Golden Arches breakfast
Every so often MrsDOF and I wake up early (usually because my legs are painin’ me & I wind up disturbing her) so there we sit with an extra hour or so on our hands. The usual strategy in such a case is to throw on some clothes and head North on US 51 to McDonalds for coffee and one of their highly produced breakfasts. They’re not bad as long as you don’t compare them to actual food…
You wouldn’t expect it, but McDonald’s coffee is really very good. The bitter overheated solvent they were brewing up a few years ago has given way to a first-class cup just a little too hot (exactly how I like it. MrsDOF puts cream in hers.) I actually prefer McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks. Their “cappucino” drink is another matter, though. It bears as much resemblence to real cappucino as artificially-flavored orange soda has to a tree-ripened orange.
MrsDOF usually goes for the “breakfast burrito,” a precisely machined facsimile of eggs, peppers, cheese and sausage wrapped in a perfectly round imitation of a burrito. Not surprisingly, it’s quite good. Not great, nor memorable. If you eat one as a child you won’t write nostalgically about it later in life… but McDonald’s isn’t shooting for that. They’re serving breakfast, not fond memories; and you can count on the same level of quality every time.
I usually get the “Big breakfast” or whatever they call it – perfectly uniform pancakes, flawless scrambled eggs, a calibrated sausage patty and a tasty, flaky biscuit with a packet of excellent grape jam all packaged in styrofoam so you don’t forget where you are. Again, while this is a good breakfast (in the sense that I can make no specific criticism of it and the quality never varies) it will not cause me to embrace the McEmployees and say, “Thanks for the memories!” It’s an extremely competent breakfast, which is exactly what the giant corporation wants it to be.
So I’m feeling pretty satisfied with that until I read Cajun’s description of a country breakfast which has left me drooling uncontrollably. While I’m not exactly a city-slicker, I’ve had a lot more of the supermarket and the chain restaurant than the farm kitchen. Thanks a hell of a lot, Cajun!
Here’s most of Cajun’s post:
I was raised in the country, offspring of country type people. Sure, we bought milk at the grocery store, but for a while my great uncle down the road had a milk cow who was producing enough every day for his house, my great-grandmother’s house, and us. And we drank raw milk.
No, bunky, it wasn’t still warm. Uncle Bush would milk his little Guernsey cow twice a day and refrigerate the milk in glass gallon jugs. That little cow was pampered just like some old rich broad’s poodle. And I’d drive down there and get a couple of those jugs every couple of days.
Let me tell you something. Even the milk marked “whole milk” at your grocery has been stripped of its cream. The dairy that packages that stuff only leaves enough cream to meet government regulation for labelling it as “whole”. You pay extra for the rest. The stuff I got from Uncle Bush was WHOLE! And since it was not homogenized, the cream would rise to the top of the bottle. Grandma would skim some of this off to make home-made butter. We’d usually just shake our jug to mix the cream back into the milk. Once you’ve tasted THAT, factory “whole” milk tastes watered down. And miracle of miracles, nobody died from a product that the government sees fit to protect us from today…
Another thing we got fresh was eggs. Some folks make a big deal about “free-range” eggs. I grew up never knowing any different. Grandma and us, we ALWAYS had chickens. Those chickens would range the pasture all day and come back in the evening to be fed. The eggs they laid were brown. And fresh. You want to know HOW fresh? I’ll tell you how fresh, because I personally know how hard an old hen can peck your arm when you’re trying to slide your hand under her to get the day’s eggs out of her nest. Those fresh eggs were terrible for boiling because they FILLED the shells. And when you cracked one into a skillet to fry, the yolk stood up high and round, and the while clung around the yolk in a tight circle. And the yolk was a deep orange-yellow. To somebody raised on country eggs, that stuff from the market is clearly third-rate. You don’t know how long it’s been from the chicken to your fridge. Of course, USDA never inspected Grandma’s chicken house…
I could go on and on about country food.
We always raised a garden. Dad’s springtime pride was his potato patch, and we’d anticipate the advent of the first crop of tiny “new” potatoes, boiled with butter and parsley. Because those potatoes had been in the ground only a few hours before.
Dad and his brother, my Uncle Pete, used to try and outdo each other with tomato varieties, and if you’ve never walked into the garden, picked a tomato fresh off the vine, and eaten it right there, you, dear unfortunate friend, have missed the tomato experience completely.
And it goes on and on… amazing, isn’t it, that human civilization got this far without the government saving us from Uncle Bush’s milk cow…