The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, June 02, 2006

"Call of the House of Rasher": In Defence of the Local Shopkeeper, by Hashley Brown

As I quietly surveyed the sunrise over our grand metropolis, steeling myself to rouse the nation with the balletic follies of Gounod, my thoughts strayed from my imminent radio production duties to the plight of the local shopkeeper. For how long have we neglected the small businessman in favour of fancy eateries and corporate smorgasbords? I vowed that today I would raise my fork in defence of the local retailer.

In these hallowed pages you will find many a reference to the flaccid bacon or limp sausage with which less favourable establishments brazenly embellish their breakfasts, as well as breakfasts whose exorbitant price-tag is justified by locally sourced organic ingredients. But how much might one, locally sourced, organic gourmand breakfast set one back if cooked at home?

Within half an hour of purposeful striding around the vicinity of LRB's NW5 headquarters I procured the necessary: Organic smoked back bacon, organic pork, leek and parsley sausages, free range organic eggs, large earthy flat mushrooms and a vine of juicy red tomatoes. Add a crusty cob of bread and I had sourced my breakfast from a rosy cheeked gaggle of independent shopkeepers I one day hope to regard as friends.

Catching the fastidious Dr Fried at the tail end of his ablutions I prepared as fine a breakfast as I could muster, rendering the fat on the bacon to a golden crisp, and slow roasting the tomatoes with butter and garlic. Within an hour we had a sublime meaty treat that touched the edges of the LRB gold standard, and at £8.52 for two this undercut any similarly sourced feast I've so far encountered. Though heavy on preparation time, and inevitably washing up, it is refreshing to know that greatness can still be achieved at home.

Hashley Brown
March 2006


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