Wednesday, November 26, 2008

i just wanted to point out that my friend stacie (and the rocket jones team) know breakfast:

.... on the rare occasions when they actually eat it.

(thank you, stacie, for providing the committee with this excellent visual representation of breakfast. you'll be receiving your coupons in the mail.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Sidebar on the topic of:

recent breakfast-related conversations overheard by a member of the Committee:

at a Neil Gaimain Q & A session:



Q: What is your perfect breakfast?

A: [blah blah, some clever stuff, and then...] A cheese omelet. Made by me.

(Congratulations, Neil Gaiman! You know What Is Breakfast!)


getting ready for work one morning, with my roommate, while making lunch for the day:

Roommate: Is a glob of peanut butter that fell off the knife Breakfast?

Jessy: I don't know... that's not very substantial...

Roommate: What if I drink a glass of water to wash it down?

Jessy: Make it a mouthful of orange juice, and we'll call it Breakfast.

(Please note that these conversations all took place outside of an official What Is Breakfast Committee meeting and as such should be considered the opinions of Neil Gaiman, Jessy, and Jessy respectively. These determinations are off the record and have not in any way been approved by the Committee - who would probably be okay with the cheese omelet, but might be a little suspicious of the glob of peanut butter.)


The Committee was also interested to find that 61% of the public are confident that Applesauce Cake and Bloody Marys are Breakfast, while only 53% are willing to bestow that same confidence in Turkey Bacon (not to be confused with veggie bacon). We were somewhat relieved that only 15% of you venture to put Red Bull into the same category. (Although the Committee is somewhat suspicious that the defiant 15% may be related to one of the co-chairs. As this is an anonymous poll, we'll refrain from naming names. However, if you happen to be related to Jessy, and you voted that Red Bull was Breakfast, please raise your hand.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Committee,

Does spiking hot cocoa with Bailey's negate its position in the breakfast canon?

Please do bear in mind, it was significantly more cocoa than Bailey's.

A Friend

Jessy: A Friend’s inquiry is certainly intriguing. It brings up an important question: is hot chocolate a breakfast food? Also, is hot chocolate by itself breakfast, regardless of the presence or absence of booze?

Chanelle: An excellent question indeed. As for hot chocolate alone, I’m leaning toward Not Breakfast. Especially if it was, for instance, comprised of water and a Swiss Miss Packet. Though I suspect that’s not really A Friend’s style.

Jessy: Right. Given the party in question, we can make some assumptions, such as it was probably not a Swiss Miss packet. It was probably more like organic Cadbury dark chocolate slowly melted into a pot of simmering whole milk... that was brought directly from a neighbouring farm that morning, after being extracted from the cow. But I'm still not sure where I stand on the beverage-only breakfast, or even on the hot-chocolate-as-breakfast-accompaniment.

Chanelle: Didn't we have a discussion about one of Anonymous(Jason)’s breakfast entries, saying that it would have been more valid if he had only had coffee?

Jessy: Oh, maybe. But it was something super-not-valid, so.... the only place to go was up.

Chanelle: was like coffee and Cheetos.... I think we might need to nix A Friend’s alcoholic hot chocolate.

Jessy: Without making any judgment on his or her character, obviously.

Chanelle: Obviously.

Jessy: Because who among us has not had a drink or two in the morning?

Chanelle: Hmmmm.

Jessy: Or five, if it's New Years.

Chanelle: Who among us?

Jessy: Or 4th of July. Or Columbus Day.

Chanelle: Um... Sure. You know, if it was a holiday... like Thanksgiving or Christmas... I think the alcoholic hot chocolate might be admissible.

Jessy: Right. Mimosas on new years? Totally acceptable. Although still... a mimosa does not a breakfast make. If it comes with scones or eggs, then it’s breakfast.

Chanelle: Let's just say it's Not Breakfast.

Jessy: I agree.

Chanelle: Cool.

Due to the alcoholic content, the lack of documentation regarding any solid-food accompaniment, and the wobbliness of hot chocolate's standing in the breakfast canon, the Committee’s Decision is:

Hot Chocolate Spiked with Bailey’s is Not Breakfast.

"You really think hot chocolate so wobbly?"
"I think it needs a firm foundation to rest upon. Like, firmer than liquor."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear "What Is Breakfast" Committee:

Is a (crunchy) peanut butter sandwich and a granola bar breakfast?


Meal-Confused in Chicago

Jessy: This actually may be the most serious candidate for Breakfast we've seen thus far. A granola bar - although the type is a little ambiguous here - is generally a breakfast food, and often even a nutritious one at that. The crunchy peanut butter sandwich is a bit more tricky. I have clarified with the inquirer that it was, as advertised, simply a peanut butter sandwich, rather than a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. For me, this is an important distinction. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches have, for better or for worse, a strong "lunch" association. Whereas I find peanut butter on toast to be a perfectly acceptable breakfast food: it starts the day with protein and in many cases hearty whole grains as well. (I neglected to ask the inquirer about the type of bread they were using in this sandwich - which may prove disastrous.) Putting it in a sandwich form does nudge it a bit in the direction of lunch, however. And of course a balanced breakfast would include some sort of fruit, even if just a glass of unconcentrated orange juice - but I realise that we are working simply for Breakfast here, not a Balanced Breakfast. But does the sandwich aspect compromise the overall breakfastyness of Meal-Confused in Chicago's dining experience?

