For me it’s the best meal of the day. Obvious biases aside, there are so many, many reasons why breakfast is important. After eight to ten hours overnight without food, your body needs a nutrient hit to jumpstart the brain and muscles. Research has found people who eat breakfast have a better attitude toward work, higher productivity and better ability to handle tasks that require memory. Breakfast eaters also have more strength and endurance, as well as better concentration and problem-solving ability.

I’m not sure the muscle strength and endurance part applies too strongly right now [not much effort goes into sitting on the couch and typing], but the end of my Master’s thesis project is drawing near and my brain is getting a serious workout. Hence the importance of breakfast! And these two were all the better because both were special treats — way better than dry cereal and milk.

Day One: Papaya is often considered a fruit with an acquired taste. Musky, sweet, sour, and aged cheese are words sometimes used as descriptors upon tasting it for the first time. A light sprinkle of lime juice really enhances its flavor. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt, drizzle of honey and chopped toasted macadamia nuts and you’re truly in for a taste of the tropics. Or breakfast nirvana as I like to think of it. No wonder Christopher Columbus called the papaya “fruit of the angels.”

DSC02437Three pounds for ONE dollar! Is that not the steal of the year? Only at a Mexican market back in Wisconsin could I find papayas almost this cheap — and those were on clearance because they had moldy spots. Not surprisingly, the papaya’s earthy, soft, sweet flesh is a delicacy we usually don’t enjoy. This wedge, however, came from a 2.5-lb bright tropical green football that set us back only $0.88!

While we’re enjoying individual-sized portions for breakfast, I imagine it would be quite stunning served on a platter family-style at a brunch or breakfast gathering — each wedge scraped clean of seeds and filled with all the trimmings. Also you could cut away the skin and cube the fruit into a large chilled bowl, with the toppings on the side.

Day Two: Many of you, I’m sure, are fully acquainted with crumpets. That English teatime treat, often served with tiny silver dishes of clotted cream and jam. For those of you who are new to crumpets, if you can imagine an airy, somewhat spongy, yeasty English muffin, you’re in the ballpark.

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The key to enjoying these delicious little breads is toasting them until deeply golden, then slathering them generously with butter. I went so far as to add mesquite honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Pure bliss!

Crumpets [makes 8-10]

Printable recipe

1/2 c milk

1/2 c boiling water

1 package active dry yeast

1 t granulated sugar

1 1/2 t salt

1 3/4 c sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 t baking soda, dissolved in 1 T hot water

Combine the milk and boiling water and cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast and sugar and allow to proof. Blend the salt and the sifted flour, combine with the yeast mixture, and beat thoroughly for several minutes with a wooden spoon or paddle attachment on a stand mixer. Let the batter rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk and rather bubbly. Add the dissolved baking soda and beat into batter. Allow to rise again until doubled in bulk.

Spoon the batter into buttered rings placed on a moderately hot griddle to a depth of about 1/2″. Cook until dry and bubbly on top. Remove the rings, turn the crumpets and brown lightly on the other side. Let cool. To serve, toast and positively flood with good butter.

From James Beard’s Beard on Bread

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