Sunday, 11 October 2009

A proper breakfast

“Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast,” opined Oscar Wilde, the Victorian prototype of Stephen Fry. I can imagine that Oscar’s excuse for the lack of his customary sparkling wit at the breakfast table probably owed more to his thirst for Champagne the previous evening than simply not being a morning person.

However, you are what you eat and breakfast, being one of the most important meals of the day, plays a big part in the type of person you are. Ever wondered why your boss is a total prick and such a miserable git in the morning… it’s all down to Shredded Wheat or whatever other gerbil food the sad bastard eats when he gets back from his early morning jog.

Now, I have to declare at this juncture that I am a muesli eater… but that’s not through choice. I still believe in nuclear power, sending small children up chimneys and not buying Fair Trade products (along with countless other illiberal Jeremy Clarkson thoughts) but that doesn’t stop me eating horse food (with added raisins and nuts) each morning. Dr Samuel Johnson quite sensibly pointed out that the oat is ‘a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people’. Frankly, my muesli munching is at Mrs TM's behest. She claims my irritable bowel demands it, along with ludicrously expensive probiotic drinks and live yogurt that’s sharp enough to strip paint from skirting boards.

Of course, if it were my choice I’d opt for a proper breakfast… the Full Monty. You know the sort of thing – a brace of kippers or a plate of kedgeree followed by a proper English breakfast of poached egg, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato, fried bread and an optional slice of black pudding. Incidentally, note the absence of baked beans and hash browns on that list, both being an American abomination that has no place in a true gentleman’s breakfast. A proper breakfast will be rounded off with plenty of buttered toast, liberally spread with Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade and washed down with plenty of English Breakfast tea or fresh Java coffee.

Now before any doctors, dieticians or nutritionists start shaking their heads, tutting and sucking their teeth while muttering words like furred arteries, heart disease and stroke, let me remind them that it was a ‘proper’ breakfast that put the Great into Britain. Do they really believe for a moment that someone who existed on muesli for breakfast could ever have built the Forth Rail Bridge, won the Battle of Britain or discovered DNA? Of course not!

All this breakfast talk is backed up by research that has tested the effects of various types of breakfast and the impact on blood sugar levels and the ability to stave off hunger. A true power-breakfast should consist of energy-giving carbohydrates, protein and fibre in the right proportions. One of the best ways of achieving this ideal balance is by eating a cooked breakfast. And if you need any more convincing, then spend a few minutes hanging around a health food shop. If you can pick out anyone who looks healthy instead of lethargic, pasty faced and sickly, then I’ll show you a person who’s simply shopping on someone else's behalf.

Oh well, I’d probably better stop now as I think I can hear nurse on her way with my muesli, skimmed milk and orange juice. Yum!


  1. I thought this true on first glance TM, thought you had had a real breakfast, my half awake witless mind was happy for you. A quote even crossed the mind, you can resist anything but temptation, and this breakfast could not be resisted, think I will take my witless brain and shuffle back to bed, pretend I was not here.

  2. LOL @ Ann,

    Well TM I gotta agree with much you said but .... Baked beans on a breakfast plate, American as it might be, is an essential ingredient on my Full Monty. You can keep that tomato too :-)

    Well what shall I have for breakfast? Not decided yet. Hope your Orange juice is freshly squeezed and chilled to 2 deg. C.

    bets o' luck ol' chap.

  3. Ann, Do not feel too bad, I at first though WTF? Did TM get a special breakfast as I know the NHS would blow its food budget serving this as a regular food lol.

    I agree with Dave, baked beans are part of the Full Monty, I love a big cooked breakfast with sausage, egg, bacon or ham steak, tomato, mushrooms and some offal (kidney or liver)..

    It is currently 4pm and I am starving, these thoughts of food are making me worse :( I am holding out for dinner, good ole BBQ :)

    If I knew where TM was I would fly over, and BBQ him an Ozzie meal (steak, sausages, zucchini, potato, onions, garlic bread, and a cold beer to wash it all down (none of that fosters crap either, something like a good bitter)

  4. Oh! :-(

    I had hoped that was a picture of your actual breakfast this morning.

    I have been reading Loren Cordain's book on the Paleo Diet. It makes very interesting reading. It is based on the theory that our digestive systems are the same as when we were hunter gatherers and before the agricultural revolution. It follows from this that lean meat, fruit and veg are good for us, but cereals and dairy although cheap are not so good for us nutritionally.

    The conclusion being a full English breakfast is better for us than cereal and milk.

  5. Ah, so it was not a dream, I was really here. Anon, garlic bread, drool, drool, Dave, orange juice, freshly squeezed, it was worth getting up again to read of these delights.

    TM, so how was the breakfast, gorgeous, best ever, I will get my coat on the way out.

  6. My full English isn't complete without a trio of suateed lamb's kidneys and the slice of fried bread.

  7. Mmmmmm!!! Fried Brekkie! YUM!
    I remember the days when cooked brekkies were available in NHS establishments and not just for staff!
    Might have to go and grill some bacon and fry a couple of eggs now I have seen that pic!
    Shame it is all just a dream at the mo TM! Don't give up! One day soon all that can be yours.
    Did I read that your chances of staying anonymous were fading? Hope you can keep blogging as this is a really important issue you are highlighting here is a fabulous way.

  8. Given the awfulness of the food (fodder?) served up on this website, I didn't think it would happen...but reading this today has made me drool - been a long time since I've had sauteed lambs kidneys..yum. I really wish you'd had that for your brekky Mr TM.
    Chin up

  9. I got a bit excited when I saw this! Shame you didn't get this. What are you normally served for brekkie?

  10. NHS food was like this picture all those years ago when I had my children in hospital. Those were the days when you were able to follow a lovely meal like that with a cigarette (in hospital, not having to creep outside). Now when you want a fag break you have to go off premises!

    from "she who has to remain anonymous - at least for another 500 odd effing days" but as anyone from work would suss it's probably me because I have a dirty great countdown clock above my desk I shall sign myself Gill

    PS keep up the good work TM - whether "they" discover who you are or not

  11. Oh look! Gasp! ... a cooked breakfast! Oh how marvellous, all that good protein and a nice gooey egg, that will buck up TM's spirits in a big way, it's good to se ....... what say? It's what? It's not? Is it? What!

    Hopes dashed ONCE again. Sigh.

    Ah well, not long til lunch. Oh, wait .... (oh but you have secret stashes of delights brought to you by your lady wife .. thank GOD.) We still want to poke fun and make rude remarks about the lunch though, so stand by. Batteries charged. Upload facility primed.


  12. As commment from a hospital dietitian - we are not all members of the food police! I have the ability to supply cooked breakfast items to those who need the extra nutrition - but probably not for long in these cut back times! I'm sure the staff will continue to be provided with this food - at a price.