Friday, April 2, 2021

I'm not kidding, breakfast is one of the highlights of my day

About five years ago, I took a business trip to Europe. My daughter Elissa, being the adventurous traveler she is, decided to tag along (and paid her own way, to her credit).

That trip took us to some very fun places, including London, Frankfurt, Southern Bavaria, and Barcelona.

The food was all around very good, but we had a special culinary fondness for the two German destinations.

Actually, what we had was a fondness for was German breakfasts. The morning spreads at our hotels were full of delicious, carb-laden treats, fruits, outstanding coffee, and even various meats. We always walked away from breakfast feeling satisfied.

The German word for breakfast is "Frühstück." It's pronounced with that semi-breathy 'r' that comes from the back of the throat, and of course the 's' sound is pronounced as 'sh."

We never bothered saying the 'r' correctly, but the 'sh' part was easy enough, so we always referred to it as "froo-shtuck."

One evening when we were in our room, Elissa sighed and said, "I wish it was froo-shtuck now." And I did, too. That's how much we looked forward to those breakfasts.

Breakfast remains my favorite meal by a wide margin. And as I have recounted here before, I eat the same thing every day, virtually without exception: A cup of cooked plain oats, a banana, and coffee with half and half.

Somehow I never get bored of this breakfast. If I happen to be having breakfast in a restaurant and/or am traveling, I order the closest equivalent off the menu.

I know it sounds bland, but it's what I like. And it makes me happy.

Which in large part is the point of food, right? Many of us develop unhealthy relationships between food and comfort, but seeing it merely as fuel doesn't feel like the right approach, either.

Somewhere in between is a fulfilling mental, physical, and even emotional connection between what we eat and the happiness it gives us.

My non-descript little breakfast routine never fails to make me happy, so I stick with it. Even today, thousands of miles away from the ancestral home of my German grandma Bertha Spitznogel, I still sometimes find myself wishing it was Frühstück in the middle of the afternoon.

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