I often rely on dairy foods for a quick breakfast before running out the door to catch the bus. Milk straight from the container is generally my best option, as we seldom have more than two or three minutes of breathing space until actually on said bus. But when I do have a couple minutes, actual solid dairy products are one of the few things I can stomach right out of bed, but that will still hold me until lunch.

Many people would eat lots of yogurt under these specific conditions, but I can’t. I hate the fake chemical flavors, the sugar, the fuzzy hum of enzymes on my teeth, and, god knows, the ultimate revulsion known as “fruit on the bottom”. So instead I turn to cottage cheese.

Many people hate cottage cheese, but if you happen to like it, you can get a lot out of it. My favorite morning option is the very easy cottage cheese and fruit.

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This is one of those very simple foods that rely on good ingredients. I like to use fuji apples, as they have an excellent crisp texture that contrasts beautifully with the cottage cheese. I have also used paula reds and yellow transparents to good effect. Whatever type you prefer, just make sure your apple is sound and ripe, and you will be fine.

Cut your apple in eighths, core it, and slice each eighth into two or three bite-sized chunks. Add them to your bowl of cottage cheese—however much you want for breakfast—and gently mix. Eat with toast and tea.

You can, of course, use other fruits. My mother used to use canned peaches, but I think those are too soft for adequate contrast with the cottage cheese, and awfully syrupy besides. Real, ripe peaches work much better, as do plums and pears. I would not use citrus fruits, as the juice will make your dairy curdle, but the mild acidity of late summer and fall fruits provide a great mix of flavor.

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