common and leave enough room for you to make it your own. The foundation includes fried eggs, bacon and fried potatoes (either wedges or a fried disk of mashed potatoes). Then you’ll need some variety of sausage matter: links, a patty, scrapple, black pudding, corned beef hash, whatever floats your boat. As long as it’s meat and it’s shiny. Then the key to it’s charm is the addition of something unexpected. You can include fried tomato slices, baked beans, kippers, fried mushrooms or bubble & squeak (leftover dinner vegetables). Basically, it's whatever your arteries desire. Then there’s toast, but here’s where it gets even more interesting. You don’t use a toaster. You’re essentially going to butter some bread and place it in a frying pan like a one-sided grilled cheese sandwich. The main guideline is that it should look disgusting. In fact, the worse it looks, the better.

Englsih Breakfast

The important thing to remember is that it's good for you. I know we’ve all been trained to think a fist full of dried granola and skim milk is an ideal breakfast. But the fact is, a sturdy breakfast that’s high in calories, carbs and fat is the best thing for you. Save the extra sodium, eating a breakfast like this will kick start your metabolism and enable your body to turn calories into energy rather inefficiently, so the majority of what you eat throughout the day won’t end up as stored fat. Plus, you end up with plenty of usable energy in the middle of your day, the time when your most likely to need it. Trust me on this one. Besides, I’m not recommending a heaping portion off each of the above items. One egg, two strips, one slice, a link or two, and go with the tomato and fish and suddenly you’ve got a completely balanced meal. The best part is that by the time lunch rolls around, you won’t be hungry enough to eat more than a salad or bowl of soup.

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