I think breakfast is my favorite meal. I’ve always liked eggs and toast (a traditional American breakfast). I also like coffee and one of Sweetheart Al’s fresh-from-the-oven scones. (Yes, he makes them from scratch and they are delicious!)
In parts of China, rice porridge with dried pork is a popular breakfast. In Burma, it’s fried rice and boiled peas. In Switzerland and parts of Germany, cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, breads and fruit hit the spot. The French like croissants and coffee; the English eggs, sausage, baked beans, tomatoes and toast.
I’m not alone in my love of breakfast. I read recently that in the U.S. fast-food breakfasts were a whopping $57 billion a year business back when the economy was roaring.
McDonald’s, Burger King, Denny’s and others served up pancakes, eggs, bacon and coffee as fast as the early morning breakfast crowd could order them. Taco Bell offered breakfast burritos. Starbucks added oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches to its morning baked goods menu.
But the fast-food breakfast bubble has burst. As unemployment rises, breakfast sales sink. Millions of Americans no longer get up and head out for work in the morning, grabbing an Egg McMuffin and a cup of Java just before merging with the morning rush hour traffic.
And even those lucky enough to still have a job are pinching their pennies more intensely.
7-Eleven said breakfast sales were down 8 percent last year. Industry wide, breakfast sales have dropped about 4 percent.
These statistics serve up breakfast blues for the fast food industry. But maybe dropping the fast food breakfast habit is a small bright spot in our unemployment misery.
You can save time, money and hassle by eating cereal and fruit at your own table. Make your own toast and its fragrance will fill your kitchen, delighting your senses as you slather on the jam. Even scrambling your own eggs has got to be healthier than what comes in a fast food container.
And you can enjoy breakfast at your own pace. Read the newspaper or the Bible while you linger over that second cup of coffee. Share some conversation with your spouse or children – you might like getting reacquainted.
The Great Recession isn’t over yet, but try not to let it ruin your breakfast.
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