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The Subtle Tastes in Chai and Breakfast Sandwiches

It is very easy to just get into the habit of eating to store food for energy.  It is a common trend in a Millennial lifestyle.  Getting to the next thing becomes ultra-critical and paying attention to each step along the way is less vital.  However, for those of us who are trying to blend mindfulness with Millennialism, it is a real act of formation and direction to relish the many sound-bytes of our lives and recon them for full flavor and taste.

As I was cooking some breakfast for my sons this morning - a sacramental rite for me - I was paying attention to the levels of taste in the foods.  There would be some simple alterations to taste that I could make by one or two deviations from practice.

First, the Sandwich:

As I was frying the thick-cut, hickory smoked bacon, I decided to slice the slab into 1/4 strips.  The slab was already pre-sliced so the strips would be one piece thick and wide by 1/4 inch long.  It would spread the bacon out throughout the sandwich and not just leave its flavor to the portions that contained a normal size slice.  Surface area is critical in taste.  Adding more changes the flavor.  Then I decided to use the bacon drippings as the oil for the pan - draining out some so as not to overdue it.

Then I added the eggs.  Now, I could make it into an omelet or I could scramble it.  I chose to scramble.  This would allow a fluffier texture and more "fresh egg" taste.  Omelet-izing the eggs would allow for a harsher and carmel crispy surface.  I did not want that today.

Then I chose to toast the sandwich rounds.  We use sandwich rounds that are whole grain and have flaxseed, so toasting them would carmelize the flavor to a nutty deliciousness.

They were great.

Next, the Chai:

Having fond memories of early morning ashram Chai (and sometimes Siddha Coffee) which was totally kick-ass in its warming and startling eye-opening-ability (so you could wake up and go chant, meditate and do your SEVA) I am partial to certain tastes.  I love the warming of ginger, I love a dark, dark tea (Red Label Indian is THE JOLTIEST I know) and I love cardamom.  So, the Chai would have all three for sure.  Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg are also added, but lightly.  The ginger needs to be fresh and grated - again a surface area and flavor related thing.

I simmered it for 15 minutes and strained it with a coffee press.  Chai is one of those things that you can really detected subtlety in.  It is best to play around with the tastes as you are making it and see what each thing adds to the overall taste.

Small and simple course corrections and direction changes make all the difference in the world - not just in French culinary design, but even in a simple everyday breakfast.  Feel the subtlety and relish the obscure.

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