Thursday 9 February 2023

What did you have for breakfast?

I am not being nosy?   Most of you live alone so in that case you have just what you feel like having - porridge, cereal, crumpets, toast and marmalade - your choic e - to suit yourself.   If you are still 'two of you' then by now you will probably have reached a consensus or will each get your own and I imagine you sitting companionably in a favourite place and relaxing and chatting or watching the News.  And I think of John (Going Gently) with his 'bucket of coffee' - no problem.

Today's Times Two says that most heart attacks occur in the morning.   Writers today speak of the stress of getting children off to school - and even getting them up.   And the fiddle of getting breakfast when children all want something different.

And it immediately called to mind my breakfast as a child.   My Dad had already gone off to work when I got up.   I had to catch the half past eight bus into Lincoln, so got up at about 7am.   Just one call from the bottom of the stairs - no having to chivvy about getting me up.   Then it would be wash (in the bowl in my bedroom - no bathroom in those far off days), dress and go down stairs for my breakfast.   The table would already be laid - cereals(always Cornflakes and porridge in winter) and the toast rack full of toast and a pot of home made marmalade and butter.   A mug of tea completed the scene.   I ate it and got my satchel (packed the night before with my homework) and went for the bus- giving my mum a quick kiss on the way out.

No such things as 'sleep overs' in my day but I remember staying the night at my friends.   I can't remember why but I do remember that at breakfast (set in a similar way to mine) her cereal was Shredded Wheat and I adored it.   When I got home I asked my mother if I could have ShreddedWheat instead of Cornflakes.   I remember her telling me she was sure I wouldn't like it but when I said I had had it at M's for breakfast and she listened to me singing it praises, thought a bit and then said she would buy a box on her next order but I had to eat it all even if I didn't like it.   I promised and the next week a box appeared - I loved it and have done so ever since.

Now there is such a wide choice.    There were no Supermarkets, choice was limited to what was available in the co-op.   Sugar came in large sacks and two pounds was weighed out and then put into blue paper which Mr Clipsham, the manager, cleverly crafted in to a bag.

We ate well within the bounds of what was available (and affordable - we were never well off)- and we ate what was put in front of us.   My mother knew I didn't like fat meat so she always put my fat meat on her plate.  At tea time once a week she would use up all the bits of cheese, an onion and any tomatoes that were available (Dad grew them in his greenhouse).   She would grate the cheese, chop up the onion and the tomatoes - cook those gently until cooked, add the cheese and let it quickly melt.   Then she would break an egg into the pan and then off the heat beat the mixture until the egg was cooked and the whole became a paste.  My mouth waters to think of it.   It would appear on the table with a plate of home-baked bread and a dish of butter,   No need for anything else - by the end of tea the cheese paste would have disappeared.   The same goes for when she made a jar of lemon curd in the double boiler and it appeared with usually a few lemon curd tarts as well.

Now I think with the large Supermarkets and with mums taking the children with her often when she does the food shopping there is a lot of food bought on a whim and not used up.   In my teaching days when I went in for school dinners I used to notice how picky children were and how many of them just had chips.

Really there is little wonder that breakfast has become such a frantic meal - especially in a home where there are several children.

Especially - as the writer of the article says -  the children do eventually appear at the breakfast table -"underfed, underdressed but remarkably well made-up the girls eventually leave the house at T plus 40 in the sure knowledge they miss the bus and get a 'late' and parents adrenalin takes a while to subside.

Oh dear Miss Cleave (my old Headmistress) will be turning in her grave.



su-zee said...

My mum did something similar with the cheese baked in a bowl-no onion though as my Dad was allergic. It was a rare and special treat for a Saturday night tea.

Rachel Phillips said...

My mother was never particularly organised with breakfast. I think it has rubbed off on me because I have never been either. Sometimes I have something sensible and many times I don't. We had an egg and cheese bake thing with whatever was around like cold potatoes or mash thrown in and it ended up like a kind of deconstructed omelette. I don't know what a T plus 40 is.

am said...

I love your question, Weaver. Growing up in California in the 1950s, my sisters and I ate a variety of packaged cereals with milk on school mornings. We always had a glass of orange juice with our cereal. Here is a list of the dry boxed cereals I remember:

Corn Flakes
Rice Crispies
Raisin Bran
Frosted Flakes
Shredded Wheat (both miniature and regular size)
Post Toasties
Grape Nuts
Wheat Chex
Rice Chex
Corn Chex
Sugar Corn Pops
Rice Honeys

Shredded Wheat was my favorite, by far

We also had scrambled eggs for breakfast.

On Sundays, she would make waffles or pancakes or French toast.

Today I had a large bowl of oatmeal made with rice milk. Some mornings I have refried beans and tortillas or a tin of dolmas. I don't eat eggs or milk or wheat or sugar anymore due to health issues.

