Breakfast, The Most Important Book About The Best Meal of the Day starts with an A.A. Milne quote of a conversation between Piglet and Pooh, which immediately catches your attention. Just as, “What’s for Breakfast?” is the first thing Pooh says to himself in the morning, many of us have that same attention span—and nothing can happen until we are fed!
It’s Time To Cook!
Then there is the forward by Hugh Acheson, Top Chef judge and owner of several restaurants in Atlanta. He says we’ve lost breakfast into a “justified adaptation to how we conduct our busy lives.” He admonishes: “It is time to cook. It is time to say no to brunch lines and oat bars . . . (and) craft a memorable meal that will change your morning life.” And this is the book to help you do just that.
Yes, there are recipes. But the editors of Extra Crispy have compiled this book as an exercise in breakfast knowledge. Want to know the evolutionary history of serving eggs for breakfast? Or the different between brown and white eggs? You’ll find it here. You’ll also find new ideas on how to bring variety to your favorite breakfast items, as well as an introduction to new ingredients, at least for many people.
Beloved Mystery Meat
Take, for instance, the section on “Taylor Ham, New Jersey’s Beloved Mystery Meat.” Some call it pork roll, and it may actually be the mythical mystery meat of my college cafeteria days (homage to Mr. Gunn). I was introduced to this meat as a newbie, rather than a NJ born and bred user, just as the cookbook authors were. In my case, I married into the Taylor ham family. Apologies to Taylor, but we also bought the Case brand. In fact, we had a roll of Case pork roll in the freezer, and after reading this cookbook just had to bust it out and fry it up.
No one is calling this health food. And it’s preparation—with gooey melted cheese and soft rolls—doesn’t help any. But, as one of the authors says, “Taylor Ham sandwiches have filled a hole inside me I didn’t even know was there.”
Trust me. Go to New Jersey. Buy it, grill it, eat it. It’s a food experience.
Of course, this book doesn’t stop there. They have another chapter titled, “Why Livermush Matters to North Carolina.” In other words, they showcase “normal” food that much of the world has not yet discovered.
Had Baked Oatmeal, Lately?
They’ve also put some unusual twists on familiar recipes, like making Baked Oatmeal with sweet potato in the recipe, or making a Cinnamon-Sugar Dutch Baby served with vanilla ice cream—instantly making ice cream for breakfast seem like a “no excuses” opportunity.
The chapters are a delightful read, and it’s a cookbook definitely unlike any other. If you love breakfast, or know someone who does, it’s a great gift idea, particularly if you make one of the recipes as part of the deal. Now the only problem is not whether to eat breakfast; now, it’s which one of these recipes suits my mood today?
And, if you can’t decide, keep the book handy. There are a lot of mornings ahead.
©2018 Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. Published by Oxmoor House, an imprint of Time Inc. Books.