My anxieties towards breakfast started with this wildly popular Dr. Seuss book. When I was quite young, I refused to eat any proteins associated with the word. This included the holy grail of all breakfast meats: Bacon.
I was not Sam I Am. I would not eat them in a box, with a fox, in a house and certainly not with a mouse. Gross. I never made it to the end of the book because the illustrations made me nauseous. A wonky chunk of green meat speared with a paltry utensil that resembled a fork? No thank you.
It all started when a couple of my cousins convinced me the eggs and ham were moldy. Sam I Am was trying to poison the man who would ultimately end up in the hospital if he ate them. Suddenly, a book with a moral became a book with a nightmare. I never wanted to know what became of the poor chap, so I would stop mid-story—or if I was feeling particularly daring, right before he would consume them.
It wasn’t until I was nine years old I had my first sleepover at a friend’s home. Sleepovers were fun, but breakfast was a stressful time for me. Instead of the usual cereal box selection that lined most countertops on a Saturday morning, my friend’s mom opted to prepare a hot breakfast. These smells weren’t foreign to me by any means, as my own mom made them regularly; I just knew I would have to eat what was put in front of me so not to offend anyone. My Mama taught me well.
As I took my place at the table, I swallowed hard knowing I was about to face my fears head on. I watched as my friend tucked into her fried eggs by smashing the bulbous yolks open with the corner of her toast point. The marigold hue ran down into the valleys of her crispy bacon strips, creating pools in the ripples. She picked up the bacon and heartily bit into it as bright yolk ran down the palm of her hand, stopping mid-chew to lick it.
Squeezing my eyes to fight the flashbacks of moldy eggs and ham, I nibbled on a piece of toast slathered up with homemade strawberry jam. I thought I dodged a bullet until her Mom encouraged me to dig in. I helped myself to a piece of bacon from the plate in the center of the table, squeezing my paper napkin as if my life depended on it and took that first bite.
Like a kid in a candy store or a bird with a french fry, euphoria took over like never before.
This is…. really good! What was I so afraid of? Why didn’t I try it sooner? WHY IS THERE NO MORE BACON ON THIS PLATE?!
I picked up a copy of Green Eggs and Ham several years later and finally finished the book. I was happy to read the man ate the green eggs and ham, lived to tell the tale, and all was right with the world. Oddly enough, the food I once feared is now my most favourite to consume.
Moral of the story: Try it. You just might like it.
And friends, these Maple Bacon Cupcakes are no exception. They’re a delicious take on pancakes or waffles, drizzled with sweet maple syrup and served with a side of crispy bacon.
Heed your mother’s (and Dr. Seuss’) advice and give them a try.
Trust me. You’ll eat them with fox, in a box, in a house, and even with a mouse.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes