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How Churchill Liked His Eggs In The Morning, And 13 Other Breakfasts That Helped Remake The World

The charity Send a Cow has released a new eBook of breakfast recipes revealing the weird and wonderful concoctions that got the giants of history started in the morning. Get some ideas below and then have a go at recreating the recipes yourself...

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Winston Churchill

Getty Images | Send a Cow / Via

Poached egg, toast with jam and butter, cold meats, grapefruit, whisky, cigar

On a flight to the US, Churchill famously amended the in-flight menu to add his own breakfast - complete with the whisky and cigar.

Barack Obama

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Scrambled egg whites, turkey sausage, hash browns and wheat toast

The campaign trail can take you to all kinds of wondrous food joints, with month after month criss-crossing the US or dropping in on foreign leaders. But on election day 2008, it was Valois Cafeteria - Obama's regular breakfast spot in Chicago - that shared an old fave from the new leader of the free world.

Albert Einstein

Send a Cow / Via

Fried eggs and honey

Really? Yes really. The best mind of a generation ran on honey-drizzled eggs. Maybe, maybe, dabbling with oatmeal once in a while would've teased out that Theory of Everything..

Rosa Parks

Rosa Park's booking photo, December 1955 / Via

‘Featherlite’ pancakes, made with buttermilk and peanut butter

After her death in 2005, this rather wonderful pancake recipe was found on the back of an envelope. Her legacy as a civil rights activist looms somewhat larger, as she was of course arrested in 1955 after refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger - a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

On the evening of December 1st, four black passengers were told by the driver: 'better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats'. Three got up. Rosa did not. When the driver pressed her as to why, she simply replied: 'I don't think I should have to'.

A number of US states now mark December 1st as Rosa Parks Day.

Mahatma Gandhi

Send a Cow / Via

Porridge and cocoa, goat's milk

Simple, cheap, vegetarian - and wisely dodged the British salt tax. Gandhi's leadership of non-violent protests against the monopolising East India Company and Britain's colonial rule went much wider of course, but mass civil disobedience has to start somewhere in the morning.

Florence Nightingale

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Kedgeree (haddock, rice, eggs, and parmesan)

This dish, also known as Rice á la Soeur Nightingale, was made in honour of the founder of modern nursing - who devoted her life to helping soldiers wounded during the Crimean War.

William Shakespeare


Sops (stale bread in milk)

History might not record what Shakespeare chowed down on in the morning, but this is a best guess from the time.

If you're looking to the playwright for inspiration though, maybe dodge this breakfast 'treat' and try a copy of Othello instead...

Anna Grace Amongin

Send a Cow / Via

Millet porridge and amukeke (dried sweet potato)

You might not recognise every name in Send a Cow's book of recipes, and this is probably one of them.

Anna Amongin received a cow from the charity after leaving a Ugandan slum and reinvested the cash raised from selling milk into a successful poultry and vegetable business that helped her put her kids through school.

They have gone on to become a teacher, a designer, a nurse, and a UN peacekeeper - and all enjoyed breakfasts created with Anna's produce!

Thomas Edison

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Apple dumplings and milk

Not too surprisingly, Edison's fame is wired to the lightbulb he invented. But the list of his inventions goes on and on - the motion picture camera, the gramophone, the electric car battery, the carbon microphone used in telephones and early radios, and plenty more. Over a lifetime, he accumulated 1093 US patents.

Mother Teresa (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu)

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Chapatis with clarified butter and chai

A wonderfully simple and delicious way to make breakfast with flour and water. It served Anjezë Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa, as she journeyed from Albania to 'help and live among the poor'. The Missionaries of Charity that she founded now works in 133 countries - most famously around the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India.

Nelson Mandela

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Umphokoqo (porridge made from maize and sour milk)

In the last twenty years of his life, Mandela is said to have revisited the tastes and flavours of his childhood, including this particular brand of oatmeal. It's fair to say a typical breakfast on Robben Island was rather less pleasant.

Jane Austen

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Pound cake, tea, toast and cocoa

Yep, for breakfast. Sounds pretty lovely, and certainly beats the sodden bread that powered the other literary genius on our list. It was announced in 2013 that Austen is to take the place of Charles Darwin on the next £10 note.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst | Getty Images / Via

What the best-known of the suffragettes took for breakfast isn't exactly known, but she was one of the few to avoid force-feeding whilst on hunger strike at Holloway prison.

When the guards attempted it, she picked up a clay water jug and declared: 'If any of you dares so much as to take one step inside this cell I shall defend myself'.

Neil Armstrong

Send a Cow / Via

Bacon squares, sugar cookie cubes, dehydrated peaches, coffee and rehydratable pineapple-grapefruit drink

On an average day, Neil's breakfast probably wasn't too interesting. But that's not the one we care about. On the day they stepped out of Apollo 11 and uttered THOSE WORDS, Neil and the gang were enjoying this culinary delight. Some breakfasts really are out of this world.

And finally - what a donation to Send a Cow will mean

Send a Cow / Via

Send a Cow's Break...Fast appeal is providing seeds, tools and livestock to help families in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and Lesotho grow enough to feed themselves - focusing on the importance of a nutritious breakfast.

The appeal aims to raise £500,000 which, with match funding from the UK government, will help some 5,400 children over the next three years. |

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