Brunch at Home with Friends!
When I set a beautiful table for Brunch my heart and soul sing with delight. I waited for this glorious moment, and skipped breakfast earlier that morning. Anticipation for this special time when all my senses are ready to taste the delicacies is heightened simply by looking at the display of all the dishes I prepared for this wonderful occasion. It truly is one of my favorite feasts! A Brunch at Home with Friends should be treated as a special time. It needs to be enjoyed leisurely to fully experience the abundance of the table.
The idea of “Brunch” actually dates to the Roman times, simply since it took the Romans hours to consume the amount of food they had on their first meal of the day. Clodius Alvinus was known to have devoured up to a hundred tiny birds for his “morning meal.”
‘……the Queen (Elizabeth I), God be thanked, paid no attention to the new-style finicking, and made her first meal of the day light but sustaining: butter, bread, a stew of mutton, a joint of beef, one of veal, some rabbits in a pie, chickens and fruits, with beer and wine to wash all down in really hygienic fashion.’
‘new-style finicking,’ became the trend. Italy and the rest of Europe created a breakfast a little lighter in style. One such occasion was reported in a diary of Samuel Pepy on January 1, 1661. While entertaining his family he wrote…
‘And I have for them a barrel of oysters,
a dish of meat’s tongues,
and a dish of Anchovies –
wine of all sorts and Northdown ale.
We were very merry till about 11 a-clock,
and then they went away.’
Coffee was introduced to England and Europe in the 1650 by a Turkish ambassador at the court of Louis XIV, but was considered by the medical profession as ‘bad for health and soul.’ Similar criticisms were later given to Tea. Tea is thought to have been introduced into England from Asia by Lord Arlington in 1666, but it took further thirty years or so to become a firmly established breakfast beverage.
Meanwhile, in America, specifically in New Orleans, the ‘American Brunch’ was created, a meal combining breakfast and lunch. Opinions differ as to how and why it was established. One school of thought is that the French merchants, who were up very early in the morning and had no time nor felt like eating at that hour of the day, decided to meet in town and take a leisurely breakfast later in the morning when work was finished . A second theory is that after the first Christmas Mass, celebrated in 1718, the settlers held a highly social and late breakfast, and the event became a tradition.
By the end of the following century the new meal had crossed the Atlantic. In 1900 ‘The Westminster Gazette’ wrote:
‘Perish scrambling breakfast, formal lunch,
Hardened nightbirds fondly cherish
All the subtle charms of brunch.’
Since the 19th century, breakfast menus, and therefore brunch menus, have seen many changes. Fruit has become an almost indispensable part to the early or mid-morning table. Wonderful egg dishes have evolved with a creativity which stops only with one’s imagination. This 21st century has brought about a “fusion” kitchen where one mixes different cultures in dishes we hardly could imagine 30 to 50 years ago. Indeed “brunch” has become a true feast to all our senses and should be a celebratory meal from start to finish.
One of my favorite ways of entertaining,
in more ways then one,
is a Sunday Brunch!
To add to your Brunch Table here is my favorite dish, the
Here is the Recipe
I use store bought – Pie Crust!
I know you expected better from me, but I am a practical person. In all the years of entertaining I found that most people do not eat the crust in either quiches or pies. I have to admit I do not eat them as well. Therefore, I use whatever kind of unbaked pie crusts I find in the store.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
1/2 small onion – chopped
3 strips bacon – render fat in microwave, crumble into little pieces
1/4 green bell pepper – chopped
1 small tomato – seeded and chopped
1/2 cup any kind of cheese – grated
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream – or 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
Spray the quiche pan with baking spray or grease the quiche pan before lining it with the pastry crust.
Place all the ingredients into the unbaked pie crust.
Mix eggs and cream with salt and pepper – and pour the mixture over the vegetables in the crust.
Sprinkle nutmeg over the quiche.
Bake the quiche in a preheated oven – 350 F – for about 1 hour – or until quiche puffs up and begins to brown.
Bake the quiche on the lowest shelf in the oven to enhance browning of the pastry on the bottom.
Let the quiche rest for a few minutes before serving. It will loose some of the puffiness.
Suggestions for what to serve at a brunch!
All kind so egg dishes
Breads sweet and savory
Sweet Yeast Breads
Mixed Cocktail Drinks
Light fruity Wines
Coffee and Tea
The historical information was taken from the following books:
Food, Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, Jean Louis Flandrin and Mssimo Montanari – Columbia University Press, New York, 1999
Savoring the Past, The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789, Barbara Ketcham WheatonThe University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983
Food In History, Reay Tannahill – Stein and Day Publishers, New York, 1973
The Old World Kitchen, The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking, Elisabeth – LuardBantam Books, New York, NY 1987
History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint – Samat – Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA, 1994
Larousse Gastronomique, Crown Publishers, New York, 1972
Copyright: Maria Reisz Springer……..
Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: email@example.com Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com