I am suffering from a pretty serious hangover – and nothing in the fridge to nurse it with. Our fridge is completely empty apart from a few leftover dregs. We’ve been back for 3 days now and still haven’t managed a trip to the shops. What little remains in our fridge has long started growing legs. Which means a swift disposal as soon as I can drag myself out of bed. Given I have no sustenance to nourish or cure my current state this could be a long and very painful day. My German landed the night shift last night and still isn’t home. I’m banking on him bringing me some food. Soon.
Breakfast is an odd thing. It is the only meal of the day that one can happily be excited about eating the same thing over and over again with little variation. Bread. Cereal. Eggs. Coffee. Etc. But on days when I’m not battling a wicked hangover, breakfast tends to be an occurrence that varies wildly in priority according to what time it is, who I’m with, and if I’ve got some place to be. Growing up, breakfast was a pretty unquestionable affair. It was always there, without fail, waiting on the table until we were dressed and ready for school. Once I left home for the big world beyond, I found that breakfast was much less likely to be ready and waiting for me in the mornings. Fending for one’s self tends to expose what ‘really matters’. In this case, sleep more than food. More specifically, sleep more than breakfast food. I’ve never really been a fan of breakfast that entails muesli or cereal, toast, jam, cheese, and joghurt. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these things. Just not right when I wake. When I wake, I’ve just spent 6-8 hours sleeping. So I’m hungry. Not the kind of hungry that can be dealt with cereal or jam on toast. But the kind of hungry that demands real food. So Asian breakfasts are much more my thing. Rice. Fish. Stir-fried vegetables. I am definitely the type of person to eat the leftovers from the night before for breakfast, provided there are leftovers. I tend to cook way more than is needed for dinner just to make sure that my breakfast is taken care of too. Two birds with one stone, as it were.
If I have to be somewhere in the mornings, breakfast tends to be pretty non-existent. There is no “quick-fix” in the mornings. No gulping coffee whilst running out the door. No toast in hand. This isn’t because I’m not hungry. It’s because I’d much rather eat lunch anyway. And take my time doing so. But on days when I have no place to be and there is someone to sit at the table with, breakfast is sometimes my favourite meal of the day. There was a time at university that breakfast became the most important meal of my day. In the run up to final exams, it became a part of the sleep-eat-study ritual that the lovely Saffi and I diligently followed. We would get up in the mornings and head to the pool. Swim a few lengths and head back to the house where we would have scrambled eggs on hot, buttered toast. There were always a few thinly sliced tomatoes and spring onions drizzled with olive oil as well. If we were feeling particularly extravagant, there would be slices of avocado to go with it. This truly was our breakfast of champions. After breakfast we would get our things together and have marathon study sessions in the university library into the wee hours. Then the next morning we would get up and do it all over again. If I’m missing her I will always make scrambled eggs.
Breakfast is, ultimately, a pretty intimate affair so you make sure you spend it with someone you love. You might go out for dinner or drinks with some people, but not share your breakfast with them. Breakfast people are special people. Like my German, who has just come home with croissants.