“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last,
“what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast,” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
I'VE become a bit obsessed with breakfast.
In bed at night, when I know eating is done for the day, I think of the next meal - the reward, almost, for sleeping and "fasting" through the night.
Maybe it stems from a lifelong obsession with cereal (which I could happily eat anytime of the day) but for me, breakfast - and of course it's a huge cliche - really is the most important meal of the day.
You should eat it like a king, then have lunch like a prince, dinner as a pauper.
Breakfast then, is an opportunity to gorge, to feast, to fuel the rest of your day. It is, to echo Winnie the Pooh's thoughts, a chance to start anew, to begin again: "This breakfast is the beginning of a productive and lovely day" you might say to yourself, before probably procrastinating on Twitter/Youtube/Netflix or going back to bed.
In recent months I've made peanut butter pancakes, Dutch babies, overnight oats, trendy chia puddings, butternut squash "porridge" and of course many ubiquitous slices of toast with avocado (apparently it's the food closest, nutrient-wise, to breast milk. Maybe that's why the world is crazy for it).
Breakfast is what I planned a recent trip to Copenhagen around - bowlfuls of thick porridge oozing with dulce de leche or spiked with liquorice sugar, or brunch platters with bread, pastries and yogurt.
One of my most important life lessons is to book accommodation when travelling based on whether breakfast is included (a rarity these days). I think of the great breakfasts I've had when it was: in a Hollywood hostel with DIY pancakes, in the guest house for orphanage volunteers in Cambodia with condensed milk on bread.
And I think of when it wasn't included and of the meals I've enjoyed as a consequence: the French toast, fruit and maple syrup eaten on the streets of San Francisco; the waffles with bacon and "Elvis" milkshake in a New York diner; the cold slice of Roman pizza eaten hungover on the way to the Trevi fountain; the famous bacon and egg naan with bottomless chai tea in Dishoom.
Breakfast for most people these days, if they have it all, is probably a rushed piece of toast, or grabbed coffee and flapjack on the way to work. On days off you can of course indulge and take the time to make a full cooked breakfast, or muffins, or yogurt piled with granola, fruit and honey, or all of the above as a proper three-course meal. And you can sit by the window feeling the sun, or watching the rain, with the papers or the radio; or in bed; or even in perfect symmetry with someone else - and take the time to enjoy it.
Because wise people, like John Gunther, know that "all happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."