Recipe: A Very British Breakfast
This morning we learned of the death of Ed’s grandfather, Morris Walker, lovingly known as Grand. I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t be strongly affected by the death of their spouse’s grandfather, but for me that’s not the case.
My paternal grandfather died before I was born and my maternal grandfather died when I was four, so I never really grew up with a grandfatherly figure in my life. But in the two short years I’ve known Grand, and despite the physical distance (he lived in Worcestershire, England), I’ve grown quite close to him. Ed absolutely revered him, counting him as one of the most influential figures in his life. I was enamored by his cheekiness, stubbornness and faithfulness. One of my fondest memories of him is at our wedding reception; Grand gave me a big hug, then whispered, “Don’t you dare hurt my grandson.” Then he cracked a huge grin, laughed and said, “Sorry, Emily. But you understand.” That’s basically Grand in a nutshell, and I loved him for it.
Thinking of Grand takes me back to our wedding blessing ceremony in England on September 23, 2017, which is the last time we saw him. I’m so glad that our last memories of him are truly special, and that we were all surrounded by family, friends and love. We enjoyed great pub food together during our week there and devoured our fair share of chips, mushy peas and egg & cress sandwiches (and Johnny Walker whisky, Grand’s favorite).
Personally, my favorite British meal might be the full English breakfast—eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and, most importantly, Heinz beans (meat-eater versions will also have sausage, bacon and/or black pudding). Fun fact: between 1941 and 1948, The Ministry of Food classified Heinz Baked Beans as an "essential food" as part of its wartime rationing system. Locally, we’re been able to find this import at Buy For Less, but it’s also available on Amazon. These beans are much less sugary and syrupy than American baked beans and it would be sacrilege to substitute the American version for any reason.
This is less of a recipe and more of a “hey, you should try this” sort of post. Ed and I started dating in June 2016 and I guarantee this is one of the first breakfasts he ever made for me. We’ve had it dozens of times since. Toast is one of Ed’s favorite foods, and beans are one of mine. We both famously say that, “adding an egg to basically anything makes it better.” Eggs, toast and beans are the perfect trifecta.
This meal is easy and comforting. It reminds us of England and the beauty in simplicity. It can be dressed up or dressed down. As long as the eggs stay creamy and a bit runny, you can’t go wrong.
Tip: Also delicious when the beans are served on the toast topped with poached eggs instead of scrambled. Ed always adds marmite to his first. I always gag.
2-4 eggs per person
English muffins or sourdough bread
Heinz beans (imported from the UK)
Sriracha and/or HP sauce
1) Heat the Heniz beans in a microwaveable container and set aside.
2) In a pan, scramble the eggs with a bit of butter. Add pepper to taste. Stir occassionally and pull off heat regularly so the eggs don’t overcook. When you think they’re nearly done, pull off the heat and add a small dollop of sour cream. Stir, and the eggs will continue to cook a bit in the pan. Add a dash of salt.
3) Toast the muffins/bread and top with eggs and sauce. Serve with beans on the side or on top.