Brunch has taken a bit of a hit lately. It is now easily the most controversial meal of the day or perhaps I should say week.
David Shaftel’s opinion piece in the New York Times ‘Brunch is for Jerks‘ – if you haven’t read it and debated it with friends.. probably over brunch.. you can read it here – criticizes the brunch culture which he views as an indulgent playground for spoiled, hungover adults. It doesn’t stop there a Canadian urbanist (yes academics will write about anything) explores the middle class, specifically the creative class (which crosses over into my own research), and their fixation on brunch as a celebration of leisure, money, and time and the ability of this affluent group to waste all three in the book The Trouble with Brunch. It is actually a very interesting read!
Now before I jump down the academic rabbit hole too far and start using words like ‘therefore’ and ‘resulting’, I should really just share my own opinion of brunch.
For the most part I love brunch. Yes in my younger days brunch was a 1 pm affair with drinks because that will make the hangover better and we barely had food in the house most days in university. Now it is really just a convenient time for everyone to get together. With partners, children (or fur babies in my case), jobs, research, travel finding time in your schedule to get your friends together isn’t exactly that easy. Not to mention this granny has no intention of venturing out on a week night – that’s why I have a wine rack at home!
Since reading Shaftel’s article and subsequently Micalllef’s The Trouble with Brunch it has made me reflect on the status of brunch. The last few times out looking around at the others dining in the restaurant with their beanie hats and last nights’ eye makeup.. and generally we do go to relatively nice places. And don’t even get me started about the barefoot lady in a robe trolling the $50 Sunday brunch buffet that I recently witnessed in a 5 star hotel refusing to leave!! The service staff are generally confused, unhappy, and just plainly miserable to be working and serving these people. Don’t get me wrong not all staff are like that, but 9 times out of 10 on a Sunday morning it is.
So why are we subjecting ourselves? I can poach an egg, lovely T. often tells me my eggs benedict are better than the restaurants we frequent. Laziness? Perhaps. It is a nice luxury on a Sunday morning not to have a sink full of dishes, especially if you have a big family meal planned later in the day. Or for those of us so far away from family is brunch just a convenient time to get together with the family we’ve made for ourselves?
Either way – and maybe like Shaftel I am getting older – I am also a little over the brunch scene. Instead my resolution is not to stop eating brunch or stop seeing my friends, but to invite them to my home and cook brunch for them with a smile on my face and free of the weeks leftovers.
Want to join me?
Recently I made a sweet tomato jam to jazz up a standard egg and bacon sandwich. It took no time at all thanks to some frozen cherry tomatoes. I freeze tomatoes fresh from the summer markets for sauces and soups, extra bonus they are very easy to peel while still slightly frozen. Just cut the skin slightly and they pop right out! Add some fresh parsley and Beesmster Vlaskaas cheese you can have a restaurant quality brunch in no time! I used a local smoked bacon.. they actually call it super smoked, so good! So the sweetness of the tomato jam and the sharpness of the vlaskaas cheese balanced really well with the flavor from the bacon.
So maybe next Sunday stay home and give my easy three step jam a try 🙂
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, peeled
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp bacon sea salt
- ½ tsp lemon peel, dried*
- Blend tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, and lemon peel until smooth.
- Transfer to pan and over medium heat, stir constantly till warm but not boiling. Then reduce heat.
- Simmer for at least 10 mins.
To assemble the sandwich I toasted a piece of buttered ciabia bread, then spread one tbsp of tomato jam, topped with a sunny side up egg, more jam and grated vlaskaas cheese. Then placed under the broiler to melt cheese. Serve with fresh topped parsley for a lovely brunch at home. Enjoy!