I always find brunch to be the most civilized meal of the day. The whole idea of having breakfast at a time that allows to you get over your hangover is brilliant. In the past years we've hosted a New year's brunch that's capped off our holiday season with our friends. With the hubbub of the holidays and the endless gatherings, we've found we never find time to do a proper gift exchange before people leave town. So we just dispense with even trying and chose to do it New Year's Day. The principle being, if you were to nurse your hangover, you would want to do it with those nearest and dearest to you. We did have one brunch where Pauline slept through the whole thing because she had a REALLY good time the night before.
Our first brunch in 2003 was a fairly low key affair. We made the mistake of giving a 12:30 pm start time. The earliest anyone came was 1:30 pm. We served what would become New Year's staples of French toast, Morningstar farms vegetarian sausage patties, and a citrus salad that was inspired by Mr. Henry's. This was before I became a religious watcher of Barefoot Contessa and sliced my segments widthwise instead of cutting between the pithy segments to only have the juicy fruit (ok I know that doesn't make sense). From then on there would additions to the menu, but no subtractions. Rootbeer brought the traditional black eyed peas.
Our second brunch in 2004 was a bittersweet affair that we ended up reminiscing about the good times with Rebecca 1.0 as she only recently had moved out the west coast. Auntie Ang rounded us up to make scrapbook pages for Rebecca 1.0. Much sighing ensued. This was the fateful event that Pauline may have STILL BEEN DRUNK FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE and therefore slept through. The Librarian provided the entertainment by downloading The Darkness songs and serenade the group. Menu additions included crepes with lemon curd and Nutella (not together) and Stinkle's New Year's cabbage. Apparently, there's some tradition that if you eat cabbage in the New Year, you'll find your true love.
With the hung over Pauline incident of 2004, and New Year's occurring on a Saturday, we decided to have New Year's brunch at dinnertime. This made for a saner prep and guests arriving without hangovers. This also was the introduction of Playstation karaoke to the New Year's festivities. Apparently, Writergirl has nursed a secret love of karaoke and the Librarian bought her Playstation karaoke for Christmas. I got wind of this hours before the "brunch" and asked (read: demanded) them to bring it over. I must say that that shit is effing addictive. Even when half the party was sequestered in our office because they couldn't stand it, those of us singing COULD NOT STOP. I was vindicated this summer when we had a party for J's co-workers and the karaoke MADE the party. Menu additions this year were Barefoot Contessa's orange yogurt and the introduction of Kir Royales to the beverage list.
This year Rootbeer's taking the reins but happy memories help us to nurse hangovers. I'll be posting recipes from the brunch through the month of December.