Friday, April 19, 2002
Recipes for a springtime breakfast or brunch
Starting with Patriots Day, followed by an early morning bird walk to Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge in May, I'm into my traditional springtime entertainment modebreakfast or brunch. In the case of Patriots Day, it's breakfast at 6:45 a.m. at our home on Estabrook Road for friends who want to join the Patriots Day Parade that passes by our house an hour later.
In early May, my husband Ken takes the winners of the FRS Service Auction bird walk for an early morning expedition to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, followed by a late-morning brunch served back here in Carlisle.
For me, serving breakfast or brunch is much more enjoyable and less hectic than a formal sit-down dinner. No hors d'oeuvres and wine to worry about, no dessert to agonize over, and just one trip to the table with all dishes attractively assembled ready to be consumed by a hungry crowd.
For this year's Patriots Day I served my usual overnight egg soufflé, dried and fresh fruit compote, nutmeg coffeecake, and asparagus (now in season) boiled and topped with brown butter. Most things can be prepared the day or night before. Only the egg soufflé and the asparagus need to be cooked in the morning just before mealtime.
If you are serving the egg soufflé without the addition of chopped ham, shrimp or bacon, you may want to add bacon or sausage as a side dish. I like to serve Jones Sausage, which comes from a dairy farm in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin. This is where my grandfather Cardell McComb, a farmer in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, took his hogs to be slaughtered.
So try an early morning breakfast or mid-morning brunch for friends or extended family. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
Dried and Fresh Fruit Compote
2 c. mixed dried fruit, apricots, dates, and plums
2 c. cold water
2 cinnamon sticks
3 T. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 lb. (about 2 large) cooking apples, cored, and cut in bite-size chunks
3/4 lb. (about 2 medium) ripe cooking pears, cored and cut in bite-size chunks
Nutmeg Coffee Cake
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1-1/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. buttermilk
2 lb. asparagus with tightly closed bud tops, spears 1/2-inch thick
4 T. butter
Overnight Egg Soufflé
5 slices of bread, outer crust removed, buttered and cubed
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
Note: 1/2 lb. shrimp, ham or cooked bacon slices can be added to the bread and cheese layers.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito