What’s on your breakfast menu?

Decisions, decisions…

It’s amazing to me that every time I see this photo (part of a stock shoot I did some ten years ago) I actually get slightly hungry. A ridiculous overload of fried fatty meats, stacked cakes, half a stick of butter… it makes more sense that the kid’s reaction would be this instead:

It’s also slightly alarming to me that I picked breakfasts to write about today, since I usually don’t eat much in the way of breakfast (why spoil the taste of excellent coffee with the corruption of food?). But now and again, by mid-morning, I sense abdominal twinges signaling a passable bit of appetite, and I yield.


(My photos here throughout.)


What’s on your breakfast table?

If you’re an average American – and I know you’re not because no one is – you will have —

  • cold cereal 31% of the time
  • eggs of one sort or another 20% of the time
  • toast, bagel, muffin, waffles, pancakes about 10% of the time
  • nothing at all (foodwise) about 10% of the time. Coffee, tea, juice, water…
  • (source: ABC News poll, 2005, NPD group poll, 2011)

That still leaves a lot of other options – fish ‘n’ potatoes, reheated meatloaf, whatever craving you might have and however odd it may seem to others.

I was a cereal kid…

I grew up in a household that was profoundly addicted to artery-jamming scrambled eggs and bacon every morning, so I had to begin my teenage rebellion a few years early by choosing cereal four mornings out of five. Wheaties, Corn Flakes, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat – all the old-timers. I might have preferred Froot Loops or Lucky Charms, but modern science hadn’t formulated them yet. Dang!


Cereal top sellers…

I think it’s fun to see what America likes best in a cereal. From a 2018 study, they rank like this in popularity:

  • # 10: Raisin Bran (Kellogg’s)
  • # 9: Kellogg’s Froot Loops (they spell it that way to avoid any hint that there’s actual fruit in the cereal – there isn’t) 



  • # 8: Lucky Charms (General Mills)
  • # 7: Frosted Mini Wheats (Kellogg’s)
  • # 6: Special K (Kellogg’s) (Kellogg’s is on a roll here!)
  • # 5: Cinnamon Toast Crunch (General Mills)
  • # 4: Cheerios (General Mills)
  • # 3: Honey Bunches of Oats (Post – at last!)
  • # 2: Frosted Flakes (Kellogg’s)
  • # 1: Guess! Answer below somewhere…

The Number 1 best-seller is actually my wife’s cereal of choice. I tend to go for granolas of various kinds. With a banana.  But again, not very often (I think one of the granola boxes is well past its “best used by” date).

Maybe an egg or two.

My favorite way to cook eggs is to steam them – in milk – with a small amount of grated cheddar on top, plus red and black pepper. Two eggs, with a side of Maine Family Farms breakfast sausage, on toast or English muffin. It’s easy and totally tasty!

Try it!

Melt some butter in a nonstick pan over low-medium heat, add the farm-fresh, local eggs, sprinkle grated cheese on top with (optional) salt and pepper and red pepper. When the egg whites look about half-done, add about 2 oz. of milk (or light cream), immediately cover the pan tightly, and lower the heat a bit. Give it 60-90 seconds for a “medium” egg, then check the yolks for a hint of firmness.


You’ll see that the yolk’s been coated over with a slight milky film. The bonus to this approach? No flipping! No yolk-breaking!

I like these, but I’ve also written about shirred eggs, Spanish baked eggs, Spanish eggs and potatoes, and double “bull’s eyes,” so I guess I do like eggs after all. But not at 7 in the morning, please. Okay, tucked in here at the end is the # 1 selling cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios. With a banana. (Actually, you can add the phrase “with a banana” at the end of any movie title, book title, or song to make it more interesting. It’s fun, for awhile.)

The best part of breakfast? The completely unnecessary but pleasantly surprising dessert!

Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.