Second Breakfast: the act of following first breakfast with another breakfast if eaten before noon. (Otherwise you move into the area of First Lunch and Second Lunch which we first heard about from our friends Matt and Karen Smith in their hilarious, and highly recommended, book series Dear Bob and Sue.)
At home I would just call it a mid-morning snack, but when we’re traveling in Wanda we refer to it as Second Breakfast. There are some loose rules that govern this second morning consumption of food.
First, one of the two meals needs to include some variety of bakery items. (donuts, pastries, cake) But exceptions can be made for ice cream as well. I told you the rules were loose. Second, eating bakery items for First Breakfast typically means you cannot have Second Breakfast unless it includes a meat like a breakfast taco with chorizo or bacon.
On our last trip to New England, sourcing a Second Breakfast was a major goal. Some of the more memorable were:
- Marietta, Ohio. Well, we actually woke up in Charleston, WV. We grabbed a breakfast bar and had a cup of coffee, drove to the state capitol and walked around a bit, and then drove 90 miles to Marietta, OH. (Why Marietta? Because I once read a book by the late David McCullough that featured Ohio’s first town.) As we approached Ohio, I asked Jenni to search for a bakery. We learned that once you exclude those in grocery chains, the numbers are very small. But McHappy’s Bake Shoppe was rated very high. The lady behind the glass display case was kind as we took time picking a half dozen items including something filled with maple cream, an apple-cake donut, and a couple cannoli. Some didn’t make it out of the parking lot. The cannoli were for dessert that night. And there were enough left to start out the next day with a sugar high.
- Skowhegan, Maine. We had no choice but to stop at a place with a name like “The Bankery”. In downtown Skowhegan there was a bakery that had transformed an old bank building into their store front. Here it was cookie sandwiches and scones that caught our eye. We managed to save the scones for First Breakfast the following day.
- Verona Island, Maine. A late night decision to drive to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse meant an hour and half out-of-the-way drive the next morning. Fast starts only require a breakfast bar and cup of coffee but you know there’s going to be something more satisfying before lunchtime. It was pure luck that we found Sweet Cheeks Bakery. The store caught our eye as we drove by, so we muted the GPS lady to keep her from squawking, did a U-turn, and pulled into their parking lot. This was the most enticing bakery thus far! So many choices but we grabbed a traditional Whoopie Pie, an apple fritter, blueberry turnover, and a pecan sticky bun. (I've said it before, but people in the Northeast do NOT pronounce pecan correctly. But when they bake this good, I forgive them.) A cool breeze and their picnic table was all the encouragement we needed to split the sticky bun.
- Ellsworth, Maine. As mentioned before, after excluding Wal-Mart and other grocery chains ,the pool of independent bakeries appears to be a dwindling number. It’s hard work, no doubt. As we approached this little gateway city to Acadia National Park, we were in the mood for Second Breakfast and searched for a bakery. There were two, but one seemed too foo-foo so we drove to the other. We walked in and found a limited number of items and an owner starved for conversation. We pointed to a couple items and as she bagged them and made my change, we learned that she couldn’t hire good help and she had just gotten over COVID. As she began to describe her symptoms as well as those of at least five family members, I admit that I tried holding my breath, but Jenni will tell you that can only last about 15 seconds. So I then took a step back from the counter and tried breathing from the side rather than straight on. (Hey, it must have worked.) Another customer walked in and that was our chance to escape! When we got to the van, we looked at each other and asked ‘are you going to eat that?’ (Of course, I did.) A few days later we passed through the same town and when Jenni asked if I wanted to stop at a bakery, I said I was NOT going back to the COVID Bakery.
During our almost four weeks traveling, there were several other opportunities for Second Breakfasts. We had been advised that Maine was known for lobsters and wild blueberries. Well, we found blueberries much more enjoyable (and affordable) than lobster so we did our best to try them in as many shapes and recipes as possible. It wasn’t always for breakfast, but Wild Maine Blueberry Ice Cream was the best!
Now I already told you last week that I hit my goal weight in the days following our return. I’m not sure how that happened, other than a considerable amount of hiking, but it has got me wondering if Second Breakfast couldn’t replace Keto or the Atkins Diet!
If you enjoy stories like this, please look for my new book,
on Amazon. Available in eBook and Paperback.