Breakfast With Rashi
In this week’s “Tell Me,” Tablet Magazine’s illustrated question-and-answer column, we reconstruct a reader’s morning repast—and offer commentary on the proceedings
Presumably, one double-espresso is equal to two single-espressos, but you only have to drink one. Why espresso at all? Is Linda a Europhile? A European, even? Maybe. I would also venture that she likes the ritual of espresso: the compact grounds, the smell of brewing coffee, the steam, even the loud noises. She does not mention milk or sugar, which leads me to believe either that she is one of the rare people who truly loves the taste of unadulterated black coffee, or that she does not like the taste of coffee and prefers espresso because there is less of it to drink.
Regular black tea, popular in Britain. Linda drinks the coffee first, very quickly, because it jolts her awake. The tea comes next, slowly, while she gets oriented.
If Linda didn’t want her bread sour, she’d probably eat a different kind of bread than sourdough, perhaps French bread or olive loaf. Maybe she’d even eat cake. She wants her bread sour, as sour as possible, to remind her of slavery in Egypt and how thankful she is to be free, awake, alive, with the whole day ahead of her.
Does Linda mean real butter, as opposed to margarine? Does she mean real butter as opposed to just the thought of butter? Neither, silly. Linda has taken her husband’s last name–Pilgrim. Linda’s husband Scott really is the descendant of pilgrims, and as an homage to his ancestry he churns his own butter, which is not why Linda married him but it did sweeten the deal. It also sweetens the sourdough. After he churns the butter, Scott forms it lovingly into heart-shaped pats, which he then wraps in wax paper and stocks in the basement fridge for Linda and the children. Or the idea of the children. Scott and Linda are still a very young couple.
Linda usually wears dark purple, because she is a professional psychic. She is a relatively messy eater despite her telepathic abilities (or, as Linda sometimes thinks in her darker moments, because she doesn’t actually have any), and she finds that–counterintuitively–blackberry is the jam least likely to stain.
I’m in over my head here.
Almond butter is probably much better than peanut butter, especially the texture. Also, an almond is a real nut, unlike the peanut, which is really a legume. Linda Pilgrim is not a nut herself, but she appreciates all things genuine.
The butter, jam, and almond butter all rest on top of the bread, of course, which is on top of a plate. The almond butter is on top and is therefore the closest to God. For dinner, Linda eats the same meal in the opposite order: almond butter, blackberry jam, butter, bread, then milk with English breakfast tea, and then finally one double-espresso. This nighttime ritual is designed so that none of the ingredients should feel superior to the others. Lunch is usually pizza. This is life.
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On the late Lou Reed’s 69th birthday, Elizabeth Wurtzel explained that contrary to the assertions of Philip Roth and others, the problem with Jewish male artists is not that they are too nice