Ease into your morning and enjoy the breakfast ritual of Rowan Donovan. Pour the tea, sit back and taste this toasted life…
Part One: A Slice of Toasted Life.
The Japanese call it, “asa- gohan”. Morning Rice. The French, “un petit dejeuner.” Me? I call it, “breakfast”. A morning ritual I’ve prescribed to and haven’t changed in years.
In the small working space of my loved kitchen, morning after morning, I take the same paced side step shuffles. Two steps to the right. Open top draw. One pace to the left. Put the butter knife down. Half turn pirouette. Open fridge door. I could do it with my eyes shut. Take out the marmalade jam. The same big bowled green cup I have used forever. A mismatched saucer. A family heirloom if we weren’t so dysfunctional. And from the freezer of my fridge, two frozen slices of my favourite bread. Without one there is no other. There are lessons to be learnt here. Enlightenment can be found in the everyday mundane.
My bread of choice is Burgers Soy-Lin. Simply stated, it’s the best bread in the world. Period. Packed with natural goodness ie, calcium, iron, folate, phytoestrogens, omega and high fibre, I have been eating it forever. If I didn’t start every day with my two slices of Burgen, I could never be consoled.
My Sunbeam toaster has to be seen to be believed. It’s a retro relic from a time when toasters were toasters and not décor accessory items. Its slots take two slices. Only two. The toasting dial is permanently set on three. It would be tantamount to challenging me to a do or die duel to change that setting! And it roasts my toast to cooked perfection.
Strangely though, I’m a “cold toast” man. The secret is in leaving the toasted slices for that little bit longer after the pop up has popped. Just long enough to absorb a tad more radiant energy before taking the prized slices out to cool and dry. This is where it gets tricky. We want toasted crunch. We don’t want limp. Toast ain’t toast if it’s limp. Know what I mean?
Of course what one dresses one’s toast with is a personal statement of intent. A homage to bourgeois indulgence. Like, “let them eat toast!” A zen like simplicity. I use a concoction that is neither butter nor margarine. I don’t know what it is. Just that it’s spreadable and fifty percent less fat. Last but not least, a final coating of Breakfast Marmalade. A generic brand. Thirty five per cent fruit. Made in Poland. Sold at Woolies.
Indeed, like the archer who aims at his true self, so too perfect toast. Perfection after all, is approachable.
and one more cup of tea
To be continued - Part Two: Chado
Rowan Donovan was born in 1952 in Hawera, New Zealand. He started performing his poetry around Brisbane at various venues in 2001, often working collaboratively with good friend and Brisbane poet Graham Nunn. He continues to showcase his work to audiences whenever the opportunity presents itself. He is proud to be a founding member of Brisbane’s longest running poetry/spoken word event Speedpoets and to have served for five years on the Queensland Poetry Festival management committee.
To purchase a copy of Rowan’s book ‘The Lateness of Goodnight’ contact him at rdono22(at)eq.edu.au