Brunch Lessons

Kitchen Diary: Emily in Los Angeles

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Halfway through 2014, I'm proud to say that Gregory and I are making good on our New Year's resolution to have people over. Though we've hosted a couple dinners and evening gatherings, Sunday brunch has really become our signature.

Why brunch? Well, besides being a fun meal to cook, daytime is when our apartment feels loveliest, windows thrown open to the SoCal sunshine and Silver Lake breezes. Best of all, we usually end up spending the entire day with our friends as morning stretches into late afternoon and folks hang around the table relaxing, noshing, and discussing everything under the sun. Hosting brunch makes me extra appreciative of my home, my partner, and our friends.

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Every time we host I also learn something new. Here are a few recent lessons I'd like to remember and share:

Timing is everything ... sort of. At our last brunch I had all my prep and cooking precisely planned and timed so that the buttermilk pancakes, summer vegetable frittata, maple bacon, et al. would wind up on the table at the same moment. Unfortunately things got off track when I asked Gregory to help and he deviated from my plan. Did I feel like a failure because people had to wait 20 minutes for pancakes? Yes. Did I get stressed out and snippy? Erm, yes.

Lessons learned: 1) If something is really super important, tend to it yourself rather than ask someone else to do it. 2) However, most things aren't that critical — it's just brunch. 3) Let go and move on. 4) Because no one will mind how late the pancakes are if accompanied by whipped cream, seasonal fruit compote, and candied pecans.

Plan for extra snacks. Our friends tend to hang out for hours, and towards the end everyone's hungry again. I'd like to plan better for snacks to nibble on as the afternoon progresses. After the richness of brunch I'm thinking of something crunchy but fairly healthy like spiced nuts or a dairy-free dip with snap peas and carrots.

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Kitchen Diary: Emily in Los Angeles

(Image credits: Gregory Han)

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