Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

So, the past few years, we've gone with my mom, brother, sister in law and rugrats to a brunch on Mother's Day.

As the kids have gotten more mobile and more fidgety, it's just made going out to eat harder. You just can't expect small kids to behave flawlessly for a couple hours sometimes. It's life.

So, this year, we decided to do a brunch at my mom's house. And since my sister in law is a mother too, well, why should she have to cook?

Yup, I did the whole thing myself.

Saturday was the major cooking day. I figured I'd go for quiches, since I'd seen a recipe in Everyday Food that I wanted to try, and I also wanted to do a spin on some of the quiche fillings in the Bouchon cookbook.

I originally was going to keep it simple and only do a couple and do my own pastry dough. I bough some lard and everything.

And then the produce mart I shop at started to offload all their old generic-brand products in favor of another new generic-brand. So stuff was dirt cheap.

Like frozen pie crusts, two for a buck fifty.

Bye-bye, homemade dough.

But that meant I could make more fillings. Yay!

Here we have a mushroom and shallot filling and a leek & blue cheese filling....

....aaaaand I quickly learned Quiche Cooking Lesson Number One (which, sadly, I think is pointed out in the Bouchon cookbook)... don't fill the crusts with the egg mixture until you have the pan on the rack in the oven.

Um, ops. Landslide.

That pan went into the sink, and I started with a fresh pan, covered in foil, and tried to get them back into the oven quickly.

And other than some crust malfunctions, they actually came out looking very quiche-like!

In addition to those two, there were two ham & cheese quiches, an Asparagus and Leek quiche, and Bacon and Onion quiche.

I also wanted to do some fruit salad. My mom has diverticulitis, which means no berries or things with seeds and them.

And by the time you manage to cut up the smallest honeydew and cantelope and pineapple that you can find, you've already got a heck of a lot of fruit to deal with.

Which might mean that you need to break out the biggest vessel in your house, which might happen to be a Le Creuset pot. Not just for cooking soups and stocks!

Well, apparently one bowl for my mom's house, and one for my mother-in-law's house.

In addition to eggs and fruit.... the many beautiful breakfast pork products!!!

About a pound and a half of sausage, and two pounds of bacon. My oldest nephew actually applauded when he learned there was sausage.

And the big crowd-pleaser... Creme Brulee French Toast.

I've been making this one for a few years... always a crowd-pleaser.

Of course, it does go more smoothly when you don't find your bread has already gone moldy by the time you get around to trying to let it dry out a little. Ooops. So really, my Saturday started with running several errands, including dumping ANOTHER ten bucks on two bucks of brioche. Oh yay.

The caramel sauce for the bottom is super easy... butter, brown sugar and a couple of glugs of corn syrup in a pot.

I know the recipe seems to indicate you need to bring it to some sort of actual melted stage, but I never do much more than get it all kinda melty and happy. Still a little grainy at this point. But I've never gotten complaints.

So... how do you dry out your bread when you buy it that same day?

Why, put it in the oven that has been going for four hours making quiches and cooking bacon!

After I turned the oven off, I just threw the sliced bread on the racks and let it do its thing for about a half hour. After that, the caramel goes in the bottom of the pan, and the bread gets artfully arranged on top...

I do tend to over-stuff my pan a bit more than the recipe states, and I actually need about a 1 1/2 ratio of the egg mixture than is in the original recipe. I still don't change the amount of caramel that goes in the bottom... there is more than enough.

Everything went into the fridge, and I made frozen pizzas for dinner.

This morning, the french toast went into the oven, and I also made some roasted baby red potatoes. Piled everything listed above in the car, also some shrimp and cocktail sauce and cheese & crackers, and headed over to my mom's.

(I don't have pitcures of the full spread of food... my sister in law was taking pictures - good girl, knows that documenting the food at any family gathering is just as important as pictures of the people that are there, lol - and she hasn't uploaded them to Facebook yet).

As my mother-in-law said when we rolled up on Thanksgiving... "The caterer is here!"


But, two moms got to kick back and enjoy a little bit of their day, and good for was eaten with beloved family. Doesn't get much better than leaving the ones you love with full tummies and lots of leftovers.

(And the way those kids are growing... I'd better get used to cooking on this scale. I'd guess we're only about 5-6 years away from my oldest nephew pounding away a full pound of sausage in a single sitting).

Happy Mother's Day!!!


Scarehaircare said...

Bravo! I bow to the goddess of breakfast! Although I am still wondering why aren't any of the men in you fam helping out. They certainly know how to at least fry up bacon and sausages.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Can I come to your house for breakfast?

MrsVJW said...

Everyone... c'mon by! Breakfast is very easy, especially when you made it all the day before. ;)

I wouldn't let my brother help, mostly because I figured if they had to bring anything, SIL might get stuck doing something. Or cleaning something. Including my bro, she's got three boys to get dresses and moving... girl needs some time off!