Monday, November 8, 2010
George Washington's Hearty Breakfast
(with optional horse-joke ending)
Life was tough in the days of the Founding Fathers, but the rewards were rich. George Washington knew better than anyone that the key to having a monumental day, a healthful body, and a free republic was to eat a nourishing breakfast fit for a king—but made without the bloated and scurrilous appendages of tyranny.
Each morning General Washington sprang from his bed one second before the rooster’s first call (so trained were his senses that he could wake up to the sound of the rooster’s mere throat-clearing). Straight to the frosty morning air he opened the door, grabbing his bullwhip. Cracking the whip several times near to his face both galvanized his fortitude and knocked the gritty sleep-matter from his eye-corners.
Next he would reclaim his teeth from the river, where they’d washed overnight in the rushing water of the American continent. If the river was high, he had a brisk swim to the cord holding his ivory dentures in the rapids, where he hoisted them out, gleaming— “No soaking my teeth in a tepid teacup like an Englishman,” he declared. “This is America! I’m a Virginian!”
To shake off the river’s chill, G. Washington fetched meat from his smokehouse. This required that he wrestle a brown bear and a black bear, the two guards of his meat stores. Of course they were his pets, so he rarely suffered more than torn pajamas. Meat in hand, he rewarded his bears and himself each with a modest slice of salt pork: protein with stern authority.
“Martha, where browns my toast?” Washington cried, now in a hurry to beat the sunrise. “Hither flies the pigeon!” Martha held out her hand for the packet of sugar and cinnamon arriving by carrier pigeon, careful not to neglect the day’s ration of coffee—one charred bean clutched in each of the pigeon’s feet. Martha would grind her bean for brew, but George preferred to crunch his whole, in the mill of his teeth. As the sun brinked over the horizon, Paul Revere arrived on horseback with his clanking silver tea service. “Tea and grapefruit, General Washington,” Paul said, tipping his hat to Martha, then riding swiftly away without spilling a drop.
Finally Martha stamped out a griddlecake in the shape of a Redcoat, running with red, red cherry syrup like the noble blood spilled on both sides of freedom’s boundary. This they shared as they watched the sunrise together. Their plates clean, George Washington mounted his horse, bade his wife farewell, and returned to the chores of liberty. Any vestiges of hunger yet lingering in the depths of the great leader could be banished by a quick fistful of oats straight from the horse’s feedbag, which any experienced Minuteman would attest can lend a soldier the reliable, muscular bowels of the mighty stallion.
“May I gnaw on your raw oats today, my good steed?” Washington asked, always respectful, to which his horse replied, “A-fewww.”