The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Fix Something Special for Breakfast. . .

Not a photograph of my own breakfast handiwork this morning, I'm afraid, but the picture makes the point in a visually pleasing way.

Slow down on the weekends and fix something a little special for breakfast, either for yourself , or your loved ones.  While I don't do it every Saturday or Sunday, today, I felt like fixing something a bit tastier and more interesting than the usual Special K or Frosted Mini Wheat breakfast cereal that constitute the Young Master's and Grand Duchess' breakfasts most of the time.  Yours truly limits himself to black coffee during the week, and my clothes fit more comfortably these days as a result, thank you very much.

While there are various things I am capable of in the kitchen, my favorite weekend breakfast routine is to whip is some good old, cholesterol infused thick slice bacon, fried eggs, and buttery toast with some kind of delicious fruit preserves along with orange juice or grapefruit juice and fresh coffee, which we enjoy together at the dining table sometime between 10 or 11am.  The Grand Duchess also likes a half of grapefruit, which I prepare for her using one of those special grapefruit knives with the bent tip, to cut carefully around each section, which makes eating it much easier and more enjoyable.  These days, the eggs are usually scrambled and well done since that is what the Young Master and Grand Duchess prefer, and it's easier than trying to prepare fried eggs two different ways in two different pans.  

The preferred fruit preserves on toast are not too icky sweet and either raspberry, strawberry, or home-made Johannisbeeren (red or black current preserves) sent to us each year at Christmastime from our close family friend Anita in Germany.  Once in a great while, the Grand Duchess also manages to find a jar of Dundee thick slice, bitter orange marmalade, which is my personal favorite.  The butter is unsalted by the way, which seems to work much better with fruit preserves, jelly, or jam than the salted variety.

These weekend breakfasts have a long history behind them.  My maternal grandfather almost always rose early and fixed breakfast with coffee for the rest of the family during weekends and holidays.  Or even on snowy days during the winter when bad weather prevented him from commuting into corporate headquarters in Manhattan from our home in rural Berks County Pennsylvania, or catching an early flight on Monday mornings to somewhere else for the week.  Whenever I fire up the stove, put on the bacon, and make the coffee, the wonderful aromas quickly take me back 30+ years to my boyhood and teenage years when the house was filled in the early weekend mornings with the scent of Granddaddy's breakfasts under preparation in the kitchen and woodsmoke from either one of the two working fireplaces, or the woodstove.  

I can also recall Granddaddy telling me about waking up as boy in the 1920s and 30s in his own grandparents' home -- in which German was still spoken at that time apparently although the family name had been changed from 'Schmidt' to 'Smith' sometime during the 1914-18 War -- in rural Davidson Country North Carolina, to similar olfactory delights.  While the Grand Duchess and I have yet to replace the flue in our own chimney here at Stollen Central, to make similar fires a safe possibility, I like to think I am carrying on the tradition of hearty, home-cooked, and tasty breakfasts prepared and enjoyed at a slower pace than typical Monday through Friday life.  It's a warm and comforting thought, for me at least.

The point of my sentimental walk down Memory Lane is, though, that average guys working to kick up their everyday style should become comfortable and skilled enough in the kitchen to assemble a nice meal, or three, during weekends and special occasions.  It's an ideal way to slow down in our overly scheduled world of 2015, and a way to do something nice for the special people in your life. . .  or just yourself if you live alone.  

Here's the mantra I suggest you learn and practice then. . .  Slow down, log off, unplug, cook a nice "real" meal, and enjoy!  A genuine homemade breakfast (or brunch) on Saturdays and Sundays at a properly set breakfast table is a vast and extremely civilized improvement over the usual bowl of cold breakfast cereal, slurped up in a hurry while standing over the kitchen sink the rest of the time.  Wouldn't you agree?

-- Heinz-Ulrich

1 comment:

Carlo said...

Always like sound advice! There is nothing as relaxing as a cooked breakfast with the family on the weekend that's for sure!