WHAT I HAD FOR BREAKFAST

It was savory and sweet, almost like a crepe, but it wasn’t. It was a make your best breakfast dish with the most minimal ingredients. White bread, fresh eggs, and pineapple jam with some spices. The loaf of bread was almost gone save for 2 incomplete slices. You know the slice that tops the loaf and the last one that seals it up? Often, they come with holes; pre-punctured from rough handling. Well, those were the slices left. In a different country, a toast with eggs would have been ideal, but this is Nigeria, where power supply is erratic and a time table is drawn for when your neighbourhood would have electricity. Mine doesn’t on weekday mornings, so suffice to say, this was a candlelit breakfast.

Two eggs cracked, freshly ground red chilli pepper with diced onions along with a dash of dried thyme and a sprinkle of salt. Measuring out spices and whipping eggs in darkness is an art, which I am reluctant to master. I must locate a flashlight soon. The eggs sizzle in olive oil on a skillet and I flip it over to brown the two sides. I think about the bread. Maybe, I could brown it in the skillet too. Something like a French toast, but without any additional oil or eggs.  Within seconds of placing them in the pan, smoke accompanies a burning smell. It is a sweet smell; still the fire needs to be reduced.  The result looks like a toasted naan, as I layer the egg. A spread of the jam and a diagonal cut later, breakfast is served.

Taking it further with a fresh strawberries topping  and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice would have been ideal. This is no idyllic world. I am running late to catch the bus to work and unpredictable traffic situations await me. Foil paper comes in handy as I wrap up the sandwich. Breakfast is going to be good is all I can think about as I take the brisk walk on the bridge before my transfer. Suddenly, sitting down to eat in the work lunch room seems like an eternity away.  This is where wet wipes come in handy. Eating breakfast on the go is no longer daunting as I take a bite, and another, and another.

If there was a cafe or breakfast joint that prepares this every morning, I would be part of its faithful clientele. How much would they charge though? An arm and a leg if it is on the Island (Lagos’ overrated and overpriced section). What would I charge if I prepared and sold this to early risers? Would 250 Naira (A little over a dollar) cover the price of eggs, gas, and whatever logistics would be needed to deliver delicious and timely sandwiches? This is not the first time ideas about setting up a quick and healthy breakfast spot on the Island have floated about in my mind. There was the fortified breakfast smoothies idea, then fresh fruit salad bars, now this.

Maybe, my twinsy friends who ran a successful crepe business could give me a few pointers.  The entire day is always a drag if breakfast doesn’t hit a stomach homerun for me. Those are the days where I daydream of Wawa bagel sandwiches, a munchkin break at Dunkin’, or a sausage and biscuit sandwich prepared with local and organic ingredients from the neighbourhood Amish store. Sigh. Moi-moi is still a deliciously filling breakfast idea. In the meantime, ideas for a breakfast sandwich and smoothies truck are brewing…

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