I love food and often ask the checkers at the grocery stores what their favorite food is. My current favorite food is dolmas.

What is your favorite food?

Susan said...

As a child, my mother bought Carnation Instant Breakfast and we'd stir the chocolate powder in to a glass of milk. Supposedly, this drink supplied the nutritional values required for a breakfast; at least that is what my mother used to say. She disliked cooking. Today, I have oatmeal with mixed berries and walnuts most days and alternatively an egg with toast and jam. Plus coffee or tea.

Anonymous said...

So good to see you back on form with your longer posts Weave. You must be feeling a lot better.
Thanks to commentor am for reminding me of the cereals we had when growing up. I had quite forgotton Wheat Chex - one of my favourites.
Mum indulged us with chocolate Coco Pops - not healthy, but offered as an option in the usual well set breakfast.
We had to be very organized, as I had to take two buses to school, (no school drop offs in those days), and Mum caught a bus to work while Dad drove into the city.
Every weekday, she was the first to get up, shower and set up and cook the breakfast, often fried eggs and bacon.
The bathroom was always such a busy place, and we knew we had to make things work like clockwork.
She made lovely lunches like corned beef and beetroot sandwiches, or ham and pickle. We don't have sit-down cooked school dinners here. A lot of children now linger in the mornings and make things difficult. We wouldn't dare. - Pam, Aust.

Heather said...

I have porridge and a bit of fruit every morning during cold weather, otherwise a little granola topped with bran flakes and a banana, and probably something similar during childhood. I had to catch two busses to get to school so had to be well organised. Luckily my mother was a good cook and could make a tasty meal out of most things, even during the war with all it's shortages.
My own children didn't want a big breakfast so I saw no point in making them have one, but they took a midmorning snack and had a school dinner.

Bob said...

We are certainly influenced by what are lives were like as we were growing up, as indicated by your love of shredded wheat. My mother insisted I have breakfast, which was almost always scrambled eggs, and the sad truth is she was not very good at making them. Accordingly, I will not eat eggs at all today, of any type, except hard boiled.

Tasker Dunham said...

I have Shredded Wheat every day too, and have done for 60 years unless I have porridge. My wife likens it to eating hay.
The other reason for taking so long in a morning is spending at least half an hour fiddling with a phone. I don't have one, and shave cut out all but essential email.

gmv said...

Cherrios was my favorite but sometimes my mom would buy miniature Shredded Wheat which I liked too. In the winter it was always oatmeal which my mom made quite thick like mush. I didn't care for that, but when I was an adult and made my own oatmeal thinner with lots of cream and brown sugar I loved it.

This is such an interesting post.

Anonymous said...

My mom liked Shredded Wheat with a dab of butter and salt, run quickly into a countertop toaster oven. My dad ate it with milk and a sprinkle of sugar. I was never fond of breakfast cereal, probably because I didn't like milk and sogginess so I tended to have toast and fruit unless eggs had been cooked in which case we were required to eat them. I remember once having a hard boiled egg that was very off and my mom said she had noticed it didn't smell right but wanted to be sure so gave it to me. No more eggs for breakfast for this girl after that! Now I have plain yogurt with bran and chia seeds mixed in over what ever fresh fruit is around. Very tasty and filling.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign my name to the above!


crafty cat corner said...

My choice for breakfast is almost always porridge, it sustains me well until lunch.
On the subject of cereals,we often had puffed wheat at home but it seems unavailable now, I wonder if others have tried to find it?

Nelliegrace said...

In the 1950’s and early 60’s, breakfast was often bread and milk, a thick slice of bread cut into cubes, served in a bowl with hot milk, a dab of butter and a small sprinkle of sugar. We had porridge in winter.
Mum was good at singeing the toast, burnt bits were scraped off.
Fried bread was a favourite with homemade jam.
Cereals were a rare treat. There was one box of either Corn Flakes, Rice Crispies, Weetabix or Shredded Wheat. Portions were quite small.

marlane said...

As a follower of eating Keto I do not eat breakfast because I am not hungry for it. My main meal is lunch and then a snack or two until bedtime and then start over again. Most of my life I ate rolled oats with milk and sugar for breakfast.

Victoria said...

What no one likes Wheaties? They are my all time favorite with either raisins or sliced bananas on top.

Today I had coffee and toast sprinkled with a mix of cinnamon and sugar.

Granny Sue said...

I want to try the egg and cheese dish you described. It sounds delicious.
Breakfast here is the two of us. Sometimes we have the same thing, but often we each make our own. We like to vary it up. Some days Honey Nut Cheerios, more often oatmeal. I make granola and I eat that frequently, mixed with Greek yogurt and fruit. Occasionally I make pancakes or waffles, and we have eggs two or three times a week since we have hens. Sometimes i make grits with them and in summer,, always sliced tomatoes. Toast with my homemade jam is breakfast some days too.The other day I just had a slice of blueberry banana bread. We usually add a glass of juice from what we've put up--tomato, apple, or grape. Can you tell breakfast is our favorite meal?

