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Monday, 25 April 2011


 Breakfast - “The Most Important Meal of the Day”.

 Well, it is for me. I’m not one of those. “Oh! It’s 11:00am and I haven’t eaten anything yet” kind of people. If I don’t get something substantial to eat fairly early on in the morning, I do not function (well, even less than usual). 

 Growing up, I was always a cereal and toast kind-of girl (with crumpets on the weekend!). 
It took a trip to the States to open my eyes to the many options that breakfast can offer. In a suburban house in Baltimore, I was served French toast with ‘breakfast bacon’ (which as far as I could tell, was just normal bacon which had been cooked ‘til it was so crispy it just about shattered when you tried to cut it), and maple syrup on the side. Totally bizarre to have sweet and savoury on the one plate but totally amazing. I loved it at first bite , and it became my go-to ‘seedy morning after’ breakfast for many years.

  One thing I love about breakfast, is that you can have a lovely and special meal together  with someone and still have the rest of the day to go and be productive (or not, as your day may decree). 
 Or head off to work, and with a hubby in retail this can happen often. It can be quite frustrating going to work when everyone else is relaxing, and often the majority of people at shopping centres on public holidays are those that can’t think of anything better to do (“drongos” was the term I think he used). Thus, the prospect of working over Easter was one I knew he would not be relishing. So in an attempt to send him off in a better mood, I thought I would use the days to try out a few new breakfast recipes.

 We got a copy of “Jamie’s America” by Jamie Oliver a few years ago and it has become one of my favorite recipe books. In fact, I have only had one ‘failed’ recipe in over 30 dip-ins  (the aforementioned cookies-that-congealed-into-one-large slice-like mess). It is divided up into areas, such as New York, Louisiana, Wild West and has recipes for things you’ve heard of in American films and TV shows (but were never quite sure what they were) like grits, collard greens and peach cobbler. I had been going pretty well working through my Things To Cook List, but had about 6 breakfasts to try, so culled it down to three and off we went.

Good Friday started with “Scrumptious Navajo Brekkie” (I do love the way Jamie names and writes his recipes). This was a whole heap of bacon and thinly sliced potato cooked up, a few eggs  thrown in to scramble the whole thing together, and then served on a flatbread/tortilla. Very hearty and substantial (we both felt we needed a nap after eating it) and would be perfect cooked over a fire around a campsite.
 If you’re into that kind of thing.

 My vegetarian sister-in-law stayed over on Saturday night which meant Easter Sunday morning was “Beautiful Breakfast Tortillas” – scrambled eggs with spring onion, which you then put in a tortilla with guacamole, tomato, cheese and a bit of fresh coriander (we didn’t add the hot sauce as I am a bit of a hot/spicy wuss, but the coriander still gave it a nice kick). Son 2 loved it as well, happily stealing bites in between mouthfuls of chocolate Easter egg. Not a sweet n’ savoury combo I’d recommend but at least he was trying new things!

 Anzac Day had us going Jewish (which maybe should have been done on Good Friday?) with Potato Latke Breakfast (a surprisingly textbook title from Mr Oliver). Latkes are a kind-of Jewish hash brown/potato pancake, and they were served with a poached egg on top. Son 2 again loved it and stole half, and I learned the right way to make a poached egg (my hubby’s) and the wrong way (mine).  I knew that poaching an egg in boiling water (and not those weird egg cup thingies) was a bit of a fiddle and so was prepared for the worst. I think I lucked out with the first egg, getting it all out in one dollop, and got a bit cocky/distracted with number two, which was kind of poured in from a height and in the end resembled a science experiment gone wrong. I put it down to years of pouring eggs  carefully to separate the whites and yolks, but at least I learned the ‘wrong’ technique early on!
 It all still tasted good – just lost points on presentation.

 So three from three with Jamie’s Easter Breakfast fest, and I’m looking forward to when I can attempt Mexican Breakfast (which seems like a thick tomato-salsa-esqe sauce with eggs cooked into it)  and Cowboy Scrapple, which I think is a bit like breakfast bubble n’ squeak to use the leftovers from last nights’ dinner.

 And it uses ‘grits’.


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