It’s good for your brain, and can help when you have to fill in the awkward silences that inevitably come up in conversation. What you read is not even important, really; anything from Sports Illustrated to War and Peace will do. While some things are better fodder for conversation topics than others, this is often dependent on the audience. Read what interests you, and the act of exposing your mind to new situations and new ways of approaching and solving problems will provide all of the chat fodder you’re likely to need.
Breakfast and champagne mean only one thing: mimosas. As a rule, never skimp on orange juice or toilet paper; these things are worth shelling out a few extra semolians for the good stuff. A good friend of mine passed on this bit of wisdom: “When it comes to mimosas, use good orange juice and cheap champagne.”
Using good champagne for a mimosa is a waste of good champagne, and cheap orange juice is an abomination.
The Answer: Note the lack of champagne on the bottom shelf. Make it a rule to always keep two bottles of champagne in the fridge; one decent ($10-15) and one cheap (<$10). Use the cheap one for mimosas, and drink the good one when the time is right. When you use one, replace it ASAP.
Every gentleman should be able to cook a good breakfast, if for no other reason than to be well prepared when guests show up first thing in the morning.
Here’s a step by-step guide to a world-class breakfast. This whole thing takes about 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cooking time.
Step 1: Potatoes
Dice 1 potato per person into small pieces. Fig 1.
Fig. 1 - This is the size you are going for; too big and they won’t cook thoroughly, too small and they’ll burn.
Once diced, rinse the potatoes and then soak them; add a little salt to the potatoes and water.
Step 2: Fruit
Slice some fruit. Just about anything will do (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, bananas, apples). Add it to a bowl, with a dollop of sour cream and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.
Fig. 2 - Strawberries quartered, grapes halved, blueberries whole.
Step 3: Bacon
This one is pretty easy. Heat your skillet to just above medium (5.5-6 out of 10), and let it get good and hot before adding the bacon (Fig. 3). Fry the bacon (flipping it once and only once), and leave the grease in the pan. Drain the bacon on a paper towel on a plate.
Fig. 3 - Heat pan, add bacon.
Step 4: Potatoes Again
Drain salt water from the potatoes, and add the diced potatoes to the hot bacon grease. Turn the potatoes often, making sure they get cooked on all sides.
Step 4a: Heat another skillet
Once the potatoes are in the grease, heat another skillet with some olive oil and cracked pepper. (Fig. 4)
Fig. 4 - Potatoes cooking, olive oil and pepper heating.
Step 4b - Potatoes Once more
When the potatoes are good and brown, remove them from the pan and drain them on a paper towel (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5 - Potatoes draining.
Step 5: Eggs
You’ll be able to tell when the oil and pepper get hot because they become aromatic; once hot, crack two eggs into the pan. Leave the eggs alone until the whites along the bottom are firm, then flip once (Fig. 5). With a little practice, you can flip the eggs in the pan; this is a real crowd-pleaser.
Fig. 5 - These are just about ready to flip.
Step 6 - Plate
Put it all on a plate and serve with coffee and orange juice (Fig. 6). Enjoy!
Figure 6 - Breakfast of Champions.