30 June 2009
As you may know, I love breakfast with the intensity of a million nuclear bombs exploding on the surface of the sun while Iron Maiden rocks out by playing The Number of the Beast from a stage made of battle axes on nearby Mercury. I think the simplicity and deliciousness of fried eggs, bacon, and toast may represent my favorite meal of all time (along with all my other favorite meals of all time, of course.) Throw in some heavily-poured Greyhounds, a touch of hash browns, and maybe even a little morning sex in the kitchen, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a way to start the day. Unfortunately, the lucky lady lowering her standards to give you that morning sex may not view breakfast the same way you do. Where you see sausage, she may see a fruit salad. Where you see grits, she may see a blueberry muffin. And where you may see a perfect excuse to pair eggs, potatoes, and butter in a food prayer answered, she may see you making her pancakes, because she didn’t let you pee on her last night for nothing. I don’t know why, but some nefarious and surreptitious group has infiltrated our once nitrate and cholesterol-laden meal and made it an ersatz dessert, replete with powdered sugar and tiny chocolate chips of shame. I’m sorry, but I just can’t abide by such grotesquery.
Breakfast is supposed to be about eggs, first of all, bacon a close second, and potatoes and toast rounding out the quadrangle of deliciousness to be consumed in the a.m. Other local variations are acceptable – and even encouraged – as long as they look they were cooked in a kitchen at Denny’s. Having something sweet at eight in the morning is, frankly, gross; unless you’re talking about cuddle time with me, that is. I don’t like pancakes, I hate french toast, and muffins make me want to strangle a puppy even more than I already do – which is a fucking lot. Regardless of my particular (and unassailable) tastes, there comes a time in all of our lives when we will have to suck it up, make some batter, and griddle-up some flapjacks with stuff in them. “Why?” you ask? Because, otherwise, all the pretty girls will leave us. After all, pretty girls fucking loooove sweet shit for breakfast. In fact, you might even say that they “eat it up,” if you were to insist on being totally hilarious about the matter. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, nobody but the pretty girls like it, but we’ve got to do our part, here, if only on behalf of our enormous, glorious penises. And, just so you don’t go making shitty-ass breakfast desserts for that hot piece you roofied last night, I’ve got a handy guide for your morning-afters.
Pancakes have “cake” right there in the name, so it’s no surprise that I hate them worse than you now hate that Chinese symbol you had tattooed on your bicep ten years ago. Sure, you lather ’em up with butter before you eat them, but you also have to pour on liquefied sugar to make them palatable, which is the mark of all inferior foodstuffs. Plus, one time when I was a kid, I was forced to eat an order of pancakes that, looking back on it, tasted like the guy behind the dumpster in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Seriously, they tasted like nightmares. But, again, my opinion doesn’t count – nor should it – when I’m cheferating for some beautiful blond baby. If our ladies are willing to put up with our inane ramblings, our regretful manners, and the attendant jealousy that comes with dating such heartbreakingly beautiful men, then the least we can do is make them some gross breakfast food.
I wasn’t aware that I was the world’s greatest pancake maker until I made them for the first time, a few weeks ago. The irony is not lost on me (note: this is not “irony”.) And, while I’m willing to impart my pancake-making techniques, you must promise me that you’ll cook them while clutching a rose between your teeth, just like I dreamt about you last night. For the batter, mix flour, salt, sugar, yogurt, baking soda, club soda, and eggs. Mix, without over-mixing, and spoon out a couple of table spoons on a buttered-up nonstick pan. Flip when little bubbles appear, and cook a few minutes more. Feel free to add blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, or nuts, because this is America, dammit!
Like most things French, the eponymous breakfast dish is deceiving. “I like bread,” I think to myself. “I like cream and eggs, too – what could go wrong?” A lot, you damned inquisitive psyche. Namely, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Seriously, folks, if you want bread pudding for breakfast, just say so. There’s no need to beat around the bush about it. I mean, you don’t see me trying to justify my 8:00 a.m. greyhound drinking by telling my guest that it’s healthy because it’s almost 20% juice, do you? Of course you do, you Helios-like semi-Deity, because that’s exactly what I do. Then I start yelling, and pose the following: “What, I slave over a hot stove all morning, after registered scientisting all week, but I can’t have a morning cocktail? Is it so bad that I want to take the edge off, first thing in the morning? Don’t forget, I had to wake up right next to a living, breathing reminder of how God-awful my life has become – I think the least you can do is forgive a little nip to ease me into the day. What are you, my fucking parole officer? Did you let that guy you were fucking behind my back have a morning cocktail? Did he get to have a mimosa or two? Or were you guys too busy, you know, FUCKING BEHIND MY BACK?!?! Jesus Christ! My mother was right, I should never have started dating a girl from my AA meeting.” Anyway, dunk thick-sliced brioche or challah in a shallow dish filled with milk, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs, and sugar, on both sides. Cook on a griddle until it looks like French toast. Seriously, can you believe that bitch back there?
I’m admittedly spit-balling, here, but I think this shit’ll work. Take the above pancake recipe (note that I’ve left out all measurements to make it less confusing – you’re welcome) but instead of using sugar, don’t use sugar. Take half the yogurt and mix with some sour cream. Add some parm, cooked bacon, and scallions. Griddle that bitch up. Now you can have a nice homogeneous meal with your sexy counterpart, even if only on a macro level. Either that, or you could just go with my other alternative: TCP’s Big Plate of Bacon.
In spite of all that delicious angst back there, I love cooking breakfast for other people in the morning. Not only does it give me the aforementioned excuse of drinking heavily at an otherwise socially-unacceptable time, but it also affords me the opportunity of making my favorite meal of the day for my favorite people. After all, if you’re at my house at 8:30 a.m., you’re either a favored guest, a hooker I’ve locked up, or are currently stealing my television because my reclusive nature makes it seem as though I’ve been on vacation for the past week. In the case of the former most example, cooking something good to start someones day off is as satisfying as this sentence is cheesy and sentimental. In closing, pancakes are gross.