Whether it be fact or fiction, I am sure that everyone has been told at one time or another, 'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. Eggs and Bacon, the traditional English breakfast has often been reduced to an abbreviation of 'E and B'. As a child, the promoters for British Eggs brought forth a commercial featuring a football (soccer) player by the name of George Best (considered by many to rank up there with Pele, etc) who told a young lad that he always did his best after eating his 'E for B'. Breakfast was never optional when I was a child. It had to be eaten, and whether it was eggs or not, I would, or more to the point could, never venture outside the door without something having been digested.
However, like the game of football that the late, great Mr Best played, the English version of breakfast is somewhat different to the American. Attempting to explain a 'fry up', becomes less difficult when the word 'skillet' is used, instead of 'frying pan'. (Place all the ingredients into, etc, etc.) Explaining to my two friends whom I meet at the swimming pool, that waffles and pancakes in England are dessert, was somewhat amusing to them. I told them of my experience some years ago in England, long before my expatriation, when I ventured to ask for a waffle, without ice-cream, with a side order of bacon and eggs. The staff at the cafe insisted that as ice-cream was part of the menu item, they would have to bring it to my table, and could not 'hold' it, as is so often done with mayo. To say they crowded around the table whilst I piled all the extras on to the fluffy delicacy, and proceeded to pour maple syrup onto all, would not be much of an understatement.
Enjoying my e for b this week was done in a variety of ways. Last weekend, for example, they were fried over some corned beef hash; this morning I opted for the semi healthy option of a turkey sausage (as opposed to the traditional pork), but went for the counter-productive options of fried eggs, and a waffle, the latter having its own plate, just to give an indication to its size. (I am sorry, but the advertising campaign of 'whole wheat' when referring to waffles, does not indicate 'health conscious'! A waffle IS a waffle! It is batter pure and simple!) In my defense, my waffle did come with a small bowl (more of a small tea cup) of what is advertised as 'fresh cut fruit salad'. I am not sure whether the loan vine offering is put in for colour or texture, but it does not really warrant the word 'salad' being put before the word 'fruit' on the menu. Of course, 'served with fresh cut fruit' sounds somewhat more appealing than, 'includes a small cup of mixed melon with a grape! Notwithstanding the above, the breakfast was extremely delicious.
Whether due to a time restraint or some other factor which I fail to remember, over the past decade or two, my breakfast has been taken in two parts. Coffee first, then solids! I don't eat before leaving the house anymore, as I do not really feel like it, (unless I am visiting England, and staying with my mother!) and I have my first cup of coffee at Joe's. Occasionally there are delicacies to enjoy; I normally turn up on a Monday morning bearing baked gifts (the week's supply of home-made bread) and Gail sometimes brings something delictable from her freezer, or a bakery item she has purchased along the way. Otherwise, the first actual meal of the day is eaten around nine thirty, with the second cup of coffee. I am now living in the land of opportunity, and the opportunity to break free from past restraints include that of leaving the house without having first taken sustenance.
The breakfast options in Austin, (unlike the University of Texas' recent performance on the football field,) are very creative. The breakfast taco, for example, has got to be the most amazing creation ever to be invented (have I said that before?) Eggs, cheese and whatever other traditional (or not) breakfast ingredient you can think of, wrapped in a flour tortilla, almost beats the ground breaking conception of the sandwich, as the outer covering, (e.g. the tortilla rather than the bread) does not get soggy! I was recently amused as I heard myself say, 'Is there any hot sauce for my taco!' A sentence that I would most definitely never have used in the depths of the English Countryside, and although I am more familiar with the phrase, 'what's for dinner?', it has become more frequent to hear, 'what's for breakfast?' Although not expensive, Samantha decided that she would save everyone some money and bring in her own version of the great Texas offering. Carrying a crock-pot full of eggs, potatoes and sausage, she was welcomed into the office with fervent expectation. She also carried a packet of flour tortillas and a pack of shredded cheese. The hot sauce is a condiment always on hand, more so than salt or pepper. Everyone went back for 'seconds' and we all enjoyed our 'E for B', and even our process server George considered it one of the Best! Samantha was also dealing with her own conscience, as she had recently been heard to say, 'I really have a taste for biscuits and gravy', and then proceeded to make some soft flaky bites with thick white sauce that contained sausages. She telephoned me in a wild panic, exclaiming, 'I am becoming Americanized!'
The Great British Egg is perhaps still the best way to start the day, and the Great British traditions are still very much alive across this side of the pond. My husband had never experienced, 'egg and soldiers' (soft boiled egg with toast cut into fingers) until his English wife literally offered it to him on a plate! Now it has become an enjoyable snack, albeit normally on a Sunday evening, watching the game, rather than first thing in the morning, listening to the autopsy! However, the fact that most places around the globe offer 'all day breakfast', and a traditional American option for the opening kick after getting out of bed is Steak and Eggs, reminds me that 'Variety is the spice of life!'
This year's football season, although in its infancy on both sides of the Atlantic, has already caused many pundits to predict the end of term outcomes, and the commercials tend to veer towards what to consume during the game, rather than before. No longer are the players advertising what they consider best for an energetic performance, (our Georgie Best and his eggs are way out in left field - okay mixing my metaphors - baseball has come and gone, but you get the picture, or is that pitcher? I digress.........) but the fans are the ones letting us know what beer to drink to enhance our enjoyment of watching the players energetic performance! I would imagine that after a couple of six packs of whatever turns out to be your preference, the performance is irrelevant, and you can celebrate or commiserate, whilst you inebriate, and intoxicate! Beer for breakfast is also acceptable, I hear! Unfortunately, as well as his skills on the soccer field, Mr Best was also renowned for his passion of all things alcoholic, and he may have enjoyed the slogan, 'B for B', more so than the one he was called to make famous!
Looking out of the window, this afternoon, between breakfast and dinner, between Saturdays football games (both USA College, and English league) and watching the Houston Texans unable to 'pull it off' in overtime, eggs are the last thing on my mind (unless it is to throw at the ref!). The rain is tumbling down, and the temperature has taken a dive, (another soccer reference!) and I realise that the summer, like all good things, including the late, great Georgie Best, the Houston Texans chance of going to the Superbowl, must come to an end, I shall post this post and hope that it is as enjoyable as the six pack is to the fans, rather than the egg to the referee! Thank you for reading, and please tune in next week for ............. another story.