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Getting the breakfast habit

May 28, 2015
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People are often surprised when I tell them that I have a cooked breakfast every morning. When I hear them tell me that they ‘simply haven’t the time for it’, I wonder if they envisage me getting up at in the dead of night to stoke the fire and warm the skillet, or with a plate heaped full of fried food.

In truth, it adds little more than 10 minutes onto my morning routine and that includes eating it. Not much more than assembling a bowl of cardboard cornflakes or buttering up some toast.

A typical morning features a sausage and one or two poached eggs. I emerge downstairs, fresh from the shower and bundled up in my dressing gown. Into the oven (gas, no need to preheat!) go the sausages, which I’ve defrosted the night before, and on goes the timer for 20 minutes. Then I set a pan of water to boil, feed the cat and disappear back upstairs to get dressed, and do all that primping and painting that a girl has to contend with every morning. Oh, and wake the husband up.

As the noise of the timer summons me back downstairs, the water has reached a rolling boil, so I splash in a drop or two of white wine vinegar and sprinkle with fine sea salt. Then I crack the desired amount of eggs into separate ramekins (a trick described to me by a lovely chef that has improved my poached eggs immeasurably) before tipping them into the bowling water as quickly as possible and reducing the heat to low. The timer is reset, this time for a mere three minutes.

Whilst I’m waiting for the eggs to cook, I prepare a plate with a sheet of kitchen roll, ready to catch the excess water when I hook them out of the pan and gently set them on the plate. I also get the sausages out of the oven and pop them on the plates, allowing them to cool down enough for us to be able to scoff them in record speed. There is work to be done, after all.

Then I plate the eggs up and away we go.

Other quick favourites for breakfast are omelettes; scrambled eggs with sausage or bacon; boiled eggs (they can be busy boiling whilst I’m upstairs dressing) with ham and a blob of mayonnaise; and for a real treat, poached eggs on thick buttered toast, made from a good-quality granary or sourdough bread. Obviously the latter is less low-carb, but it’s too good not to eat occasionally!

At the weekends, when we eat a bit later and are a bit hungrier, we’ll usually have something more akin to a traditional fry-up, but without the baked beans (too much sugar in the sauce), toast and hashbrowns. Sometimes we’ll have Eggs Benedict, minus the muffin. I do love a making a buttery hollandaise!

Oh, and just in case you’re one of the many people I hear saying ‘I’m not hungry when I first get up’, then I can assure you that neither was I. It took a little time (couples of weeks) before it became a habit…I started off with just an egg here, a couple of rashers of bacon there… Before long, I was waking up hungry and looking forward to breakfast.

Are you in the breakfast habit? If so, what’s your favourite morning treat?

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