Vanessa Chang
(A Glutton with Brains)


a glutton with brains

One Toaster. One Burner. Just One Breakfast.


If you've read a few posts, it's pretty obvious that I live with roommates. Roommates who aren't the best at cleaning. And I don't mean to imply that it's the only trait necessary to join the "great human being" club. But it helps when all you want is a proper breakfast before leaving for work. It's a little disheartening to wake up to a leaning tower of dishes, counters crowded with pizza boxes, groceries yet to be put away, and stray beer bottles. Cooking in something like this is like trying to juice a cold lime. I yield very little.

But I came home the other day and found something quite strange. A clean kitchen. Counters wiped clean. Trash taken out. Clean dishes waiting in the dishwasher to be put away. Not a crumb to be seen. Glory, glroy, haleuljah came to mind.

I should've known better. Entropy took its course and slowly the universe began stacking up in the sink again. This morning I decided that it would be best to take advantage of the relative space and cleanliness and actually had breakfast in-house. No drive-thru coffee. No donuts. No sorry-ass excuses for bagels. I wanted hot protein. With warm buttered toast, of course.


I worked with the one free burner. Filled a small pot with water and dropped in an egg from a carton I splurged on last week—local free-range eggs with crayola-orange yolks. I set the timer for 8 minutes and got ready for work. The alarm sounded when I finished my make-up. The bread went into the toaster while I drained the eggs and placed them into a demitasse cup (I'm still in search of cool egg cups). As soon as the newly-borne toast popped up from the slots, I buttered them, and cut them sloppily into strips. The last thing left to do is to scalp the tops of the eggs and sprinkle the brilliant runny orange yolks with coarse sea salt.

"I need to do this more often," I thought after my first bite. I dunked toast strips until there no more to be dunked. And then I ate the soft-sweet whites with a spoon. Still with the memory of my first breakfast homes in weeks, I came home later that night. The kitchen mess had grown. So much for a perfect morning routine.