I can’t explain quite why I enjoy baking so much. Most of my making (food, crafts, art) is an attempt to understand and connect with the world. The inner workings of a croissant may not reveal the true nature of the universe, but it is ever so much more meaningful to me than just buying and consuming a pastry (we live near so many good bakeries that I buy and consume often, too!).
Sometimes I day dream about opening a tiny cafe. Something laid back, out of the way, sun filled where the customers never complain and the baking is never rushed. I’d love to be able to try all kinds of recipes and fill friendly hands and mouths ready and willing to taste. I’ve been employed by or involved in commercial food production from farms to cheese making to bakeries and when it is required for making a living, rather than for enjoyment and the happiness of yourself and others, it can quickly become a tedious obligation. I find great satisfaction in a job well done, in knowing how to manage time and make everything work out right, but it would be harder to find the joy in it when trying to keep a business afloat.
In the meantime, we have a monthly brunch at our place which gives me a chance to try new recipes, embark on more extensive baking projects, and feed hungry and appreciative friends. I love making food for other people, and using gatherings as an excuse to cook and bake to my heart’s content, but I am not the most comfortable or confident host. I’ve always longed for the easy friendships that make connecting and spending time together as simple as just asking, not having to juggle schedules or feel like people have better things to do. It takes a long time for me to feel totally comfortable in these relationships, so perhaps it will never feel effortless but it is certainly a worthwhile way to try to grow our community and strengthen friendships.
Hosting brunch works really well for us. We don't have to worry about bedtime, kids can play freely while adults talk and eat, many friends can find time one Sunday a month, and I always have ideas for things to make. My brunch menu usually consists of some sort of baked good, eggs (fritatta, quiche, scrambled or other), fruit, and often another side, this week it was skillet potatoes and veggies. I guess it is more br- than -unch but I try to have a mix of savory and sweet. A few more favorites, if you need brunch inspiration: these sauces and eggs were a big hit, I used the Tartine Bread recipe for the croissants, homemade pop tarts, make a batch of chai tea. I'm thinking about bagels or maybe french toast next.
What are your favorite things to cook or eat for brunch?