I had cake for breakfast this morning. A big-ass, honking slice of Ocracoke Fig Cake, made by my good friend Andrea Weigl. She made it for last night’s Stir the Pot potluck dinner fundraiser to benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance, and there was nearly half a cake left when Andrea was about to depart. So I cut off an extra large slice and took it home. This morning, slightly groggy from staying up too late (and an amazing cocktail using radish bitters by Gary Crunkleton), I found myself not wanting my usual breakfast of dry cereal or oatmeal. I wanted something easy, something sweet, and something to soothe the stomach. I knew I had to run 4 miles at lunch time, so I could handle the calories.
And so, I ate the cake. All of it. And I’m glad I did.
It’s funny how it’s OK in our world to eat all kinds of sweet things for breakfast. Breakfast cereals (at least the ones I really like) have always been sugar delivery devices. We load tons of syrup on waffles and pancakes. We’ll eat a donut or other pastry. But we just don’t eat cake or pie for breakfast. Well, we do, but always with a touch of guilt, as if we just did something horribly wrong. Why is it merely decadent to eat a chocolate eclair for breakfast, but you’re being a bit over the top if you eat a piece of Boston Cream Pie? An apple turnover is a standard breakfast treat, but not a piece of apple pie.
And when was the last time you saw a slice of cake, a piece of pie, ice cream or some pudding as an entree on a breakfast menu? You don’t. These items are desserts, and under official menu-writing and restaurant regulations, they can only be eaten after lunch and dinner.
Who are we fooling?
And so, I’m proud to have eaten cake for breakfast this morning. Couldn’t have had anything better.