Cooking is not one of my preferred activities. Eating, yes; but cooking, not so much. I have wrestled with cooking from time to time; and while my productions are on occasion acceptable, I prefer instead to devote myself to food choices rather than food preparation. Fortunately for me there are endless possibilities within the realm of either raw or prepared foods, everything from cereal to veggies to oysters on the half shell. Because the predominant social avenue for cooked meals is luncheon or dinner (when one can unnoticeably sidle up to the trough with apparent dignity and convention) I confine my personal culinary exhibitions to breakfast.

The now infamous Atkins Diet provoked an absurd and egregious appetite for protein, usually inflated by such chemically induced meats as sausage and bacon. Knowing as I do that the protein fix worked (though not without its uncomfortable repercussions such as constipation) it remains difficult to withdraw completely from the diet. I have nonetheless succeeded to contrive a breakfast menu which I find both wholesome and appetizing.  And reasonable. It helps as always to frequent a premium retailer.

First I wish to point out that my former ritual with steel cut oats has waned. The cooked oats (which I made en masse then stored in the refrigerator) constituted an ample but starchy menu especially when served with Kéfir or yoghurt instead of plain milk. But I find even a small bowl of steel cut oats borders on excessive.  I believe it is this information which has spirited my latest concoction for the morning table.

Fruit as always is an essential ingredient of any respectable breakfast.  There is absolutely no limitation. If for example I could access fresh, ripe mango I would have it every day.  Barring that unlikely situation I have opted instead for sliced Granny apple and a sliced banana à côté. Naturally that is the preamble to what follows. Here I am grateful to Farm Boy for having introduced me to a variety of breads about which I might otherwise be unfamiliar. My introduction so to speak did not arise from my own adventurousness but rather by accident through the custom of my partner who permitted me to sample one or two varieties.  In defence of my capacity for novelty I have in the end combined some of my personal inclinations with the generality of the former specimens. This has led me to pumpernickel rye bread.  It is dense, dark and earthy.  Reportedly – though I have not tried it myself – the toasted version of the bread is very tasty but I avoid the suggestion because it diverts me from the Becel margarine container.

Instead I punctuate  my ample slice of pumpernickel rye bread with any of the numerous exotic cheeses, complimented by several shavings of Black Forest ham. There is no need for additives of any description whether butter, mustard or Vegemite (though I confess the latter is both winsome and tolerable).

Vegemite (/ˈvɛimt/ VEJ-i-myte) is a thick, dark brown Australian food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. It was developed by Cyril Callister in Melbourne, Victoria in 1922.

A spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits as well as a filling for pastries, Vegemite is similar to British Marmite, New Zealand Marmite, Australian Promite, MightyMite, AussieMite, OzEmite, German Vitam-R, and Swiss Cenovis.

Vegemite is salty, slightly bitter, malty, and rich in glutamates – giving it an umami flavour similar to beef bouillon. It is vegan, kosher, and halal.

The Vegemite brand returned to Australian ownership in 2017 when Bega Cheese purchased it alongside other assets from Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods Inc.).

The breakfast meal thus involves several food groups – fruit, bread, cheese and meat – all without perverse portions. In terms of dieting it accomplishes the features of inclusiveness without accommodation (which is invariably insupportable in any event). And the meal is filling.  If one wished to accentuate the morning meal without inflicting punishment, it is easy to add stewed prunes and a glass of milk or Almond Breeze. Dessert without the sinfulness!