Great Ocean Food: The way we breakfast

June 11, 2020 BY

Breakfast is an interesting meal. It seems to always be consumed in a hurry. The people I know who still take time over breakfast are farmers, surfers and Sunday morning “read the paper with avocado mash eaters”.

My farmer brother-in-law rises early and tends to irrigation and/or stock issues then eats a hearty breakfast about nine. His choice is traditional: bacon, eggs, sausage, toast and lots of steaming hot tea.
Surfers fit the same pattern with a quick surf at daybreak and something filling to start their day. I would suggest surfers have changed their diet quite drastically over the last few decades. When I surfed in the Seventies, breakfast was a sausage roll and a chocolate milkshake. Now you are more likely to see the local surf crew tucking into a kale and turmeric smoothie or an acai bowl topped with fruit, nuts and ancient grains.
Certainly, the professional surfers are very diet-conscious. Kelly Slater was almost fanatical about his body fuel. As he said, “My approach to life both in and out of the water is based on an understanding of the relationship between mind, body and our environment”. He believes there is a strong link between diet and performance and has a passion for fresh, unprocessed and raw foods. His breakfast is typically fresh fruit, chia seeds and fermented Chinese tea. When in a hurry, it will be an almond milk smoothie with fruit and green leafy vegetables. He also practises plenty of yoga and will fast every so often to “give the digestive system a rest”.
The last category of leisurely morning eaters is the Sunday morning, paper reading, dog walkers who have contributed so much to the avocado and goats cheese industries. They are almost everyone of us at some point. Whether it is a long breakfast every Sunday morning or the indulgence of breakfast for an hour or more while on holidays. I fall into the latter camp and absolutely adore whiling away hours over breakfast after a long walk.
My daughter’s generation are the real drivers of healthy eating, particularly at breakfast. When I am with them, everything is vegan, fresh, organic and fabulous. They have very demanding and specific tastes and a new wave of cafes have evolved to cater for their every whim. At long last, we may be able to again enjoy such a morning repast after weeks of isolation. I am again looking forward to a hearty breakfast some Sunday morning very soon.
My apologies for an incomplete recipe published on May 14 a few weeks ago. We did not include the method for the rhubarb and strawberry pie. So, following is the recipe all over again (it may even be good for inclusion in a decadent breakfast).

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie

600g strawberries, hulled, halved
240g caster sugar
500g rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1.5cm pieces
2 granny smith apples, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
30g rice flour or arrowroot flour
Black pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
(For ease, I used Careme vanilla bean pastry, but homemade short crust or puff pastry rolled to a thickness of 3mm is fine).
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm pie dish with the enough pastry to leave a one centimetre overhang. Line the pastry case with baking paper, fill with baking beads (or uncooked rice or dried beans) and bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is just dry and light golden. Remove paper and baking beads and leave to cool.
Place strawberries in large bowl with 40g of the caster sugar. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes. Drain and return to the bowl. Add rhubarb, apple, balsamic, flour and remaining sugar with a grind of black pepper. Gently mix and place into the pie base. Cut eight 4cm strips from the remaining pastry. Chill strips while you make the filling. Make a lattice pattern with the pastry strips on the filling and brush beaten egg on top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes and allow pie to stand for two to three hours to prevent soggy pastry. I reheated gently just before serving.

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