turning breakfast into a political act
Although my shopping list now regularly features naughty but nice things like bread, wine, fancy biscuits and every dip imaginable, I still remember a time not too long ago, when the thought of eating potatoes scared me so much, let alone brie. After all, I am a girl who was, and is still so damn shallow that I do want to look good by society’s standards. I mean, who doesn’t? However, after years of unnecessary grief, I’ve finally learnt that it should not come at the cost of my freedom.
The funny thing is, I had never really associated food choices with freedom until I stopped eating meat as a protest against the subsidies that the meat industry was receiving, especially when taking into consideration how it’s so hard to eat healthily if you are not in the right socio-economic bracket to have true choice at your disposal.
However, this piece is not about the injustice of life, nor is it a conspiracy exposé. This piece is about how breakfasts forced upon me by a friend first turned into a habit, and then later, into a source of pleasure. By breakfast, I do not mean an overpriced weak coffee shop latte frantically gulped out of a paper cup on the way to class/work/the gym, but rather, a full meal with several courses, preferably consumed with good company. A necessary indulgence that far too many skip (or otherwise enjoy to a far lesser extent) in their pursuit of a trim figure.
Be it as simple as toast with conserves, fresh fruit and a strong brew, or as elaborate as a spread that also features yoghurt and cereals, a traditional fry-up and freshly baked blueberry muffins piping hot out of the oven, breakfast can only be improved with an al fresco setting and a view of the sunrise.
I think it was the simple act of taking time out right at the start of the day to just sit down and enjoy a meal. Not only does it challenge a lot of notions that the developed world has about how to live life, such as the all-too-familiar work before leisure, not being greedy and indulgent, especially first thing in the morning, etc; a small part of me also enjoys the idea that my dining companion is willing to sacrifice an extra twenty minutes of sleeping in to partake in a morning tête à tête over a steaming cup of English breakfast tea.
In essence, breakfast is like a big “bollocks to you” to the world, asking – no, demanding – it to wait because believe it or not, it will still be there after your forty-minute interlude. It is not leisure before work, it is (or at least it ought to be) a necessity and feature of everyday life. Nor is it greedy and indulgent, if you learn to only savour your fair share.
Above all, it’s a final reminder before you step out the door to go to work, of WHY you are going to work.
(Image credits: 1.)