I can’t remember the last time I actually sat down and cooked breakfast on a weekday. My breakfast, when it does happen, usually consists of an alarmingly large coffee, two gummy multivitamins, and maybe, if I’m feeling really fancy, a granola bar hastily scarfed down in the back of the bus on my morning commute while listening to the Daily.
It’s not glamorous. But in a world where many people have to work constantly just to pay rent, we have to learn to optimize our time. Breakfast is an easy cut, so long as you don’t mind that awful 11 AM feeling of regret you get when you’re sitting at your desk and your stomach rumbles loud enough for the person next to you to look concerned.
But what if you had 10-15 minutes in the morning where you weren’t really doing anything? A space of time where you just stand there and let water wash over you, the soothing scent of shampoo filling the air and steam surrounding you like a comforting morning hug?
Yes, I’m talking about the shower.
Have you ever considered eating in the shower? Over the past few years, the trend of eating an orange in the shower has emerged from the depths of Reddit into the mainstream. But what’s to say you can’t eat other foods in the shower, whether for pleasure or efficiency?
I want to optimize my time and stop my loved ones from worrying that I’m not getting my three square meals a day. I want to be as efficient as possible to maximize the limited sleep hours I already get. And I also want to see if the shower can elevate already mediocre foods. Part of the appeal of a fancy restaurant is the environment where you eat your food. What is the impact of eating in the shower?
And so, I set out on a quest to see if an actually good shower breakfast was even possible. Sure, anything can be a shower food if you try hard enough, but not everything should be.
Foods you definitely can and should eat in the shower:
There are around 27,000 subscribers to the reddit forum r/ShowerOrange, and for good reason. There is something delightfully satisfying about digging your fingers into a hefty naval orange, tearing off its husk and biting into that juicy flesh with no regard for where the drippings will end up. It feels almost taboo, eating an orange like this, and I was glad to be in the private confines of the shower as it happened. It was intimate. It was sensual. It was delicious.
A nice crisp lemon Greek yogurt pairs perfectly with your lather and rinse. Much of the purported benefit of eating an orange in the shower comes from its cool, refreshing consistency. Yogurt is much the same, a cool refreshment as the steam surrounds you. Just make sure it’s fresh out of the fridge and hasn’t gone bad.
Yes. I know what you’re thinking: “Melanie, did you bathe in oatmeal?” Rest assured dear reader, I did not bathe in oatmeal; I bathed WITH oatmeal—very different process. What I did do was dump a packet of dinosaur-egg instant oatmeal into a bowl, hop into the shower and let the water do the rest. It took three tries until I knew how long to hold the bowl under the water to get the perfect hot water to oatmeal ratio. Fair warning: this only works if you’re like me and enjoy scalding hot showers. Burn, baby, burn.
Even more surprising than the oatmeal was shower-made instant coffee. I chose to use my commemorative mug from the Vatican museum for this decidedly blasphemous act, placing a scoop of instant coffee into it and simply holding it under the tap. A quick mix with my finger under the tap and suddenly I had coffee. It was surprisingly satisfying, to the point that I even made a second cup.
My caffeine addiction is so great, I genuinely will continue this one during my regular showers. I have no shame.
I mean, it wasn’t particularly bad:
Bacon and egg breakfast sandwich:
The sandwich held up under the shower better than I anticipated, and the bacon brought a nice salty tinge to complement the shampoo I accidentally got in my mouth. However, the bun dissolved and the rubbery egg was markedly unpleasant. Also, if you’re going to the effort of going to a fast food establishment, buying a breakfast sandwich, and then taking it into the shower with you, you need to fix your priorities.
The rainbow sprinkles got wet and started to bleed down my arm and into the base of the tub, leaving a pale, decrepit rainbow in their wake. But if you look past the sprinkle-bleed, the heat of the shower made the donut surprisingly appetizing, melting the glaze just slightly to create a delightfully gooey texture.
Apple and/or pear:
These subpar versions of the shower orange lack the satisfying dripping of juices down your chin. Still crisp and cool, but second-rate. This is The Office without Michael Scott—the motions are the same, but the heart of it is missing.
The already convenient breakfast, made even more convenient. I made this particular smoothie with frozen fruits and veggies, so it was refreshingly cool. But I couldn’t chug it fast enough before the heat of the shower got to it. A warm smoothie, despite appearances, is not just a soup. It’s bad.
Not only did the shower make these foods worse, they made the shower worse:
Toast is the anti-shower. Everything you want toast to be—dry, crisp, sturdy—a shower actively works against. After attempting this I can’t help but wonder if showers were specifically designed to ruin toast.
Unlike with the instant coffee and oatmeal, my shower was not quite hot enough to properly brew tea. I learned this the hard way, standing for five minutes with a mug full of shower water and an earl grey tea bag, hoping something would happen. It did not. This was just warm plant water.
I specifically chose Froot Loops for this exercise, and when the cashier at the grocery store saw the box of brightly colored cereal, she looked at me and said “well, aren’t you a fun shopper!” Fun shopper or not, I could not find a redeeming quality of eating cereal in the shower. Milk and water are a bad combo, and somehow the dry cereal was even worse. I live in a fairly tight-knit neighborhood, and now next time I go to the grocery store this woman is going to ask how my Froot Loops were. I’m dreading having to disappoint her.
As I stand in the shower towards the end of this experiment, hot water beating down on my head, holding two burnt Eggo toaster waffles in my hand, I think about how I went to journalism school to make a difference in the world, to do important work. I was going to hold the powers that be to account. But is anything really important work? Or are we all just standing in the shower of life, letting the torrent beat down and make our Eggo toaster waffles soggy? I sigh. A piece of waffle falls off and clogs the drain. I am the waffle.
Why crack open a cold one with the boys when instead you can crack open a cold one in perfect solitude? The perfect shower food will always be a cold beer, even for breakfast. If you show up to work a little tipsy, just tell your boss you had a beer in the shower. Hopefully they’ll just high-five you, recognizing the perfection and beauty that is the shower beer.