Breakfast: not just for the birds

Outside the window of my office area, I have a bird feeder.  On return to the Sabine Farm from the UK, I immediately refilled the feeder, much to the delight – and I daresay great need – of the rather greedy little chickadees and the occasional nuthatch which frequent it. 

Here is a nuthatch coming in for a landing.  I think these birds are so hungry they just don’t care if I am standing right there.


I cannot speculate about the considerations of the aforementioned nuthatch.  But I do have a pretty good rapport with the less than elusive chickadee.  Here is one hammering away at a seed, which it is clutching against the metal bar.

Chickadees present no special mysteries to me, since I am able to imitate their call well enough that, during the warmer times, they fly up to me to check me out.

There was some light hoarfroast which improves the already nice view.

Something nice to look at over breakfast.


"But Father! But Father!" you might be saying, "What did you have for breakfast?  You show the view, but I can’t tell from that what you made!  What ever it was, you don’t exactly eat like a bird."


Inspired by my recent trip, I had a very proper breakfast, with thick bacon, fried tomatoes, an eggs and muffin with some orange marmalade and very strong black coffee.

I was lacking a "Say the Black – Do the Red" coffee mug this morning, however, though you don’t have to.

Though I couldn’t possibly eat this way every morning, it was a nice way to start a day, I can tell you.

Then comes the trudge though the snowy banks to the Sabine Chapel:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. danphunter1 says:

    Welcome home.
    Is that your huge red barn in the photograph?
    And if it is, what is in it?
    It is magnificent looking!
    God bless you.

  2. jaykay says:

    Fr Z: ” Though I couldn’t possibly eat this way every morning, it was a nice way to start a day,”

    It certainly can be, when done properly. In Britain or Ireland the breakfast would almost invariably also include sausages and black or white pudding (or both) which is basically a type of blood sausage. However, the importance lies on the quality of the ingredients. It’s safe to say that in a lot of so-called “traditional” bed & breakfasts (which is about the only place you get this sort of stuff these days) the quality of what’s offered can be appalling i.e. sausages with a real meat content of about 20%, the rest being mechanically-recovered “meat”; bacon which seems to be about 60% water and the rest salt, and as for the tomatoes and puddngs… well, don’t go there.

    While away on business recently and staying in one of these “B&B’s” I had to endure this on the first morning. When on the second day I politely said I wasn’t hungry (because I just couldn’t bring myself to say it was basically inedible) I was offered what was known as the “vegetarian option”. This was sawdust muesli, commercial yoghurt that was vile beyond vileness and tinned grapefruit – about the only edible thing.

    And there’s so much good stuff readily available – home-made sausages etc. My experience made me despair for the tourist trade in my native country.

    Another winner of the WDTPRS Sour Grapes Award!

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Can anyone recommend a good all meat organic sausage that can be gotten in the U S of A?
    Thank you.

  4. dan: And if it is, what is in it?


  5. Geoffrey says:

    Looks wonderful, Father! What time is dinner? ;-)

  6. danphunter1 says:



  7. berenike says:

    But where was the fried bread? No fried bread, no breakfast. Moreover, marmalade without butter is like, is like, like – ah an example that may speak to you – an alb without an amice.

  8. paul says:

    I’ve never used butter, but here is something I can recommend. It sounds wierd, but trust me. Toast (or muffin) with marmelade and bacon on top. The bacon goes really well with the marmelade, in my opinion.

  9. Jonathan Bennett says:

    Fr. Z, your delectable breakfast made me jealous. Despite it being way past the time for breakfast here I just had to make my own.

    Eggs, thick pieces of bacon fried to a crisp, fried potatoes, sausages, toast slathered in butter, and extra-pulpy orange juice.

    Not very penitential for Lent, I know, but I will make it up somehow.

  10. Alvin says:

    Fr. Z.,
    I might forward your B&B breakfast experience to the Monastery of the Holy Cross (aka the Chicago Monks) in Chicago. They run a B&B which is very nice. Maybe they can use it as an ad – “Some B&B’s serve…..”

    Do you make your own yoghurt? How? Is it really necessary to be picky about the choice of starter cultures? Do you use pasteurized/homongenized milk? Organic, I presume.

    Your culinary pictures are a favorite in our family and bring much us much joy. They elicit comments like “ouuu, that looks very good….” The motu proprio celebratory photo was a hit.

  11. RichR says:

    I’m getting an Egg McMuffin with Sausage for breakfast tomorrow. My boy is allergic to milk and eggs, so I don’t make it at home. Seeing these beautiful photos reminds me how much I miss…..eggs.

    Oh yeah, and the scenic photos are marvelous as well.

  12. Momof7boyz says:


    I just LOVE your pictures.. They always make my day! the breakfast looked quite good too!

  13. Alvin: My B&B experience? Sorry… this the the Sabine Farm and not a B&B for me, though it is for my guests.

    I have in the past made my own yogurt, as a matter of fact. It is pretty easy to do, also. I was thinking of this just other day when I was still in Fareham, in Hampshire. The cook at the rectory made scones and used yogurt. Since I make scones once in a while, I started thinking of making yoghurt again as well, it has so many advantages.

  14. torontonian says:

    Chickadees and nuthatches form mixed flocks during the winter, and they can both be pretty tame around people. They’ll sometimes eat out of your hand if you’re patient enough to stand out there with your arm extended for a while, though it’s far easier to convince the chickadees to do this than the nuthatches.

  15. Ray from MN says:

    A goodly supply of the white stuff is evidenced in the photo showing the path to the Sabine Chapel, Father.

  16. torontonian: Chickadees and nuthatches form mixed flocks during the winter


  17. Kiran says:

    What lovely birds! And photographs!

  18. Dan says:

    Dimmi una cosa…dove la fattoria Sabina? E` negli Stati Uniti??

  19. Dan: E` negli Stati Uniti??

    Si, negli USA.

  20. Maria says:

    Paul: “Bacon and marmelade”

    Speaking of surprisingly good breakfast combos, very mild cheese is nice on bread and jam (think of it like butter in solid form)–a friend clued me into that one. I don’t remember what sort of cheese we had.

    Further, when one runs out of pancake syrup, pancakes may be satisfactorily dressed with sour cream and brown sugar.

  21. Michael says:

    Do Latins not fast from meats on the weekdays of Lent? I thought it was common Latin Church practice, prior to the minimum established by the Second Vatican Council, for no-meat to extend to all the days of Lent (Sundays being less strict, Holy Week more strict).

    The Eastern Churches don’t do meat or alcohol (some refrain from oils and even dairy) all through the fast (Sundays being less strict for obvious reasons). Was this not the custom in the West?

  22. Michael says:

    re-reading my above post, I think it comes off as accusatory. Apologies – I didn’t mean for it to come off that way – I was just wondering the Latin custom in view of the Byzantine, Syriac, Copt, and others.

  23. dcs says:

    Michael asks:
    Do Latins not fast from meats on the weekdays of Lent? I thought it was common Latin Church practice, prior to the minimum established by the Second Vatican Council, for no-meat to extend to all the days of Lent (Sundays being less strict, Holy Week more strict).

    No, the only days of abstinence for Latin Catholics now are the Ash Wednesday (fast and abstinence), Good Friday (fast and abstinence), and the other Fridays of Lent (abstinence).

    Prior to the Council every weekday of Lent was a fast day, meaning meat could only be taken at the principal meal (which could be lunch or dinner but not breakfast).

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