In last week’s edition of “Frivolous Dissertations on Breakfast,” in which I discussed my thoughts on the ideal cereal shape, it occurred to me that one edition simply wasn’t big enough to contain the sheer mass of frivolity on the subject that I wanted to share. More than that, it seemed terribly prejudiced of me to assume that cereal was the only breakfast food worth talking about. After all, non-college students eat breakfast, too (I think) and if I expect to be taken seriously in debates on the subject of breakfast, I should have an informed opinion on more than just the issues that matter to me.
Also, breakfast is far from being the only context in which cereal can be consumed. (Since last week, the notion of having cereal with alcohol was brought to my attention. I’m told that the density of grain in Cheerios creates an “alcoholic napalm” effect that is strongly not recommended with anything stronger than Listerine. In response to the suggestion of Froot Loops mojitos, I proposed St. Patrick’s Day Guinness and Lucky Charms, for no other reason than that I think it would be funny.)
As part of a likely-futile effort as of late to eat more healthily, I’ve converted from frosted Pop-Tarts to unfrosted, off-brand toaster pastries. Part of the logic behind that move was that breakfast foods really shouldn’t have frosting, although considering my tastes in cereal (once called “sugar unadulterated” by Bill Amend in “Foxtrot”), that may turn out to be completely hypocritical. Intriguingly, I’ve also caught wind of an as-yet unverified claim that unfrosted toaster pastries have as much sugar as frosted ones — they already have 50 percent more per pastry than a serving of any of the marketed-to-kids cereals I have in my room. Scandalous, indeed.
Also a point of breakfast contention is the matter of eggs and their preparation. How civilization came across as many ways to cook eggs (or not cook eggs, if you’re training for a championship boxing match) as we have is beyond me, but there are probably at least a dozen, and although most of them seem to taste exactly the same, the subtleties between them seem to be enough that the pickier of people could justify getting snippy if they aren’t cooked just right. The eggs, that is, not the people.
Personally, I prefer eggs cooked “over medium,” meaning that the eggs are fried so that the egg white is fully cooked but the egg yolk remains mostly liquid. I used to eat them “over easy,” where the entire yolk and some of the white are runny, but eventually found “over medium” to be somewhat less messy while still offering the same gooey, dippable goodness at its center.
Besides, considering how much I like staying inside my comfort zone, risking salmonella infection is as devil-may-care as I get these days. Those who know me well already know about my double-sniff test approach to milk, even when it’s ultrapasteurized.
Alternate sources of grain-slash-starch in your complete breakfast range from the pancakes/waffles/French toast family to oatmeal to hash browns (in either patty or shredded form). If you’re at a point in your life where colorful boxes and anthropomorphized animal mascots don’t really catch your attention anymore, or if you’re inclined to aim for a breakfast feast on the weekends, some or all of the above could be your source of complex carbohydrates.
Of course, if you’re more like me, then depending on your degree of laziness on any given weekend morning, you may be leaning more towards a pseudo-breakfast comprising entirely of snack foods. In my defense, my loving relatives sent me a crate of multigrain chips last semester, and I fully intend on making the most of them — and what better way than to make them part of the most important meal of the day? As for the half a bottle of soda and the Make-A-Dinosaur fruit snacks, well, I don’t really have an excuse there.
Well, barring any tangents on bacon vs. sausage (sausage links are better than bacon are better than sausage patties, although I typically don’t have meat with breakfast), I suspect that exhausts my logical thought processes with regards to breakfast. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some exercising to do. My breakfast of barbeque-flavored potato chips, Cheetos, and a juice box isn’t going to compensate for itself.