Yesterday, our friends Dawna and Jim and Beth and John came over for brunch, one of our favorite meals to host. Neither Clif nor I are morning people, so inviting people over for an early breakfast is not, ahem, our thing. But brunch can be started late morning, even noon, if you feel like it, and we love all the brunchy food—pancakes, waffles, home fries, egg dishes. We just don’t want to prepare them first thing.
Clif and I are not what you would call organized (unfortunately!) but when it comes to brunch, we have things under control. I started a day or two ahead by making a blueberry sauce and a chunky apple sauce. By Sunday, the potatoes for the home fries were cooked and cooled in a bowl in the refrigerator. (I’ve learned that cool potatoes make the best home fries.)
The day of the brunch, I put together the chili eggs, a baked dish with plenty of cheese and, of course, green chilis. I am also Captain Home Fries, and for this brunch I had three frying pans going—five pounds of potatoes—while the chili eggs baked. Truly, I felt like a maestro as I presided over the sizzling home fries.
Clif whipped up his delectable waffles, and we gathered around the dining room table as he made fresh hot waffles, one at time. He passed the plate around, and sections were taken. At first the dish came back empty, but as Clif continued making waffles, we could no longer keep up with waffle consumption, and the pile grew.
The cherry on the sundae was Beth’s blueberry cake, so moist, so light, so good. After a meal like that, stretching on for hours, Clif and I didn’t eat much of anything else for the rest of the day.
The talk around the table ranged from politics—the Iowa primaries are coming right up—to books, to movies, and, of course, to food. I mentioned that with Shannon and Mike moving to the South, one of the things I really missed were the simple celebrations—birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day—that we shared. I told of the fish tacos we made for Shannon’s birthday last year and of the chocolate cupcakes with peppermint whipped cream that Shannon always made me for Mother’s Day.
Dawna said, “I know what you mean. We do the same thing in our family, but somehow Jim’s birthday is always the favorite with our granddaughters. They love to come over and help me make cupcakes for him and then frost them.”
Such a sweet story in so many ways—the love the granddaughters feel for their grandfather, the helping with the cupcakes, and the pleasure they take in celebrating Jim’s birthday. The granddaughters are young, and it says a lot that Jim’s birthday, rather than their own birthdays, is the favourite celebration.
I have no doubt that when those girls grow up, they will continue the tradition of food and merriment in celebration of birthdays and other special events.