Birthday breakfast

I wrote about breakfast the other day, harking back to the 1950’s and before with Constance Spry. We went out for a family breakfast yesterday to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, and what a different type of meal we enjoyed. There was plenty to choose from on the menu – plenty of different drinks, hot or cold, and plenty of breakfast items too. After much consideration we had:

  • avocado on toasted sourdough bread, with smoked salmon, baby tomatoes, and pea shoots to garnish (this was my meal and I had extra hash browns which I love!)
  • full English breakfast with just about everything – eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomatoes, toast etc
  • eggs benedict x2 (my husband’s all-time favourite)
  • American pancakes, big thick ones, with Biscoff sauce and Biscoff biscuits – and because it was the birthday girl, hash brown on the side!

Many of the items which would have been on offer as a typical breakfast when Constance wrote her book were absent, no kidneys, no kippers, no smoked haddock, no kedgeree, no stewed fruit – especially not prunes! The toast we had was from sourdough bread, not mentioned by Constance!

One thing which is still a favourite, but which doesn’t appear on the menu we had today, is fried bread, and Constance gives two recipes:

  1. take a plump piece of bread, dip each side slightly in bacon fat and then grill
  2. dip each side quickly in water without allowing the bread to soak. Fry in very  hot bacon fat, pressing the middle of the slice down into it, and when the edges become brown turn the slice over (The underside will be found to brown very quickly.) Again press the middle down into the fat. Drain on paper.

I was going to add that Constance wouldn’t have used avocadoes – lazy thinking on my part that they weren’t available here until the 1970’s. She has recipes for it as a first course, in salads, with melon cucumber and tomato, and also guacamole! She describes it  as ‘a particularly delicious and epicurean dish’!


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