Joanne Noragon said...

When I ate breakfast in the '40's, it was oatmeal, toast, milk. Now my breakfast is oatnut bread with strawberry jam and coffee.

Karen said...

I still have either Shredded Wheat or poached eggs at every breakfast. Love them both.

Hilde said...

Breakfast in the 50s was bread, butter, homemade jam and coffee. We children got cichory coffee. I was amazed to see that you can buy cichory coffee again, it´s now organic, healthy and of course expensive.
I don´t think there were any cereals in the shops at that time. The first time I tried corn flakes must be in the mid 60s at a friend´s house, and I didn´t like them. But I ate them nevertheless because they were supposed to be something special.
Now we have oatmeal, yoghurt and fruit. I have a bucket of tea, my husband has coffee. And he has a second breakfast between 9 and 10, bread and butter, a croissant or a breadroll.
Hilde in Germany

Cro Magnon said...

Yesterday I enjoyed a tin of Squid in Ink on toast for my breakfast, in fact I posted about it this morning. This morning I finished last night's Chicken Curry.

Derek Faulkner said...

Every morning of the year I start the day with a large bowl of Flahavan's porridge, many of the other fancy cereals have too much sugar in.
No coffee because I rarely drink it.

Virginia said...

Breakfast as a child in the late 50s, early 60s, was Weetbix, or Cornflakes, with milk and sugar. Toast with butter and marmalade, or Marmite/Vegemite. My father used to prepare grapefruit the evening before, and by the morning the sugar had formed a delicious crust on the top. A holiday treat. And tea, or coffee. At boarding school it was just cereals, but the 'treat' was oven cooked sausages on Sundays. Now my husband invariably has 2 pieces of toast, one with marmite the second with honey. I have 2 Weetbix, with milk and a bit of brown sugar. In winter we go for porridge, with brown sugar and milk. When the grandchildren (5 & 7) come to us for breakfast I either do porridge, or a Smoothie - Banana, yoghurt, frozen NZ berries and milk. At home their mother adds a tablespoon of Protein powder.

Goodness, I hadn't thought about our grapefruit for years. Now I couldn't have them as they're off limits with a couple of my medications.

Librarian said...

On week days before work, I have a bowl of muesli, usually with some fresh fruit, blueberries or a banana. On weekends, when O.K. and I are at my place, we have an elaborate breakfast that is not only as late as most people's lunch but also as sumptuous: fresh rolls and croissants, sometimes bacon and scrambled eggs or sunny side up on toast, always cheese and some ham or salami, always a pot of honey and a pot of jam on the table, even if we don't always have any. For drinks, during the week it is just coffee and water. On the weekend, it is Earl Grey, sometimes a glass of sparkling wine, and a glass of tomato or orange juice.

When I was a kid (1970s), my Mum made her own muesli mix from basic ingredients she bought in big bags. No raisins as my sister didn't like them, but always nuts, oat flakes, often sunflower seeds, and we added cocoa powder and sugar at will - we were both slim and always running around, so all that sugar seemed to have done us no harm.
A jar of Nutella would be a feast, and not something we could have every day.

angryparsnip said...

Like to eat what was leftover from Dinner or my favorite Rice with Tuna and a few Umeboshi,(Pickled Plums).

Heather said...

My Nan, who lived with us made marmalade so as a child I would have that on toast or marmite, sometimes half a grapefruit and weekends often fried breakfast or a baked egg with cheese on top.
I'm with Cro, curry for breakfast if there are left overs, this week my daughter brought over reduced pan au chocolate, I have had avocado on toast and this morning I fancy porridge, but no food group of off limits :) My husband, bless him brings me a cup of Earl Grey before he walks the dog.

Frances said...

I am eating my usual breakfast at the moment. In a small bowl I put a first layer of oats, then a handful of sultanas, followed by a layer of Grape nuts and topped by some granola and a handful of blueberries. It then has a little pot of Actimel added on and a drop of milk to swish out the pot. Eaten at the computer catching up on friend's blogs. Dog walk in half an hour. Husband is upstairs in his bed eating similar.

Rachel Phillips said...

Some of these are starting to sound like too much information!

Tom Stephenson said...

I agree with Rachel. I have a friend who always eats two slices of toast with peanut butter and chopped chillies for breakfast. This has been going on for about 40 years. Strange man. P.S. if this doesn't go into your spam Weave, please be aware that some of my comments definitely have recently.

Anonymous said...

