Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Most Important Meal of the Day

There’s no better breakfast, in my book, than muesli and yogurt.

Certainly, I’ve dallied with other breakfasts over the years.  I still think about the semester when my earliest class started at 1:10 PM, and I spent half an hour in the kitchen every morning stirring old-fashioned oatmeal in a saucepan.  I sliced a banana and drizzled maple syrup over the top, then I retired to my bed with a spoon to read The New York Times from cover to cover as I ate.  I am coming to terms with the probability that life will never be that good again.

During the months earlier this year when I was pretending quietly to myself that I was a French person, my breakfasts consisted of fresh baguette with butter and crème de marron, that miraculously thick and grainy vanilla-scented chestnut jam.  But crème de marron was a vicious siren, and though I told myself I’d reach for its glass jar only at breakfast time, I soon found myself sneaking spoonfuls of the purée at odd hours of the day and even constructing whole meals around it. Today, the sight of crème de marron still makes my heart leap, but I know that cutting myself off was the right thing to do.

So I have now returned to my faithful muesli and yogurt.  It’s not as cozy as oatmeal, but it’s not as time-consuming, either.  It’s less seductive than crème de marron, but it’s far less treacherous, too. 

But muesli and yogurt is by no means just a boring, obliging standby that’s always there when I need it.  It’s got moxie, power, a je ne sais quoi that I believe has best been summed up by one Ms. Nigella Lawson, who writes:

There is something about muesli, real muesli, that makes me feel I am some intellectual, beautiful free spirit, throwing pots and writing poetry or political diatribes in 1960s Hampstead.  And it's a feeling I quite like. (Feast, Hyperion 2004)

And it’s a feeling that I thought couldn’t be improved upon, until I discovered that, in Europe, you can make your muesli and yogurt with muesli-flavored yogurt.

I’ll be honest:  Danone Activia Muesli yogurt isn’t the best yogurt on the market.  It’s a little too saccharine-tasting, a little too liquid.  But all that stops mattering once I mix it with my favorite no-sugar-added muesli.  Forget oatmeal and crème de marron.  This is metabreakfast.


Ann said...

I wonder, when you are back in the States, if you will miss this muesli-flavored yogurt.

Laura said...

I'll miss the idea of it, certainly.

Helen said...

Hey Laura! I'm enjoying reading about your adventures as a temporary omnivore! You know, I could swear that I've heard/read that quote about muesli somewhere before... but I haven't a clue where. Oh well, I'm sure it will come to me eventually.

Laura said...

It was probably from me...It used to be on my Facebook page. It really is one of my favorite quotes of all time, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

And thank you. I'm very happy that you like the blog.