How I made my family a hot and cold breakfast in 20 minutes on the first try

Inspired by Cory Doctorow

So I read

and Cory answers the question “What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?” with “Making breakfast. I make my family a 3-4 course, hot/cold tailor-made breakfast every morning, in 20 minutes flat, with handmade coffees.”

I am no cook, and anytime I do try to make a hot breakfast for my family, I’m always in the kitchen for at least 45 minutes no matter how quick I try to be. So it’s strictly a weekend thing, and even so, we’ve gotten out of the habit because it doesn’t really make sense for Emily to wrangle two rambunctious hungry children alone for 45 minutes while I do it.

I had to know, so I asked him. His response was immediate:

So I sat and looked up what the heck a 3-4 course breakfast was and settled on something based on a Full English:

Drinks: water or chocolate milk for boys, coffee for grownups
1st course: yoghurt with fruit
2nd course: eggs to order
3rd course: bacon, sausage, etc…
Other: baked beans, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast with butter

One advantage I have is that we have an AEG Lavazza automatic espresso machine, and since we’re happy with that, no need to go the hand-made coffee route. At least not yet.

A disadvantage is that we don’t own a toaster. We toast bread on a baking stone in the oven. We also don’t own a griddle, so I’m limited in how much frying space I have. I can only really fry two foods simultaneously in two 12-inch pans. So here’s what I came up with:

At night:
  1. Rinse all berries, put some in yoghurt in cups, rest in fridge in cups.
  2. Set out:
    1. 2 coffee cups by coffee maker
    2. 2 coffee pods in cups
    3. Benjamin cup
    4. Liam sippy cup
    5. 2 + 2 plates [2 + 2 refers to 2 adult and 2 child]
    6. 2 + 2 forks
    7. 2 + 2 spoons
    8. 2 knives on table
    9. cast-iron skillet
    10. non-stick skillet
    11. baking stone in oven
    12. pyrex pan for beans
    13. can of beans by stove with serving spoon
    14. butter on a plate with knife
    15. Cutting board & bread knife
In the morning:
  1. Turn on broiler, burners, and espresso machine
  2. oil in egg pan
  3. Bacon in skillet
  4. Beans in pan
  5. Eggs in pan
  6. Slice and butter bread and put on hot stone in oven
  7. pour water
  8. put yoghurt and waters on table
  9. Make espresso
  10. Serve everything

Worked almost perfectly! I got to the end of 20 minutes and everything was ready except I hadn’t made enough bacon yet. I prefer to fry my bacon flat in the bottom of the pan, but only 5 strips fit and I had to remove some and add some. Next time I’ll just put all 8 strips in and let them overlap.

The result:

I think I probably spent, between researching, planning, prepping, and cooking, about an hour. And I have a new skill.

2 thoughts on “How I made my family a hot and cold breakfast in 20 minutes on the first try

  1. admin Post author

    I used to do that in the States on a regular basis, but our European microwave is smaller, and doesn’t fit a large plate, and I’ve gotten out of the habit. I may try again, maybe with the bowl as suggested in the WikiHow page. That said, I’ve gotten pretty good at it with the skillet, and I’ve got it down to 20 minutes now. I want to post an update, now that I’ve had some experience. 🙂


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