20 October 2006

Three things I love about every single day, #1

1. Breakfast

I am a big breakfast fan. This was not always true; in college I was known to skip breakfast frequently. But now I can't imagine a day without it. In fact--I am somewhat chagrined to admit this--sometimes I even get up purely because I am looking forward to eating my cereal. (I have a good friend for whom this is true as well, so I know I am not alone.)

I am above all fond of crunchy cereals, of the kind that do not wilt and mush wimpily when introduced to just the right amount of soy milk (no drenching, as this would counteract crunchiness). My choice of crunchy cereals tends to adjust to where I am living. To wit: when I lived in Boston's North Shore region, I bought amaranth flakes. Then I moved to Indiana and alas, in Indiana, amaranth flakes were no more, so I turned to Heritage Flakes, beautifully crunchy and slightly sweet. I also, from time to time, enjoy other more widely available varieties of cereals such as Grape Nuts (oh so crunchy, delicious with craisins) or Cheerios (can't beat that nostalgic taste, great with banana).

Now that I live here, the cereal options are drastically reduced, because I think it is mostly the expat community that eats cereal for breakfast. I keep hopping to and fro, trying to find a type that fits the criteria, among which I tried first fruit-n-fibre style flakes with raisins and other dried fruits and nuts. Sometimes OK, but the flakes often wimp out and there are too many raisins. Then, there are the Special K varieties. Same complaint, minus the raisins. The most satisfying options thus far are the "crunchy meusli," sometimes with the added bonus of chocolate (example: Leader Price Muesli Chocolat)! For which I feel guilty, but not guilty enough to desist from purchasing.

Flying in the face of my love of crunchiness, I am currently also enjoying hot oatmeal in the morning from time to time. And from there (since this is a post about what I love every single day, not only the days that I eat cold cereal), I could wax poetic about American breakfast foods: bagels, eggs in every form, fakin-bakin, pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, and the majestic yet humble home fry. And then, a veritable rainbow of pastries, including the genial American muffins and cinnamon buns, and that wonderful French invention, croissant au chocolat (see above re: breakfast foods and chocolate bonus).

Last semester a friend and I met once a week for breakfast to critique poems and for general encouragement on our MFA theses. I suggested that we try a different breakfast place every week, as I was acutely aware that my last months in Bloomington were dwindling down. I highly recommend this practice to anyone, as we became acquainted with many breakfast places and ate some truly delicious food. Plus, breakfast is usually the best way to eat both heartily and cheaply.

Before I go, one more thing. I think the topic of coffee (and the question of national coffee habits, the joys and challenges of adapting to them) should be reserved for another post, but it should be noted that coffee is also one of the reasons that "Breakfast" is #1 on the list of things I love about every single day.

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