Breakfast, food ....

Breakfast is a preparatory meal. Not in the sense that you have to go to any special effort to make it, but it does prepare you for the day ahead. Many of the recipes in this book don’t take much longer than eating a bowl of cereal but they take a little extra thought and maybe the breaking of long-formed habits as well as the fast. Many can be whipped up in as much time as it takes to blow-dry your hair or debate what to wear. It’s a matter of making it important. Breakfast deserves it,” introduces Greg Duncan Powell in his recently published book: Breakfast, food worth getting out of bed for.

Utterly worthy of its glittering title, Greg’s breakfast recipes propel an often under-rated meal into dizzy heights. Apart from instructing how to boil the perfect egg, recipes include a range of energising muesli’s, porridges, cereal concoctions plus hot, hearty, and often spicy affairs along with gorgeously decadent fruity loaves. But, most importantly, everything I have prepared from this book has been an enormous lip smacking success.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and according to the old proverb: breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine as a pauper. Beginning each day with a healthy breakfast is the key to good health, staving off mid-morning snacking and like any meal it is at its best when relaxed. With just a little forward planning this (seemingly impossible to some!) scenario is achievable and it is quite amazing at just how quickly this can become the daily norm; and really, none of us should get out of bed for anything less.

Conveniently divided into 7 impressive chapters, Breakfast ensures breakfast will never again be mundane:

Gruel to Grits; “Like so many great inventions, Dr Kellogg’s original intention was corrupted and instead of being used for good the new breakfast cereals became a tool of evil. Sugar was added in the interests of filthy lucre and fussy kids. By the 1950’s, packaged breakfast cereals were almost half sugar.”

Find recipes for a variety of different muesli’s including the Basic Bircher an eclectic Toasted Muesli and a nutty Crunchy Granola but also less usual ideas too. These include Sticky Rice with coconut milk, Couscous with Dates and Nuts, Nordic Rice Porridge and a tasty, rib-sticking Modern Kedgeree which replaces the traditional smoked haddock with salmon fillet.

Industrial Strength; “The big brekkie has lost its way. It seems now that only the horny-handed sons of toil can live the big breakfast dream.”

Don’t believe it; temptation shall certainly overcome any saintly intentions. Luckily, many of these dishes are ideal for breakfast, brunch, and lunch or supper time. With food this good, it would be a crime to limit consumption to just early morning. Bacon and Jolly Boys intrigue me; soft pancakes topped with bacon and described as, “an English solution to the conundrum of how to make bacon and eggs when you’re short on eggs.” With just 1 egg, a little milk and 4 rashers of bacon it is possible to feed a hungry flock.

Tortilla, but filled with spicy chorizo and creamy cannellini beans, an awesome BLT which is actually a BLAT and ‘Nude’ scrambled eggs; and having tried the latter I don’t see the possibility of preparing it any other way!

Silver Service; after robust Industrial Strength, lower the tempo to bring a sparkle to the eyes of a loved one. I’m hoping that one day, my shining knight will surprise me with Greg’s take on coddled eggs: Coddled Eggs with Salmon Roe or failing that, Eggs Benedict followed by home made, ‘G’ Rated Crumpet. Divine! If you have never attempted crumpets before, give it a go. Apart from being simple, they are simple and a vast improvement to any leathery pre-packaged varieties.

By now, I guarantee you will be engrossed in Greg’s quirky wit as well as the recipes. I laughed out loud reading his back page summery:

“I truly believe that human existence would be much more pleasant if more importance was put on breakfast. Most of the ills of the modern world can be traced back to three things: not enough sleep, not enough sex and not enough breakfast. While this book can’t do much about the first two, it does aim to change the latter.”

The remaining chapters, Hot Stuff on Toast, Petit Dejeuner, Sweet Science and the rather scrumptious Breakfast Beverages continue in the same delectable manner but, I confess to Sweet Science being my own particular favourite: A variety of comforting sweetened fruits, Yogurt Loaf, Naishie's banana Cake, Ag Cake and a variety of pancakes. These loaves and cakes are delicious at any time of day though served at breakfast time, do start the day rather decadently. But, I'm certainly not suggesting a pre-dawn rising - they freeze beautifully. Slice, wrap and freeze then pop into the microwave to defrost as desired and breakfast is quite literally, on a plate.

I urge you to try these sample recipes which I think will convinced on what a truly beautiful and useful book Breakfast is. Most recipes are deliciously transferable to lunch and suppertime, but to me the great treat is serving such gorgeous food for breakfast. The perfect start to the day, everyday. Click on the potographs to be taken directly to the recipes and enjoy!

Breakfast, food worth getting out of bed for by Greg Duncan Powell

Published by Murdoch Books, Ltd. Price GBP 25

Photography by Alan Benson