In The Ultimate Hangover Breakfast, first published January 1, 2011, Kathryn Sharaput offered some culinary advice on how to crawl out of hangover hell and into a Brave New Year. Thanks to all the writers for letting us recycle their articles for these Posts of Christmas Past.
This time of year, food columns abound with recipes for the well-intentioned, which has somehow always struck me as ill-timed. Generally speaking, the holidays are a time for excess, with New Year’s Eve as the grand finale. When it comes to annual resolutions, regarding food, or other matters, I tend not to delude myself: the first is less a time for renewal or rebirth, than it is for abject repentance.
The morning of the new year, thousands of people across the city will simultaneously engage in earnest self-reflection and castigation; from the privacy of each bathroom, there will rise, in chorus, a shaky, tile-muffled: “Why?”
And why not? Surely it is best to begin with a clean slate (or intestinal tract)? Once our cumulative evils have been purged (spiritual or otherwise), and vehemently sworn off, we may commence our projects of modification and improvement. To begin, the body must be replenished, and such sustenance cannot be gained by the consumption of an egg white omelette. Instead, I’d advocate the standard hangover breakfast: eggs, fried meat (steak, bacon, sausage, ham), fried potatoes, and some or several forms of simple carbohydrates (toast, pancakes, etc.) – baked beans and fried tomatoes optional. Unless you’re English. Ideally, this would be served by the proprietor of your local greasy spoon, but with a modicum of foresight, it can easily be put together at home.
Here are some tips:
* Bake or boil potatoes during the week and set them aside in the refrigerator. The morning of, they can then be quickly be sliced and fried (in vegetable oil, ideally with sautéed onions) in significantly less time (and with better results) than when cooked from raw.
* If you store your bacon in the freezer, put it into the fridge to thaw (I have forgotten to do this). If you’re feeling particularly industrious, cook your meat in advance. It can be reheated later (which is what they do in restaurants).
* If cooking for more than two, put the oven on its lowest setting and place a cookie sheet, or oven-proof plate within. Completed items can stay warm while you prepare the rest of the meal.
* Prepare the dry ingredients for your pancakes, and store them in a sealed container. The wet ingredients can be mixed in the next day.
* Look for overnight French toast recipes online. They’re usually straightforward, feed a crowd (should you have company), and go directly from fridge to stove.
Okay, now sated, in post-headache nirvana, you’re allowed to assume a little guilt about the many mammals you’ve just consumed. But at the same time, you can feel virtuous in the knowledge that tomorrow, there will be muesli.