I would concur that Meal-Confused presents a very strong contention for the status of Breakfast in the peanut butter sandwich and granola bar combination. However, I will admit that said combination's remarkable resemblance to Lunch does give one pause, for surely, submitting a meal of identical contents to a What Is Lunch Committee (should one exist) would almost certainly produce an instant and unanimous yea. But, again, the lack of jelly does weigh in favor of breakfast (though, ironically, jelly by itself or in combination with cream cheese remains a most-popular breakfast condiment - ah the never-ending mystery that is Breakfast!). Finally, all hesitation must be cast aside when we consider the crucial detail of chunky peanut butter as opposed to smooth, for chunky peanut butter simply carries with it a fantastic-ness that makes the world a better place. Its inclusion not only authenticates the breakfastyness of the meal, but also the general good character of Meal-Confused in Chicago. My vote: Heck Yeah Breakfast.

Jessy votes: An Irony-Laden Breakfast.

The Committee's Final Vote Is:

(crunchy) peanut butter sandwich and a granola bar is Indeed Breakfast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear What Is Breakfast Committee,

I just fished a full bite of chocolate chip cookie from the bottom of my coffee with a spoon that had crusty refried beans and green-chili sauce on it. This happened at roughly 2:55 p.m and did indeed bring a fast to a successful termination. Is this breakfast?

Clearly I then ate the bite of chocolate chip cookie. And it tasted nice.

Malnourished in Montauk

Chanelle: While the defendant in this case rightly reminds us of the etymology of the word "breakfast" as referring to the breaking of a fast, it has long been recognized that the fast in question alludes to the automatic, involuntary fast produced by the state of sleep. Perhaps, however, the defendant had just awoken from sleep at 2:55 pm and could argue that the consumed item broke the specific sleep-induced fast implied in the literal meaning of "breakfast." To this I say: it matters not. No no no and no. Final Vote: Absolutely Not Breakfast.

Jessy: That is, indeed, Absolutely Not Breakfast. However, if we ever decide to form a sister committee called the What Is Disgusting Committee, that would definitely qualify.

The Commitee's Resolve is Unshakable:

Coffee-drenched (?) cookie piece with refried bean-and-green-chili-sauce residue consumed at 2:55 pm is Absolutely Not Breakfast.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dear What Is Breakfast Committee,

I recently witnessed my boss eating what appeared to be some form of reheated left-overs, quite possibly containing a chicken dish. This occurred between 10-11am on a Tuesday. I wanted to ask him if it was breakfast, but then realized that I didn't actually care. So I defer my question to your expertise.

Grossed Out By the Thought of Leftovers for Breakfast

Chanelle: I can easily sympathize with your hesitations regarding this case, as several facets appear ambiguous. Firstly, not being certain of the actual dish consumed must, in some small measure, hinder our assessment. However, despite the recent (and dubious) southern-style-chicken-for-breakfast campaign proliferated by McDonald's, I maintain that meals involving chicken are quite unorthodox in the breakfast-food realm. Another relevant factor here lies in the fact that the leftovers were "reheated." Though not perhaps healthy, it is common practice among certain demographics (read, undergraduates) to eat leftovers from the previous evening's dinner upon first waking up. Take out / delivery meals such as pizza and Chinese food are popular options. When resorted to for morning sustenance in a knowing, jaunty, even devil-may-care manner by the young (defined here as 18-22 for females and 14-37 for males), these foodstuffs can be loosely defined as breakfast. But it is crucial in this case that the comestibles in question remain cold and are eaten straight from the refrigerator, for reheating, it is to be insisted, is a function of lunch. It would be easy, then, to categorize the chicken leftovers mentioned here as "lunch," were it not for the vexing problem of timeframe. Alas, I must argue that while the 11 am - noon hour can be rightly considered "early lunch," the preceding hour is simply too early for anything but traditional breakfast cuisine, midmorning pastry snackfoods, or the category of brunch*. Final vote: Not Breakfast.

I defer to my co-chair's greater familiarity with the Leftovers for Breakfast genre. Although I would in some cases take issue with the validity of the genre as a whole, I do not find it helpful to explore that distinction at this juncture, since we have arrived at the same decision regardless. Also, wow - she knows a lot of big words**.
Final vote:
Not Breakfast.

The Committee's Final Decision Is:

Reheated Leftovers (possibly chicken) between the hours of 10 am and 11 am are Not Breakfast.

* It may be wondered why the chicken leftovers may not be classified in the more generous category of brunch, and while this would more properly be a matter for the Subcommittee on That Which Distinguishes Brunch from Breakfast and Lunch, I would submit that there is a generally-accepted cannon of foods associated with that meal, and (as we have seen in the case of breakfast) chicken is rarely involved.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dear "What Is Breakfast" Committee:

Is a pastry and Gatorade


Chanelle: Good question. See, it's a bit of a split decision. Pastry, yes. This is a very traditional breakfast food. Gatorade? No. Absolutely not.

Jessy: Yeah. Maybe if you're going to play breakfast sports. Also, I am guessing that the pastry came in a plastic wrapper, from a gas station. Does that effect the committee's decision?

Chanelle: Hmmm...I'm not sure. I don't want to completely look down on gas station pastry, you know. That would seem really classist, don't you think?

Jessy: Ohhh. You're right. I guess I was okay with seeming classist. But you're right. I feel convicted now.

Chanelle: Oh, sorry. Not my intention at all. But I guess, to be responsible committee members, we have to take these things into consideration.

So the Committee's Final Decision is:

A Pastry and Gatorade is 50% Breakfast.
(Pastry = 50% Breakfast / Gatorade = 50% Not Breakfast)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dear "What Is Breakfast" Committee:

Is a Snickers and green tea breakfast?


The Committee's Vote is Unanimous:

A Snickers bar and a cup of green tea is Not Breakfast.

It has been brought to the attention of the Committee that the green tea was not actually a cup of green tea; rather, it was a cold Lipton Green Tea with Honey. In a plastic bottle. Taking this new evidence into account, the revised decision of the Committee is that a Snickers bar and a cold Lipton Green Tea with Honey is Not Breakfast.)