I read somewhere that the average New Year’s resolution lasts nine days. I’m pretty sure none of mine have ever lasted that long. So this year I needed an incentive to stick to what’s become an annual resolution to ‘write more’. And what better incentive than brunch?
I bloody love brunch. I had the good fortune to marry an American, and among the many perks of that sacred union, the opportunity to visit the States semi-regularly and go out for brunch is probably second only to Thanksgiving (clearly I’m joking. My husband knows I love him more than food. Most of the time).
It pees me off that we just don’t ‘do’ brunch in the UK (at least, not here in the north of England). Of course, the full English breakfast is a gastronomic marvel in its own right, but it’s not brunch with all the associations of brunch-tastic brunchiness that word evokes (see, there is a reason I need to write more). For me, a Full English generally equals either A) a horrendous hangover; B) a dodgy seaside B&B; or C) a stop-off at the Little Chef during a road trip to see relatives ‘darn sarf’ in the 1980s. Nothing to get excited about, and something you quite often end up regretting.
Brunch meanwhile is an event, a ritual, almost worthy of an aria. It’s about food that’s too special to eat except on a weekend – that demands to be savoured – but that’s laid-back and comforting enough to eat in your dressing gown (or jeans if you’re brunching out – I don’t condone anyone leaving the house in their dressing gown). It’s the ultimate indulgence – an entirely made-up meal (perhaps coined by marketers to make suckers like me buy Tropicana orange juice or Kenco coffee, but let’s put that to one side for now…) that serves no purpose other than the pleasure of eating it. It’s the essence of Sunday morning on a plate: languorous eating after you’ve lazed too long in bed; an excuse to eke out as much weekend goodness as possible whether whiling away a few hours with friends, or spending quality time with no-one except a bottomless cup of Joe and the Sunday papers.
Whereas breakfast – and too often lunch for that matter – is a perfunctory, forgettable, entirely functional affair, many of the gastronomic memories that have burned themselves onto my brain have done so because they’ve involved brunch: Eggs Benedict and Mimosas with the in-laws on the deck at (the now sadly defunct) Mimi’s in Charleston, South Carolina; a mile-high stack of pancakes and bacon at the Penny Cluse café while honeymooning in Burlington, Vermont; huevos rancheros with frosty Margaritas and besties at Dr Generosity in Toronto, Canada. That, my friends, is how you do brunch.
So this blog is my mission – not just to start the food blog I’ve been promising to write literally for years – but to inject a much-needed dose of the ultimate soul food into this little corner of our brunch-deprived nation. In these days of economic gloom, endless working days and the relentless tyranny of the quotidian, it’s a call to arms; a manifesto to reclaim Sunday morning for nothing other than the devouring of pancakes, bacon, syrup and home fries, and the downing of a vat of coffee. It’s my challenge to eat a proper brunch once a week and carve out a moment in time that is forever Sunday; to share favourite recipes based on brunches been and gone, and take the culinary road less travelled by experimenting with all kinds of new brunch creations.
Come and join the Over Easy brunch club and vive la brunch revolution!Racheal
p.s. Some other stuff about me. Just in case you’re interested:
- Originally from Middlesbrough, I now live in Wakefield, Yorkshire – heart of the rhubarb triangle – with my perpetually grumbly cat and my aforementioned husband, who originally hails from South Carolina and who heartily approves of this blog (any excuse to eat more bacon gets his full-blooded endorsement).
- When I’m not frying up pancakes in my cast-iron skillet I do marketing and communications for an economic development partnership (and long for the day when I can complete the sentence “I’m a [insert occupation]” with a single word).
- My other culinary passion, aside from brunch, is cake-baking and I run the Wakefield Clandestine Cake Club – an underground baking society for people who love to bake, eat and talk about cake. I plan to use this blog occasionally to post my cake club recipes but for the full fattie (for some reason ‘full skinny’ just sounds wrong in the context of cake) see the official Clandestine Cake Club website
- I do enjoy other things besides a good old troughing (honestly!), namely: travelling; stomping about the Yorkshire countryside in my wellies; doing up the 1930s house husband and I bought last year; crooning chansons at karaoke; crafting and binge-watching DVD box sets with the grumble cat snoozing on my knee. Don’t tell anyone but I’m also a closet sci-fi/ fantasy nerd, so the odd Game of Thrones/ Star Wars/ Lord of the Rings reference might slip out. Sorry about that.