by David Kitai
That final exam, often slated a stupidly long time after all your other work is done, becomes a spectre. It hangs over your year, preventing you from celebrating and cajoling you into the library day in and day out. When that exam ends, when you gleefully hand the booklet to a tired looking TA, it’s a sense of real freedom.
But how do you mark the occasion?
An epic feast, requiring hours of preparation? A lavish night out, racking up a bill to dwarf your student debt? No, for this writer, there is no more perfect, more unsullied, way to celebrate the end of exams than the choice of Parks and Rec’s own Ron Swanson and Lesley Knope: breakfast food.
Whether you stride out of the exam hall at the middle or the end of the day, breakfast food is the perfect mixture of speed and innate satisfaction. Nothing is more freeing, more indicative of your new wealth of leisure time than luxuriating over breakfast. Furthermore, you want a meal that won’t take more than half an hour to prepare. But each of us are different, we study different things and have different plans for our post-exam reality. Therefore, dear reader, I have for you three breakfast meals that will speak to any post-exam soul in search of celebratory sustenance.
#1 The Fry-Up
My first suggestion is for the student who, after a long, hard year of studies, wants a distended stomach and greasy nap. Sausages and bacon are key, don’t limit yourself. The eggs, whether fried or scrambled, should be greasy and a little more browned than appropriate. Heinz-brand baked beans are always best. Have the foresight to soften your butter—there’s nothing more frustrating than cold butter gouged into a piece of toast. Hash browns are a lovely addition, if slightly time-consuming. The roasted tomato is loved by some, but not by me. A brown morass of mushrooms, though, is an absolute must. As far as appropriate hydration, a cold pint is always welcome.
#2 The Eggs Benny
My second is for the driven student, one who’s already secured a serious summer job, just nailed their last exam and wants to show the world they’ve got the energy and focus for something finicky and Instagramable. Replace peameal with smoked salmon and whip up a Roquefort béchamel. Why not fry a potato rosti on the side? And, of course, mix up a celebratory mimosa or belini.
#3 The Omelette
My third and final suggestion is for the student who wants to savour the moment. Make it like Jaques Pepin does, with a simple, delicate technique and just four ingredients: eggs, chives, butter and salt. Share it with a friend who helped get you through the year—there’s no greater sign of love than making somebody an omelette. Open a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire and relish the taste of freedom.