How To Do Breakfast Well


“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther

Ah, yes…breakfast. The most important meal of the day is what they call it. Now I could take issue and argue those two slices of greasy pizza immediately following that late night sixer after the kids are tucked in their beds is also in the running.

After all, without the cheesy grease, actually getting up and around the next morning for the “most important meal of the day” is a little tougher. And it’s not just me saying that, it’s science (look it up). I guess we could call the late night greaser a sort of support meal for the most important one, but I digress…All good family men should know…well…several things. How to do breakfast is one of them. If Gunther was right, it seems like it’s a pretty important one.

It all starts the night before with the aforementioned prep meal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a pizza pie; anything slightly unhealthy, heavy, greasy and good will do. Substitute your favorite guilty pleasure, but stay away from the sweet stuff. That Butterfinger bar will backfire on you, trust me. Also, go easy on spicy food for the prep meal. We need to actually get a good night’s sleep, and avoid 4:00 A.M. burning butthole syndrome (also scientific, I swear).

Once you wake up the next morning it’s time to take stock of the food you’ve got on hand. A good breakfast consists of four main food groups: potatoes, eggs, meaty goodness, and bread products. Now depending on what the pantry looks like, the potatoes and bread products are interchangeable. I highly recommend using both, but you’ve only got what you got. So if your last piece of bread was sacrificed to the kid’s half-eaten PB&J god, deal with it and move on.

Once you know what you’ve got on hand, first things first…let’s cook some potatoes. Why potatoes first? Well, there’s a very specific reason. They take the longest to cook. This matters because if we cook our meat and eggs first and then try to attack the potatoes, we wind up with cold meat and eggs. That’s just gross. So go with the potatoes up front.

Also, the potatoes prep your skillet. Yes, your iron skillet. What? You don’t own one?! Stop reading this and come back after you own a real man’s piece of cookware. Your meat and eggs turn out so much better in the pan after ten minutes of potato frying. Really helps with the non-stickiness of the situation.

Once you’ve got the potatoes diced and sliced, and assuming you had enough common sense to wash them off before that, toss them in the skillet, pour some extra virgin olive oil on top (because that makes them healthy), and turn up the heat. Don’t forget to add in your favorite concoction from the spice cabinet too. Cook them through, tossing and turning with your metal spatula, until they’re good and charred and crispity and crunchity.  At that point, they’re done. Put them on your plate and proceed to the meaty goodness.

As far as what kind of meaty goodness to use…it doesn’t really matter. Just stay away from all things fish. It doesn’t matter if it’s the traditional bacon and sausage, leftover taco meat or barbeque brisket from the night before. Just put it in the pan, cook it or heat it up depending on what it is, and when it’s just about done go crazy and add a couple eggs and a slice of cheese into the mix. This is also the point where we make up for skipping out on the hot sauce the night before. Apply liberally! We can definitely deal with lunchtime burning butthole syndrome…I mean, live a little man!!

Once you’ve got that all heated up and mixed together like the fiery mess of absolute tastiness that it’s going to be, stick it on your plate next to the potatoes and proceed to butter the toast that I forgot to tell you to put in the toaster at the same time you added the eggs into the mix.

All that’s left now is a big cold glass of milk, and a little time. Sit down at the table or on the couch assuming that SportsCenter is still on (of course it’s still on, they play that crap 24/7) and proceed to enjoy your creation.

And here’s the most important part…really enjoy it. Tune everything else out for as long as it takes, and savor the flavors. Don’t worry about all the crap you’ve got to get done after breakfast, just be in the moment with those potatoes and eggs. Meditate over that meat. Let that cheesy glue that’s holding it all together show you what true happiness feels like.

You’ll be a better man for it. I promise.

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