Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The most important meal of the day

Prior to the 1920’s breakfast in America was not considered “the most important meal of the day”.  Coffee and toast were the norm and the noonday meal . . . dinner . . . provided the heartiest fare. 

The word ‘dinner’ actually means breakfast as it comes from the Latin word ‘disjejunare’, which literally means ‘break the fast’.

It was until a man named Edward Bernays, “the father” of public relations, who was hired as the publicist for Beechnut Packing Company launched a campaign to popularize a new and untested product . . . bacon. 

Bernays was a double nephew of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. His father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud's wife Martha Bernays. His mother was Freud's sister, Anna.

Bernays believed that society possessed a herd mentality.  He believed that it was necessary to manipulate the masses, which he considered irrational and dangerous as a result of the 'herd instinct'.

One of Bernays' favorite techniques for influencing popular opinion was the indirect use of "third party authorities".   This was how he changed what Americans ate for breakfast.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. 

In one of the most infamous PR campaigns in history, Bernays sent out a survey to 5,000 doctors asking them if a substantial or a light breakfast was better.  They replied unanimously that a hearty breakfast was better because the larger intake could provide the most energy in the morning to keep you active all day. Bernays advertised these results in the newspapers, displaying that 5,000 doctors declare eating a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs was superior to that of a light breakfast of juice, toast, and coffee.  Bernays' plan to redirect popular opinion and the sale of bacon went up; making bacon the number one breakfast meat ever!

This provided him with proof-positive that the public can itself be molded by people they don’t even know exist.  And, enforced his belief that psychology could be used to help free the sheeple from habit and the bondage of conformity.


Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

  • 1 Loaf French Bread (13 To 16 Ounces)
  • 8 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups Half-And-Half
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Dash Salt
  • Praline Topping, Recipe Follows
  • Maple Syrup
Praline Topping:

  • 1/2 Pound (2 Sticks) Butter
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs).

Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. 

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread.

Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. 

Serve with maple syrup.  I think it's sweet enough without the maple syrup so I serve it with bacon!

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