My parents recently visited from overseas for 3 weeks. It was great! They live in a part of the world where heavy meals are usually lunch-time meals and dinner meals tend to be much lighter fare.
Our North American lifestyle was hard to change during this period: because the kids were in school, their lunches were light and so they needed a substantial dinner meal. So, my poor parents had to eat heavy meals at dinner to accommodate their hosts.
On the weekends, I thought I would try and balance things out by treating them to a North American brunch!
On the weekends, I thought I would treat them to a North American brunch. While preparing the meal, I got to thinking about the concept of brunch and did a bit of research on the origin of the word and which cultures have embraced it.
My hunch was that North Americans invented the concept, but I was wrong. According to an article on Smithsonian.com Smithsonian Magazine: The Birth of Brunch, British author Guy Beringer first wrote about brunch in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. Mr. Beringer wrote a plea of sorts, recommending a meal that would not be as heavy as the traditional Sunday meals.
An article on the Brunch DC blog talks about how brunch became more popular after World War II when working women wanted a break from Sunday cooking and when church attendance declined. What is interesting is that chefs and restaurants find brunch to be a lot of work for a Sunday! So, brunches do take place in other parts of the world, too, like Sunday Dim Sum and international hotels in the Middle East.
For my parents’ visit, I decided to throw them a Sunday brunch that included lots of protein like salmon, eggs, bacon, and cheese, so that they could count the brunch as their heavy meal of the day.
They were good with that and even followed through with a light dinner, like they are used to having!
Here’s what was on the menu:
Waffles and syrup and whipping cream
Bagels, cream cheese, lox with capers and tomatoes and red onions
Scrambled eggs and bacon
Cheeses and jam
Fruit in season
Fresh orange juice