For my family, breakfast was a thing only for lazy Sundays, special occasions, and holidays. Any other time, it was a glass of milk and a small cup of coffee. But when we did have breakfast, it was a feast. At least in my mind. Breakfast back home was always eggs sunny-side up, a few slices of bacon, and Belgium waffles made from a recipe out of an out-of-print cookbook and cooked in my grandfather’s waffle iron used in his malt shop from the 1940s. They were divine with just a light spread of butter and drenched in maple syrup. I used to cut the whites from the eggs, leaving the yolk intact, and at the very end, fork them in my mouth one by one, letting them pop.

When I lived in Austria, there was a cafe somewhere between the Altstadt and the university. And on payday, I’d get my money and go there to treat myself to breakfast. Because, why not? I could be hungry at the end of the month, but at the beginning of the month, I was going to live like everyone else. At least for a few days. I’d order up a Melange, Semmeln, homemade strawberry jam, and this dish that was basically three eggs cooked over thin sliced ham. I don’t know if it was the joy of getting paid or the nostalgia that went along with cutting the whites from the eggs and saving the yolks for last, but those breakfasts were pure bliss.

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