Righto Tom, that's my breakfast sorted for tomorrow, and perhaps start decades of an addiction that will see me out, if 40 years is anything to go by. Will put my bland oats away to the back of the cupboard and raid the chillie bush come sunrise. -Pam.

Rachel Phillips said...

On reflection after reading this lot I am glad my mother was never organised with breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in the 50's and 60's, Mom got up at 4;30 a.m. and put the pots on, 1 for porridge and 1 for tea. Dad left at 6 for work. We were called up at 7 to eat the muck and drink the most God awful tea. I left home at 21 and to this day can't eat porridge (still feel the lumps) and tea hasn't touched my lips since either. Today I eat whatever I fancy at the time. Barb in Canada

The Weaver of Grass said...

T plus 40 Rachel is how The Times described it - I presumed it meant that that was the next bus time - in which case the girls would be 40 minutes late for school. I can't imagine that happening in my day

Thanks everyone - enough ideas for breakfast to last me for the rest of my life. Do rather fancy a croissant Cro (altough those bought here never taste like those bought in France. Also Pain au Chocolat)

Barbara Anne said...

Before school when I was a child, my mother gave me a small glass of orange juice, cereal with sliced banana on it and when I'd finished that, there was a plate with scrambled egg (not a whole egg for me as I was [and am] petite), a piece of bacon, toast, and a glass of milk. I was skinny, too, so must have had a great metabolism then. Now I have a bowl if Cheerios, sometimes blueberries or sliced banana on top, and coffee. Occasionally I'll add a toasted English muffin or Cinnamon Raisin toast.

It's been so interesting to read of all the different breakfasts your readers have!


Debby said...

My favorite breakfast is a mug of hot coffee and toast topped by a slice of tomato or avocado. Rarely more than that. My husband favors raisin bran topped with 1/2 a banana. William loves a mandarin orange and 'cheesy bread', two slices of toast topped with sliced New York extra sharp cheddar cheese and popped in the microwave long enough to melt the cheese.

Jennyff said...

My mum always set the breakfast table before she went to bed, I did the same until I retired and sometimes still do. Breakfast is my favourite meal and usually the same, muesli and toast with homemade marmalade. As a child I can remember going to stay at my grandmothers farm in the summer holidays and always being served for breakfast, in bed, a mug of tea, buttered bread snd tomatoes still warm from the greenhouse, I loved it.

VC said...

I work early shifts often (frontline NHS) so usually have my breakfast in my first break at work. Usually I have overnight oats or muesli, yoghurt and banana. I ALWAYS have a black coffee. Early starts are a killer without a mug of balck coffee.

VC said...

Black not balck - blame it on the early starts lol!

Chris said...

My daughters morning . Up at 6.45 child no 1 is already up, breakfasted and prepared to be run to the bus stop 2 miles away . She goes to 6th form college 12 miles away. Mean while child 2 is up, dressed and getting own breakfast. Daughter goes out to car with child 2 joined by another child and are run to school 2 miles away. If child no 1 is still at the bus stop, no bus , daughter picks her and her friends and drives to the college. She then comes home gets her breakfast, walks dog, then starts her job. I’m tired just typing all this.

Country Cottage said...

Breakfast was cereal or toast on weekdays but my dad's buttermilk pancakes as a treat on the weekend.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I'm bad, I never eat breakfast!

Debby said...

Perhaps it is because I am grandma. My adrenalin doesn't get rushing. William is a dawdler. We made him a list of things that need to be done. We hung a clock in the bathroomn. He does okay at getting himself together. I make his breakfast for him. I toss out reminders but leave him to manage his time. He tells me when he's ready to go and we leave. This morning, he did forget his laptop. His adrenalin was all over the place. He was sure he was late. I pointed out that it was not yet 8. He squawked and fussed.

We decided that this weekend would be a good time to sit down and do some fine tuning on his list.

Jules said...

I probably should, but never usually sit at the table for breakfast. I'm always in such a hurry. At this time of year I like to eat porridge with some fruit compote stirred through. X

Col said...

As a child in the fifties and sixties, breakfast was always porridge with the 'top of the milk', followed by toast and jam.
Nowadays, we often start the day with tea for husband, coffee for me, and after being awake for about an hour or so, have toast, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs. Husband has two of everything, I just have one of each item. Some days we have porridge, with added dried fruit and a bit of cinnamon, delicious!
I'm also one of the strange people who eat Weetabix with butter and jam, it's an odd thing, but very nice! X

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone - ineresting topic

Bea said...

I so enjoyed reading about your childhood morning-time routine. We ate Shredded Wheat at our house when I was little. I don't recall liking it very much as I felt it became soggy quite quickly in milk. Cold cereals were usually the norm--Corn Flakes, Rice Crispies, Kix, Grape Nuts and Cheerios. Weekend were for eggs and bacon or pancakes.