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Begin day eating ‘Breakfast Like a King’

By Paul Suplee,

In a panic, I realize that I have slept through my alarm.

I’m getting way too old to do this, a standard practice of many teenagers.

Yet, here I am, trying to brush my teeth, get dressed and write another installment in my little saga on earth.

I consider grabbing a bowl of cereal, and then I realize that I have not had cereal in the house for a couple of years, so scratch that. That’s out. Oatmeal?

I can’t even tell you how old those oats are. I better shy away from those. And why haven’t I thrown those away yet? Ah yes, another genetic trait from my late, great mother.

I remember the piles of expired groceries when we cleaned out her house, but that’s a generational thing. I still have some of the spice jars from the ’60s … that she was still using up to 2014.

How about an omelet? No, I don’t have time or motivation for that, but it takes me back to something I wrote about 16 years ago (how does that happen? Where does the time go?) and I chortle just a touch.

I reminisce the words of the great master, Chef Escoffier: “The theory of the preparation of an omelet,” quipped Escoffier in his 1902 treatise Le Guide Culinaire, ‘is both simple and at the same time very complicated, for the simple reason that people’s tastes for this type of dish are very different.”

As for me, I have spent decades listening to laymen discuss the improbability that they themselves could properly cook an omelet, almost as though the fabled omelet were a rarely seen animal on the Serengeti; photographed by but a few, and elusive in nature to the common man.

At the end of the day, Escoffier basically summarizes, and I paraphrase, that an omelet can only be properly prepared in three ways; underdone, done or overdone. That still makes my laugh. Basically, he is saying to give the customer what they want, regardless of how you personally think it should be done.

But what am I rambling on about? I must leave in 30 minutes for work. Sigh, do any of you have these issues in the morning? In the old days, it was more getting the kids ready for school that was the hinderance in us getting ready for work.

Now it’s just me, and I’m stumbling over my own feet. And as I do so, the dog just stares at me blankly, wondering why I have not fed him and why I’m so stressed.

There are no more Legos to step on, or random skateboards in the kitchen to trip over, just trash from the dog who knows how to open the trash can for late night snacks. I usually put a pan on top of it, but I guess I forgot last night.

But I digress, back to the task at hand. Breakfast.

Whatever I cook, it has to be quick, easy and filling. Surprisingly I have always disdained a big breakfast, but as I get older, I am starting to enjoy and understand the importance of a good start.

Years ago, I had a trainer tell me a simple saying and I have no idea where it comes from, but it is not mine. Basically, the idea is to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

In doing so, you are setting your aging body up to go into your fast (sleep) without an overfilled belly, allowing your body to assimilate all those glorious nutrients you have ingested throughout the day.

And in the morning, when you break the fast (how did I not know that this is where the term ‘breakfast’ comes from until I was about 40 years old), your body is ready to appreciate a good, full meal.

As I inch closer to being able to move into a retirement community, which I could in two and a half months, it is time to start taking my eating habits a bit more seriously and responsibly. Plus, I’m getting tired of cooking, so I’m going to keep it simple today.

I typically keep ground lamb in my freezer for random hankerings, and a buddy of mine gave me a bunch of venison recently so I have to make a choice between the two.

Either way, I am going to keep it simple. I know that I have time to make an omelet, but I’m on the run. I have a class to teach and animals to feed. Easy is the rule of the day.

Breakfast Like a King

serves 2

12 oz. Ground lamb or venison

1 avocado, halved

juice of 1 lime

fresh berries, as needed

2 whole eggs

Hot sauce of your choice, as needed

  1. Cook the meat, adding seasoning to your liking. Personally, I started using Tajin when we were in Costa Rica the last time, and it has stayed in my cupboard ever since.

And now that they have a hot sauce (It’s not very hot, honestly) it is as much a staple as Hank’s has been over the years.

  1. When the meat is cooked, place in your dishes, and then scramble the eggs and put on top of the meat. Top with berries and half an avocado on each plate, and squeeze the lime juice on the savory bits.

Paul Suplee is the owner of the
boxcar restaurants and is also
Senior Lecturer of Culinary Arts at UMES.